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Neo-Maoist Problem In India

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  • Neo-Maoist Problem In India

    There is a fascinating new article by Kristian A. Kennedy called The Naxalite Insurgency in India was posted on the geopoliticalmonitor website. Some short snips:

    While many western observers would point to violent secessionism in Kashmir as the direst threat to Indian national security, the government of India has identified the Maoist-inspired as its most significant security challenge. A vast swath of India, from West Bengal in the northeast to Andhra Pradesh in the south, has come under the influence of the Naxalites -- the "Red Taliban" as they have been called. In recent years the Indian government has stepped-up its counter-insurgency initiatives in an attempt to contain and rollback the movement's influence. In fact, New Delhi has even redeployed security forces from Kashmir to central and eastern India in response to this development.

    Naxalism presents a seeming paradox: the country with the second highest growth rates of the major economies finds itself in the throes of a largely agrarian rebellion inspired by an ideology that has lost its lustre in much of the world. In 2006 India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, pronounced Naxalism to be "the single biggest internal security challenge" India has ever faced.

    Why have the Naxalites come to loom so large as a security challenge? First, a large area of the country has fallen under varying degrees of CPI(M) influence. According to one estimate, approximately 40% of India's territory is under some form of Maoist influence. Just as the Maoist Sendero Luminoso ("Shining Path") of Peru emerged in the poor, mostly indigenous city of Ayacucho and spread outward to other areas of the Andean sierra, so the Naxalite centre-of-gravity is an area of the country that comprises several of India's most underdeveloped states -- a "Red Corridor" that includes Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa. Although establishing concrete numbers of supporters is a challenge, the Research and Analysis Wing, India's intelligence service, estimates that CPI(M) armed cadres number about 20,000. Tenuous government control, the destruction of public infrastructure, the sabotage of industrial interests, and ambushes of state security forces all pose a significant challenge to internal stability in areas of eastern and central India. A study published this month counted the Maoist insurgency as an obstacle in the way of India's emergence as a world power.
    and from the conclusion:

    New Delhi confronts a major challenge in the Red Corridor. Working in conjunction with the governments of affected states, the central government faces the task of winning hearts and minds in geographically isolated and economically dislocated regions of the country. It must do so even as the Naxalites work to mobilize the masses, escalate their class war, and broaden the Maoist footprint on the subcontinent. While the chances of a Naxalite seizure of power appear remote, the insurgency will continue to hold back much-needed development. It remains to be seen how effective the current counter-insurgency strategy is at strengthening the writ of the state and extending development in the region.
    The entire article is linked above.

  • #2
    That's terrible. Nepal up to now are still having problems with their own "maoist" rebels...
    "We have no white flag."


    • #3
      The Naxalites don't make the news in the US very often. I've been reading about them off and on for several years and the problem seems to be getting worse.
      Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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      • #4
        naxals are definitely the most important internal threat faced till now , not only are they organized but they also have no qualms about killing civilians


        • #5
          Originally posted by tapion007 View Post
          naxals are definitely the most important internal threat faced till now , not only are they organized but they also have no qualms about killing civilians
          Welcome to the forums tapion. Enjoy your time here.


          • #6
            Oh great, here comes the second wave of communists.
            Standing here, I realize you were just like me trying to make history.
            But who's to judge the right from wrong.
            When our guard is down I think we'll both agree.
            That violence breeds violence.
            But in the end it has to be this way.


            • #7
              India 'Maoist' train attack kills more than 100

              A little odd:

              At least 145 people were injured - many critically - when two trains collided overnight in West Bengal.

              Police said Maoist rebels sabotaged the track causing the Calcutta-Mumbai passenger train to derail, throwing five of its carriages into the path of an oncoming goods train.

              But a spokesman for the Maoist rebels called the BBC to deny any involvement.
              Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

              Questions about our site? See the FAQ.


              • #8
                Here's an interesting article from the online version of The Hindu newspaper:

                Army, Air Force wary of getting involved in anti-Maoist operations . Some snips:

                Amid indications that the Army and the Air Force are chary of getting involved, the government will soon take a call on the proposal to give the armed forces a role in tackling the Naxalite problem.

                According to highly placed sources, the Home Ministry has prepared a document, outlining various options in the face of the escalating Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh and other parts of the country.

                But the sources told TheHindu that the Army and the Air Force are hesitant to take on a greater role on the grounds that this could result in collateral damage.

                The emergent view within the brass is that the Army should be asked to step in only as a last resort in tackling internal law and order situations.

                In addition, the view is that the presence of soldiers in civilian areas could lead to a greater sense of alienation among the local population.

                With Maoists already gaining the sympathy of the tribal people, the apprehension is that the move to put military boots on the ground could widen the gap between the government and sections of the people in areas where even basic facilities are severely lacking.

                Another factor is that any counter-insurgency action by the armed forces could attract greater attention by non-government organisations and other activists, along with the apprehension that the damage to the social fabric could be more serious.
                The rest of the article is linked above.


                • #9
                  An interesting new article by Raghu Raman on the livemint website Economics of ending Naxalism - Private sector-led development can go a long way in defeating ultra-Left violence in India’s heartland. Some snips:

                  The recent series of Naxal attacks highlight the paradox of the internal security in India. Unlike virtually any other country in the world, we face daunting security challenges while being presented with extraordinary economic development opportunities. Our globally acknowledged growth story is marred by a very real and present danger in the form of Naxal militancy and fundamentalist terrorism, which are two distinct show-stoppers if not dealt with a sense of determined and sustained urgency. The sheer scale of the challenge, however, poses the fundamental question of whether we should be thinking of incorporating new stakeholders into the campaign.

                  Taking a page from the US operations in Iraq—where an overwhelmingly powerful army crushed the existing regime, only to find itself struggling to manage the ensuing peace process—brings a realization that perhaps a transition phase is imperative between phases of conflict and prosperity. But managing a conflict and facilitating prosperity require very different skill sets.

                  Building prosperity, however, requires different mind and skill sets. This calls for non-threatening, long-term, continuous and economically self-sustaining operations. It focuses on capacity-building rather than capturing power centres. This has to be a deliberate, multilateral and inclusive set of activities carried out by a mature body of people. People who can spot growth opportunities and empower the affected districts to create an environment that is preventive to militancy, rather than punitive towards it.

                  Fortunately India has an opportunity to leverage the proven wealth generating capabilities of its entrepreneurs, companies and non-governmental organizations and use burgeoning economic growth as a weapon against militancy and anti-national activities. Devil’s advocates could have arguments against this. Primary among them would be a concern of exploitation by companies, which is also advocated as a raison d’être of militancy in the first place. Conflicts of interest between industries such as mining and the population of forested areas are a fact. That argument, however, is facetious in the face of mobile penetration, microfinance and information technology-assisted education and several other similar transformations that have multiplied the wealth of countless districts—with minimal collateral consequences.

                  Another argument could be concerns for safety of the participating firms. There have been instances of losses suffered by the latter in projects because of the insecure operating environment in militancy-prone areas. But there are also success stories of businesses thriving in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East, which illustrate the point that a business model co-opting and including the masses has the power to turn them towards a brighter future. India with its successful resolution of the Punjab militancy— which is not even a memory for Gen X—should know this. So the argument that the environment must be completely secure before companies can enter has a corollary that entry of business opportunities contributes to creating a secure environment.
                  and finally

                  The challenge for the private sector is to reorganize its business paradigm to specifically target disturbed areas. The numbers work in its favour. Almost all such areas have only a fractional militant composition. Eventually majority of the local population will rally around income generating opportunities. Because militancy by itself cannot generate sustained income. Income brings access to communication facilities such as mobile phones and television, resulting in knowledge and aspiration. Militants focus on disrupting communication networks precisely for this reason.
                  The full article is linked above.


                  • #10
                    Good find. The Naxalites should be more vulnerable to this approach than the Islamic militants as business really can address the populations material needs under the right circumstances.
                    Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                    Questions about our site? See the FAQ.


                    • #11
                      Naxalism is a big deal if you see the number of states affected by it. I see their growth as a bad offshoot of India's rapidly growing economic powers. The rich keep getting richer, and the poor are derived of a lot. If an adequate balance is found, maybe the problem will be slowly driven out. However, some force will still be needed to get rid of the main guys who keep spreading the ideas as they will not be converted.


                      • #12
                        More news

                        27 Indian troops die in Maoist rebel ambush

                        Maoist rebels killed at least 27 paramilitary troops in an ambush in eastern India on Tuesday, the latest in a series of bold attacks by the guerrillas, a senior police official said.

                        A 50-strong patrol of the Central Reserve Police Force was ambushed Tuesday evening on a routine patrol in a densely forested area in the Narayanpur district of Chhatisgarh state, said Sunder Raj, a senior local police official. Ten other troops were wounded, he said.


                        • #13
                          Anyone have any updates on the Maoists in Nepal? Any idea if they're connected?
                          "We have no white flag."


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