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Current Affairs: Naxalism-A brief overview




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M ON DA Y, JU N E 2 2 , 2 0 0 9 FOL L OW ERS

Naxalism-A brief overview
I was reading the newspaper few days back in which the prime minister of India had declared that the single biggest threat to the Indian state was Naxalites/Moists. This one really got me thinking, what is it about Naxalites that has really attracted so much of attention...Indian has enough of bad neighbours to worry about. Why worry something about somebody like Naxalites/Moists. I decided to get down for studying a bit about them. Below are my findings. The numbers are staggering...You will be shocked and then understand what prompted the prime minister to declare the Naxalites to be the biggest thread to Indian state. Lets try and see everything from the birth of Naxalism to the current status. (Note: This is my study based on the facts found online. I have never done any extensive research and verification/validation of the points mentioned below) How was it formed?

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In 1967, a part of Communist Party of India(Marxist) helped the peasants uprising against the landlords and upper caste people in a place called Naxalbari in West Bengal. The movement was led by a Communist Party of India(Marxist) member Charu Mujumdar; who was highly influenced by the teachings of "Mao Tse Tung" of China. He also advised that the only way peasants can come out of their problems is by overthrowing the Indian state and landlords/upper castes who were the main culprits for their plight. The breakaway faction (Charu Mujumdar) of Communist Party of India(Marxist) went on to become Communist Party of India(MarxistLeninist). Which later on went on to merge with Maoist Communist Center of India and become something known as the Communist Party of India(Maoist). The merger happened in year 2004. The party is considered a political face of Naxalites and is also referred by the




Current Affairs: Naxalism-A brief overview

same name. The party was declared a terrorist organization by the government of India on June 22nd, 2009. Now try and analyze some facts, that may have prompted Prime Minister to declare them India's biggest threat. Current Status. Maoists now occupy the area of 92,000 square kilometers and are currently active in 160 out of 604 districts of India. That's staggering 26%. The area of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan is 78,114 square kilometers and area of Kashmir occupied by China is 42,685 square kilometers. As can be seen from the figures, the Moists occupy the largest area of India right now. Why Sudden Cry About Maoists Now? Last year in November, chief minister of West Bengal Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya's convoy was attacked by Moists in which he was left unhurt, but 6 policemen were seriously wounded. The attack as early as November 2008 proved that Maoists had a considerable stronghold in those areas. Then happened the 2009 elections, which changed the face of West Bengal. For the first time in around 40 years, left parties had lost their stronghold from WB and they were reduced to minority. The Trinamool Congress-Indian National Congress alliance won with thumping majority and Maoists who had allegedly backed TC were a happy lot. The change in power also brought in some unexpected changes, locals and Maoists attacked the CPI(Marxist) offices and ransacked them. "Allegedly" large amount of arms and ammunition were recovered from their offices (A charge which all left parties have vehemently rejected). People boycotted the police from society and stopped them from buying even essential items/supplies. This forced police to leave their places and chowkis and go to safer zones. This made the area of Lalgarh, a non administered zone, as there was not even a police in any chowki to maintain law and order. The Maoists grabbed the opportunity with both hands and declared the area of Lalgarh to be a "Liberated Zone", which was not under the influence of any government. Realizing the lurking danger, central government asked the WB government to take charge and bring area of Lalgarh under the civil administration. The challenges faced by police were already known, plus a lack of preparation coupled with arms and ammunition falling in the hands of Maoists, WB government did not want to take any risk and requested the paramilitary forces, who were going to 2/6


Current Affairs: Naxalism-A brief overview

support the police. The fierce opposition from the people and couple of attacks from Maoists forced the paramilitary forces like CRPF, BSF take things in their hand and as the started liberating the area, police started joining the chowkies and make sure things come under civil administration. By the time I started writing this blog, around 22 villages of Lalgarh were liberated from Moists and were under the civil administration and the operation was still continuing. Where Maoists have a stronghold? These are mostly the areas where there is very little or no development. The Maoists claim to represent the tribal and poor people and hence the states where Maoists have a considerable presence (around 20,000 cadres) are WB, Bihar, UP, Jharkhand, Chattigarh, Orrisa, AP and eastern part of Maharashtra. The possible road ahead? Development seems to be the keyword. But Maoists themselves are opposing that to a great extent. The Maoists oppose the idea of land grabbing by government and at the same time warn against industries coming up on agricultural land. Even though their view seems right, there may not be enough barren land left to put up the industries and if the investment and development is needed, there will have to be some greater sacrifices made. Few Alleged Involvements of Naxalites/Maoists 1. It is largely feared that Maoists and Trinamool Congress together fought the armed battle of Nandigram against the WB government; which left several people dead and many injured. 2. Jindal Steel which tried to open its steel plant in a area called Salboni in WB has come under severe criticism from Maoists; as it opposed the idea of any industrial plants on the tribal areas. It is also feared that, Naxalites/Maoists may blow up the Jindal plant which is supposed to bring investment of Rs. 15000 crore to the state. 3. Naxalites hijacked the train in Jharkhand just ahead of polls in 2009. Later on, the train with all passengers (around 800 to 900) was released. 3/6


Current Affairs: Naxalism-A brief overview

4. Naxalites attacked the police and voting booths during 2 phases of elections, leaving many people and policemen killed. 5. The Naxalites many times capture policemen from the Naxal dominated areas and kill them. Looking at all the above the things, we can see the reason why government considers the Maoists to be the biggest danger to the state and hence their action of declaring it a "Terrorist organization" can be understood. From the current mood of the government, it seems that it wants to deal with the problem of Naxalites with a iron fist. It has neither called any Naxal leader for talks nor it has offered the peace keeping pact to the Naxals. Whatever may be the method, lets hope that government will be able to solve the problem and bring in the necessary development to those backward areas.
P O S T ED B Y K ET A N A T 11: 53 P M

8 COM M EN TS : capikool June 24, 2009 at 12:47 AM your post has given me a pretty neat synopsis of the naxal problem. thanks. Reply

Ashish Sarode June 24, 2009 at 7:52 AM Hi Ketan, Thanks for such an informative blog. I hardly had any idea about this topic. Is it true that Maoists are supported from outside forces (specifically China)? I just tried to google out following blog might be of some help Can you please post detailed comment or new post explaining "How come Maoists became so strong?" and "Who is helping Maoists?" Reply



Current Affairs: Naxalism-A brief overview

Arun June 24, 2009 at 11:27 AM Your article gave me indepth details about Maoists which I have never come across. Thanks for sharing your valuable findings. Keep posting such informative ideas so that we may know the real facts that is really happening around us. I wish you have mentioned about the naxalites activities/attacks in Hyderabad too. Reply

Shashikiran June 25, 2009 at 8:21 AM Hey Ketan: I sincerely appreciate your effort in finding the statistics and presenting the same. Though many of us knew the Naxal menace, nobody would have guessed its stretch and its power. Good one! Reply

Abhay June 25, 2009 at 11:23 PM Nice post buddy Reply


June 26, 2009 at 12:13 AM

Ashish, Any group working against a particular country always gets support from outside.. Which we cant prove we can surely say that they must have got some money from our enemies...but as I can not produce a direct and hard evidence of that. Also how they became so strong? and who are helping Maoists? Have a rough idea about that...but I would like to back that up with some proper facts...before please wait for a while... Reply

aarti July 5, 2009 at 12:06 AM hey i didnt even know somehting like naxalism existed ..i used to think its a part of regional politics ... indepth study n i m shocked with the situation n ignorance shown to it Reply 5/6


Current Affairs: Naxalism-A brief overview

arayan01 July 31, 2010 at 11:23 PM a very thought arousing article giving a information a very severe problem india facing but citizens don't have much information about the reasons,causes and may be possible solutions. but Ketan as you know about the issue you can suggest some more solutions also....i think they are not there (According to me... :))!!! Reply E n t e ry o u rc o m m e n t . . .

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