Saturday, September 12, 2009


The menace poised by naxalites and Maoists in ours country is assuming colossal proportions. As the centre and the state governments get engaged in protracted recriminations the innocent citizens are left in the lurch. The nonchalance and the desultory approach of our government in handling this scourge has allowed it to fester.
Let me explicate our government’s perfunctory response to this problem. First the centre earmarks huge funds (currently its more than 1000 crore rupees) for tackling naxalism. It may go further to ban the naxal outfits whose atrocities become too notorious and arrange anti-naxal co-ordination committees once a year with state governments. After this the central government assumes its role to be over. The state governments utilize the huge funds to deploy more and more security forces who get little or low standard training for antinaxal activities. But deployment can’t be in each nook and corner of the affected areas. So the naxals strike at will and kill innocent security personnel who are very ill equipped .And as the number of naxal cadres continues to increase exponentially, the government finds itself more helpless in dealing with the problem. It can’t go on recruiting security forces commensurate with the exponential growth of naxals. Now to woo away the naxal cadres, different state government announce rehabilitation packages. But the local administrations have so awkwardly bungled with these rehabilitation programs that, even the few felons who had returned back to mainstream society feel helpless and discriminated. They are forced to relapse into their previous violent stints. Evidently it won’t be wrong to say that the government stratagem in dealing with the naxals has proved to be a complete failure.

I don’t think that proscribing naxal outfits or use of force and perfunctory rehabilitation packages are going to prove effective in any way. For subverting this menace we need to understand its roots and genesis. It is very much apparent that the most naxal affected states namely Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and some North-east states are also the most underdeveloped states in the country. Bihar is an exception because it had its home grown naxals in the form of goons of Lalu-Paswan duo. But developed states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujurat have not reported any incidents of naxalism. It can be interpreted from these facts that the sole reason spurring Naxalism is unemployment, penury, lack of education and infrastructure in underdeveloped areas. It is because uneducated and unemployed youths are easy targets for being inveigled as naxal cadres. We can say that every impecunious, uneducated youth is a potential naxalite. So we have to consider these things when we attempt to adopt any anti-naxal strategy.

A pivotal point in this context is that naxals are not same as terrosists.They don’t kill innocent people indiscriminately. We have only heard of naxal attacks against security personnel, naxals abducting government officials or naxals vandalizing police posts but we never hear of naxal opening fire in a busy market place to kill innocent people. So, clearly their grudge is against the government and its apathy. Their only complain is that why are they treated so unfairly and callously. In Moa’s words, only the language of bullet is universally understood. So, the Maoists are trying with the help of bullet to make the government understand the problems they face, the hunger they bear and the agony they live with. If we want to rein in naxals we have to heed to their problems.

If we go by statistics our Central government spends more than 1000 crore annually on anti-naxal operations but all these expenditures goes into drain as there is little success rate of such operations. If we simply distribute this fund among all the naxal cadres(a total of 10,000 approximately) each will receive a sum of 10 lakhs annually and I am sure on receiving this sum they will renounce their violence path. Ofcourse , this is a bizarre proposition , but what I intend to say is that rather than wasting 1000 crore for abortive anti-naxal operations, if the government invests this huge sum of money for generating employment opportunity for the naxals or for envisaging concrete rehabilitation packages , then the naxal problem will automatically cease to exist.

The medical dictum “Prevention is better than cure” becomes very pertinent here. That is rather than proceeding to exterminate naxals, it would be much effective to prevent its further spread and to woo away as many naxal cadres as possible by implementing fool proof welfare schemes and investing in education, employment and infrastructure. Well educated youths ingrained with ideals patriotism cant be coaxed away by Mao’s ideals. Furthermore, the help the Naxals receive from beleaguered unemployed youths in the form of tacit support will also vanish.

It is high time the government wakes up from its slumber, shuns its “only rhetoric, no action” attitude and changes its flawed naxal policy. Otherwise our peaceful country will delve abysmally into the quagmire of anarcy, bedlam and violence created by naxalism.


  1. A very well written article on naxal problem in gets all the stars from my side.But with out mention of Salwa Judum of Chattisgarh any article on naxalites can not be completed.Salwa judum is the people's own army that is fully supported by state government.State government supply them weapons and backup of police. as u say force can not be deployed in every corner of naxal affected area so concept of salwa judum completely works.So this is the need of the time that all other naxal affected states learn somthing from this and show strong will power against naxalism.

  2. An astute observation....but before i proceed with my feedback for sambit i would like to clarify one thing(@ shashank) that authority entrusted without proper training is authority endangered.We have come across news snippets mentioning the blatant misuse of power by salwa judum cadres giving a harrowing time to locals.Now, i support sambit till the point of government being more proactive in handling the naxal menace.As we all know that the entire naxal dominated belt with the exception of Andhra Pradesh consists of states that fare poorly on the development index.In such a backdrop creating manifold employment opportunities all of a sudden is a demand more utopian and less pragmatic.Successive governments have ensured livelihood for the huge chunk of unemployed youth that our nation produces every year.Today we have the NREGA,JNRUM like policies in place.I do agree that problems like corruption,red tapism and lack of awareness have presented infrastructural bottlenecks but cooperation on the part of public is prime in the success of any government undertaking.Under no circumstances can a few individuals hold the country to ransom because of their personal hardships.Also before blaming the state governments for their ineptness in subverting maoists we should consider the fact that unlike Gujrat ,Punjab the states of orissa,jharkhand have dense forest cover which present logistical and navigational challenges to the combing teams.(Remember verappan had the TN and Karnataka police on their toes for nearly 20 years). Secondly sambit quite succintly alienates Maoists from terrorists.The IPC states that unauthorized use of violence to achieve any particular objective is tantamount to an act of terrorism.Hence the maoists can be regarded as terrorists with different ideology then their islamic counterparts.The former might not be killing innocents and civilians point blank,but have definitely unleashed terror through a spate of kidnappings,forceful evictions,destruction of public property,decimation of wildlife and other savagery.Mao brought about a change in the life of chinese nation through his principles of military socialism that worked for the good of the asian superpower.Things are different in India.People have acclimatized to a society based on principles of democracy with right to private property.The path chosen by the red rebels will only usher in pandemonium in this country.maoists and their accomplice the CMAS aren't the only victims of government's lackadiasical attitude.There are many teacher associations that complain of government apathy towards their salary and pension issues.Aganwadi workers fail to get their due on several occasions.Many eminent sportpersons are languishing in dilapidation.Should they all take up arms then?Registering protest with the use of bullet bodes well in the battlefield not inside the house.The most feasible solution to this long thriving scourge(read naxalism)is peaceful ,one to one discussion from both sides.Complete surrender by the ultras and implementation of full scale rehabilitation measures by central and state governments is needed.Recruitment of many unpriviledged tribal youth in the police force is a laudable effort on part of the government of Orissa, in this direction.

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  4. I agree to some extent with subh but not with the propositon that naxals can be seen on similar terms as terrosists .It is easy to make a rhertoric , but lets put ourselves in their shoes and think...someone like us cant sustain hunger for a single day.. if water supply or electricity goes off for a few hours, live seems unbearable for us and we begin making frantic calls to the officials.. Think of their problems when they have to bear the same trauma - dearth of food and water incessantly without any hope in sight. One can visualize their agony by trying to live without food and water just for 2 days. Then all talks of morals and just things will automatically vanish.
    Of course there are many other paupers who don’t resort to violence for survival, but then what happens to them. They appear as beggars on the streets imploring and beseeching people. They are humiliated and rejected by the society as faceless, worthless ghosts. And government? The government simply is heedless to these beggars as they don’t constitute a vote bank.They are left to lead a life of misery, helplessness and rejection.

    So what is wrong if some of the neglected victims take up cudgels for their own rights by resorting to a violence path? As citizens of the country they have equal rights to food and infrastructure. And since they are denied these basic rights they have taken up the violence path. After adopting this “so called evil path” , government and the society is at least heeding to their needs. They are atleast been heard.They would never have been heard if they had embrace the peaceful appraoch

    I believe good and bad are totally relative terms. What seems bad to us is perfectly good and just for the naxals because they are fighting for their rights. A minimum level of coercion is needed to get ones proper rights if it isn’t granted voluntarily. We have gained our independence by fighting for it. This independence struggle appeared to be malicious and bad to the british, and they incarcerated and hanged the freedom fighters considering them as criminals according to interpretation of their law. But it was perfectly good for us as we were fighting for our own rights. This analogy can be applied to this naxal struggle also.

    I am not totally justifying the case of naxals. I just want to stress that we should understand naxals have also human emotions- they dont have an inherent criminal or delinquent tendency. They are naxals by force not by choice. There may be some deviations, but this is true for majority of the cases. So if we give them a choice to better their lives by investing in infrastructure and basic amenities and creating manifold employment opportunities. I think they will certainly renounce their violence paths when shown prospects of a good and peaceful future.

  5. A great article, although I would recommend that you turn down the vocabulary by a notch. Too many high funda words in one sentence and so in every sentence makes for difficult reading. almost feels like you are trying to fit in a thesaurus in this post(or used the synonyms option in MS Word!) :-)
    Looking forward to more of your work.