Homeland Security

Naxalism - the Internal Bane of India
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Issue Courtesy: Aakrosh | Date : 08 Jul , 2011

The chief ministers at the recent meeting chaired by Dr. Manmohan Singh called for coordinated and integrated action and better equipment and logistics to fight the menace. On 19 April 2010, Aziz Haniffa reported on the speech given by ex-president Abdul Kalam at a packed reception at the Indian embassy in Washington, DC, hosted by Ambassador Meera Shankar.8 According to him, when Kalam was asked how the Naxal situation could be addressed since it was causing concern among foreign investors, including NRIs in the U.S., exploring investment opportunities in Chhattisgarh, where 76 police personnel were murdered by Naxal, he replied that wherever land reforms had not taken place, such conflicts were arising. “So, one requirement is we have to introduce land reform wherever it is not there. That’s number one.”

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“Number two,” he continued and said that we had established 7,000 PURA, which is the economic standard. He gave the example of the 64 villages he has seen in Madhya Pradesh with a population of 100,000 which had been given access to electronic connectivity and knowledge connectivity. He argued that “This has resulted in economic connectivity, and that means economic prosperity.” According to him, “[W]herever the earning capacity is there, the conflicts in society will reduce.”

When asked on a broader level, how international terrorism, including cross-border terrorism, can be tackled, Kalam said: “When evil minds combine, good minds also combine to counter that, to combat that,” and this is what should be the priority, he said.

The CRPF and other paramilitary forces must be strengthened in the states affected. Their fire power and intelligence should be improved so that they are not sitting ducks for the Naxal extremists but can fight back at least on an equal footing.

Kalam felt it was imperative that the judicial system move expeditiously to sentence and punish terrorists who have been arrested but stressed that in order to eradicate terrorism, poverty alleviation is imperative.

Nita, on 11 March 2008,9 said that the spread of Naxalism indicates the sense of desperation and alienation that is sweeping over a large section of our nation who have not only been systematically marginalised but cruelly exploited and dispossessed in their last bastion or homeland. The Indian adivasis were “the original autochthonous people of India,” meaning that their presence in India predates even that of the Dravidians and of course the Aryans and whoever else settled in this country. They are the real swadeshy products of India. All others comparatively are foreigners. These ancient people are the ones who have moral rights and claims which are thousands of years old. They were here first and should come first in our regard. Unfortunately, like indigenous people all over the world, the Indian adivasis have been savaged and ravaged by later people claiming to be more ‘civilised’.

Adivasis are just one group of people being targeted by the Naxals for recruitment. Overall, all poor people are being targeted, including Dalits. Terror groups are making full use of the injustice being practiced and perpetuated in certain areas of our country. Because the “development” in India is not reaching all the population, the Naxals are having a field day, as they apparently champion the cause of the poor.

The government has to tackle the Naxal problem on a war footing by using a multipronged attack. It has to gain the confidence of the local population by taking up more welfare-related activities and ensuring that these really reach those who need them. Infrastructure to generate employment in the Naxal affected areas must be developed. Joint security operations with neighbouring states must be launched to eliminate left-wing extremists.

The CRPF and other paramilitary forces must be strengthened in the states affected. Their fire power and intelligence should be improved so that they are not sitting ducks for the Naxal extremists but can fight back at least on an equal footing.

Notes and References

  1. Rediffnews.com. “Who are the Naxalites?” 2 October 2003. <http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/oct/02spec.htm> (accessed 25 July 2010).
  2. Rajat Kujur. “Naxal Movement in India: a Profile.” IPCS research papers, September 2008. <http://www.ipcs.org/pdf_file/issue/848082154RP15-Kujur-Naxal.pdf> (accessed 25 July 2010).
  3. V. S. Gopalakrishnan. “Understanding the Naxalite Menace.” v-s gopal.slekha.com, 11 April 2010. <http://v-s-gopal.sulekha.com/blog/post/2010/04/understanding-the-naxalite-menace.htm> (accessed 25 July 2010).
  4. Indian Officer.com. “The Growth of Naxalism in India.” <http://www.indianofficer.com/forums/current-issues/1501-naxalism-india.html> (accessed 25 July 2010).
  5. Venkatish Ramakrishnan. “The Naxalite Challenge.” Frontline vol. 22, no. 21, 21–8 October 2005. <http://www.flonnet.com/fl2221/stories/20051021006700400.htm> (accessed 25 July 2010).
  6. R. S. N. Singh. “Maoist Threat and Politics.” Indian Defence Review vol. 25.1, January–March 2010.
  7. Vivek Gumaste. “The Naxal Problem: Failure of political leadership.” Rediffnews.com, 27 April 2010.
  8. Aziz Haniffa. “Kalam’s cure for the Naxalite problem.” Rediffnews.com, 19 April 2010.
  9. Nita. “Naxalism – some reasons and some solutions.” 11 March 2008. <http://nitawriter.wordpress.com/2008/03/11/naxalism-some-plans-and-causes/> (accessed 25 July 2010).
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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Savita Singh

Savita Singh, writes on numerous topics mainly of human interest since 1979. Her latest book is on international terrorism, with special emphasis on terrorism in India.

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