NAXALISM


Since India set its foot in the world, by becoming the fastest growing democracy in the world, it has faced many challenges that have threatened its advancements, development and national unity. One such problem is of NAXALISM. The term Naxalism is derived from the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal. The village became the centre of a tribal peasant uprising against local landlords in 1967. The rebellion was under the leadership of Kanu Santhal and Jagan Sanyal with the aim of rightful distribution of the land to the working peasants. Even though the rebellion was suppressed, it became the focus for the communist led separatist movements that began in the remote and tribal areas in India.
It is considered that the Naxalites are far-left radical communists and support the Maoist political sentiment and ideology. It started in West Bengal and slowly spread across the less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh. The movement found its roots among the displaced tribes and the natives who fight against the exploitation they face at the hands of major Indian corporations and local officers who are corrupt.
The Naxalites claim to represent the poor and socially marginalized members of the Indian society and stick to the Maoist doctrine of sustained peasant led revolution. For decades, the Naxalites waged guerilla warfare against the landlords, businesses, politicians, and security forces; they have also damaged transportation, communication, and power lines. They have often been able to set up their base in remote forest areas.

Participation of the Tribal in the Naxalite Movements

Due to the structural violence by the state, which includes land theft for the purpose of mineral extraction; tribal communities are more likely to participate in the naxal movements. Areas with no electricity, running water, or healthcare may accept social services from the Naxalite groups, and in return give their support to them. There are also some arguments that state’s absence has given a chance to the Naxalites to become a legitimate authority and perform state like functions such as enacting policies of redistribution and building infrastructure for irrigation. Health care services like malaria vaccination drives and medical units, in areas that have no doctors or hospitals, have also been documented. 


Causes of Naxalism
The causes for the growth of Naxalism are:
1.     Forest mismanagement was one of the main reasons as when the government began the exploitation of the forest resources, the traditional dwellers began fighting the government with the use of violence which led to the evolution of Naxalism.
2. Marginalization, displacement of the tribal communities, and haphazard implementation of the tribal policy worsened the situation of Naxalism.
3.    As naxal groups consisted mostly of the poor and the deprived like the daily wage laborers, small farmers, etc., it led to the increase of the inter-regional differences and inequalities that made people choose the Naxalites over the government.
4.  As the forest is one of the main areas for the operation of these groups, the government finds it difficult to deal with the groups due to the lack of accessibility to these areas.
5.     As the rural areas have poor infrastructure, unemployment, and lack of industries, it is creating disparity among the people which in turn is creating an anti-government mindset in the people.

RESPONSE OF THE GOVERNMENT
The response of the state governments to the Naxalite movements has evolved over the years, taking into consideration the increasing intensity of the threat and political decisions at the centre and the state. As the law and order has been shifted to the state list, the initiatives for the counter insurgency come under the jurisdiction of the state government. The centre helps to provide support for the efforts of the state through joint strategies, providing intelligence, resources, and coordination, whenever needed.
The central government has accelerated the effectiveness of the Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Strategy. These strategies combine the population-centric and enemy-centric approaches, combination of law and order mechanisms. Centre has led the COIN strategy mainly from behind by providing resources like security and finance, paramilitary, intelligence, and strategic direction.

OUTCOMES OF THE RESPONSE
Coordinated efforts from the centre and the state governments have brought a decrease in the naxal movements as well as the elimination of the important leaders of these groups. The Naxalite movement is also facing a vacuum in the leadership which is leading to the decrease in the support and coordination of the individual militants. This in turn has worsened the situations of the naxal groups. Demonetization has also played an important role in reducing the insurgent’s financial resources that had been saved to buy arms and equipments, or to lure recruits. With the combined efforts of the state actions, welfare programmes and security measures, a serious damaged has been created on the Naxalites operations.

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