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Rise Of Naxalism

The life of early human used to revolve around the nature. The human gets all essentials of life i.e. food, shelter etc from nature and in turn nurture the nature. The existence of human and nature is inter-dependent. Nature nurture human and in reciprocate human revere nature. The interdependent lives of both led to harmonious relations. Dense forest, Fresh River was encompassing the lives of early humans.

Then come the concept of ‘state’. The state supposed to own the natural resources i.e. forest, river, minerals etc. In ancient and medieval time, some interference was done in the living of people; however exploitation was not the case. But with the arrival of British in India and establishment of empire led to wide spread interference and great exploitation in these natural resources, which proved disastrous for the people whose lives dependent over them.

As the third law of motion by Newton states that every action has a reaction. Similarly, the exploitative policies of Britishers invite the wrath of such indigenous people in form of various peasant & tribal revolts. However, these rebellion were short sighted and localized in nature, therefore doesn’t yield much for the cause. But it helps to unify the people for a cause, generate awareness and bring up the true nature of British administration to the people. The acts, policies were guided by British interest and have nothing for the cause of plight of the native.

The development as understood by modern society was difficult for the local indigenous people to understand. It can be understood by understanding their lifestyle. “Korba” is a tribe of central India. They used to live in forest. Here ‘to live’ does not mean only to have shelter. It means that ‘jungle’ (forest) and ‘Korba’ are inter-related identities. From birth to death, from morning to evening, the life of ‘korba’ revolve around the forest. They consider themselves as the ‘King of Jungle’ (Ruler of Forest). However, our development work left korba devoid of the vitality of life and the ‘king of jungle’ degraded to a common labourer. Such demoralization led to disastrous consequences in their lives.

After independence, the constitutional safeguards and Nehru’s tribal panchsheel serves as guiding light for the Indian state. However, the continuation of British legacy in form of acts and policies without spirit of welfare did not yield desired results, which led to alienation of such indigenous people. The situation further aggravated by the development of heavy industries and resource based projects/industries in resource rich regions, which led to resource curse for the locals.

A vacuum, which subsequently led to trust deficit among natives, which left the local people with despair & demoralization; led to be the most disastrous and grave threat to the security of the nation known as left wing extremism or naxalism. The term ‘Naxalism refers to the armed struggle that begin in naxalbari region of west Bengal. So the name is derived from the place of Naxalbari.

The ideology of ‘Mao’ serves guiding light for this moment. They believe in action, not in talks; same goes with naxalism.

In initial phase, the naxalism was concerned with local causes and membership comes from rural, illiterate people slowly and gradually it evolves as ideological movement based on Maoist ideology largely, generate support from civil society, intelligentsia towards the cause of poor natives. It has also been supplemented by lack of proper administration and low morale of officials (who consider the posting in these areas as punishment posting)

As the time passes, the span of the movement also spread through a long territory of Indian subcontinent popularly known as “Red Corridor”. The ultimate goal of this movement is to throw away the state with violent means. It makes the state to realize the horrible situation and categorized it as grave internal security threat.

The state has approached the situation with “carrot and stick policy”. The carrot is of welfare program, protective laws and policies and stick is of security forces, law & order.

However the naxalism did not yield much to the people for whom it claim the fight for. Moreover it led to domino effect on the misery of these people means the problem of land alienation, livelihood, ownership of resources coupled with the evils of illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, poor hygiene, low standard of living, poor sanitation, ill-health etc.

Still the blind trap of naxalism did not allow making this realization or spread of such awareness to its victims.

Such unrealized horror makes the working of state more difficult and the situation more complicated.

The root causes of the whole issue i.e. trust deficit must be bridged as effectively and timely as it can be. The socio-cultural connectivity, local democratic decentralization may create positive synergies and promote harmony.

- Vidhi Bhardwaj