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Ramifications Of Left Wing Extremist Links Politics Essay

"Large swathes of tribal territory from Andhra Pradesh in the South to the borders of Uttar Pradesh and Bengal in the North and East respectively have become the hunting grounds of left wing extremists…left wing extremism continues to haunt us, albeit in new forms…..While many of the best and the brightest had been attracted towards the movement but almost 40 years later, the Naxalite movement has lost much of its intellectual élan, although it has gained in strength and spread to over 150 districts of the country, "……….

1. As we have seen in the above chapters, Left Wing Extremism in India is not a recent phenomenon. However, certain trends in recent years indicate that the threat from these organisations can increase by orders of magnitude, if strong, swift action is not taken. Left Wing Extremists are transforming from "menace" to "serious threat", in wake of certain developments, these are :-

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(a) Two of the most powerful Left Wing organisations, CPML-PW and MCC-I have merged into single entity called CPI-Maoist. It is a significant event since these two groups are responsible for 90% of the Left Wing extremist violence in India.

(b) The situation in Nepal has serious security implications for India. The success of CPN (Maoists) will help the creation of compact revolutionary zone (Compact Revolutionary Zone) stretching from Nepal to Andhra Pradesh and beyond. This will allow easy movement of men and material through out the Compact Revolutionary Zone. It will also allow Maoists to increase their "zone" to neighboring areas of Compact Revolutionary Zone [30] .

( c) Because of the lack of uniform policy against Maoists across the states, the Maoists are easily finding safe heavens in states, which are not ruthless against

them. After the Andhra Pradesh government has lifted ban on Naxals and invited them for talks, Maoists have quietly gathered strength and later on rejected peace

talks blaming government of being stubborn. The effects of this action will be felt not only in Andhra Pradesh but also in all other Naxal-infested states.

(d) Intelligence sources say that the sophistication of land mines and Improvised Explosive Devices used by Maoists is a result of training received from LTTE.

(e) There are reports about links between Maoists and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). The Maoists vehemently deny it and call it a "Government ploy" to malign the Naxal movement. However, there can be no doubt that ISI would be more than willing to provide all kinds of "assistance" to bleed India from within. The ISI can also use Nepal Maoists to control Indian Maoists.

(f) From 55 Districts in nine states in October 2003, the Maoists have spread their influence to 170 districts in 15 states by February 2005.

(g) Around 1997 itself Naxalites were accumulating around Rs. 1000 million per

year in Andhra Pradesh alone through extortions, kidnapping and loot. Similar

amounts of money went to Left Wing extremists in Bihar as well. 

(h) In an unprecedented act, on 11th February 2005, a group of around 200 Maoists, which include 50 women, have attacked a KSRP camp in a school at Venkatammanahalli in Pavagada taluk of Tumkur district in Karnataka. In the attack, six Karnataka State Reserve Police personnel and a civilian were killed and five others were injured [31] .

2. Security Ramifications of Current Scenario. The Left Wing Extremism has a visible presence in 13 Indian states and is responsible for more killings than even the J&K, terrorists. It carries out extortions and organizes armed attacks on the government institutions and police forces. Their actions have very serious security ramifications for the India. Let us examine as to what is the effect of Left Wing Extremism on various functions.

(a) Challenge to Established Government Authority. This is regularly being demonstrated by the Left Wing Extremism cadre's followers and even by people under their influence. Some of these are :-

Collection of taxes.

Redistribution of cultivable land.

Extortion from the rich.

Dispensing justice through Jan Adalats.

Kidnapping and killing of government officials.

Indiscriminate attack on police forces, Central Police Organisations

institutions to intimidate the government.

(vii) Destruction of public and private property.

(b) Effect on Development Activities.

Large finances of government are diverted towards security forces.Development activities take a back seat.

Development projects cannot be undertaken in Naxal violence areas.

(iii) Time and energy of the leadership is diverted towards security issues as against more imp issues of development and social progress.

(c) Indoctrination of Masses. Masses get affected by a different ideology of governance and thus lose faith and confidence in democratic institutions and constitutional government.

(d) Set Back to Agricultural or Farm Sector. Normal activity in agriculture sector has come to stand still due to the tactical of 'land redistribution'

adopted by Naxalites. While the naxalites make the landless tillers to occupy the redistributed land, they do not cultivate this land due to fear of police action and at the same time, the landlords abandon the area and settle in urban areas due to Naxalite terror [32] .

Future Scenarios

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3. The future scenarios explained below is an attempt to look into the possible directions that Maoist movement in India may take in the next five to ten years. The possibilities are that the :-

(a) Situation would be roughly the same as today.

(b) Maoist threat may assume gigantic proportions and pose a grave threat to the security of Indian Union.

(c) Maoists might be Marginalized and Discredited [33] .

4. First Scenario. According to the first scenario, the situation five to ten years down the line would be same as today wherein Maoists would be strong in their traditional areas and government

would make sure that they do not spread their influence to other places. Regular battles between Maoists and police forces would take place just like today. Mostly the Maoists would have great influence in three states: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand , and pockets of influence in other states.

5. Second Scenario. The second situation would be a disaster for India. In this kind of scenario, the Maoists would consolidate their hold in the newly acquired regions and may expand into new areas. The situations like Kashmir or North East in a number of states would arise draining the resources of the nation. Inevitably, the armed forces have to be used to tackle this problem. This would weaken the nation on the external front. The economic opportunities would evaporate. Instead of taking advantage of the economic opportunities, India would be busy fighting for its stability. The most important cause for this scenario would be the neglect of the Government(s) in creating nation wide strategy to tackle Maoists. The current situation, in which one state government bans the Maoists and

other state governments give them free rein is a recipe for this sort of disaster. 

6. Third Scenario. The third scenario would occur if the government of India in co-ordination with state governments follows a more aggressive and focused nationwide strategy to neutralize the Maoist menace. Luckily for India, until now Maoist organizations still depend heavily on leadership. Hence eliminating the top leadership has helped the police forces quickly to gain upper hand over Maoists. In the third scenario, the government would ensure that Maoists are unable to build a strong organization and that the external link/support to Maoists is severed [34] . 

7. Security Ramifications of Future Scenario. Left Wing Extremism has the potential to become a major internal security threat to India in the next three-four years, say by 2010, if serious efforts are not undertaken to challenge and eliminate them. The main reason are:-­

(a) Geographical Spread. This movement unlike the J&K, Punjab or NE, insurgency problem is not geographically confined to a single state or area. It has spread into 13 states among which six i.e. Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra are severely affected while the others are moderately affected. The geographical spread gives vast opportunities to the Left Wing Extremist cadres to escape the police action in one state, as law and order being a state subject, police forces find it difficult to operate in other states. Even at some stage, if Army gets involved into combat action, it will be difficult to ask for enacting a law like Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

(b) Social Engineering. Left Wing Extremism has been fueled by the social discrimination and violation of rights of the dalits and adivasis by the upper classes. The remedy lies in restoring the rights, confidence, dignity and self esteem of the oppressed dalits and lower classes. This can be only achieved by change of mind set of the upper classes and by implementing imaginative social reforms. This is a major challenge which will be opposed by the privileged groups.

(c) Democracy Lacks Consistency of Policy. India is a democratic country. The change of governments in states and center is a regular phenomenon. While consistency is somewhat followed by government in foreign and defence policy, but the policies followed by state governments largely goverened by regional issues which undergo vast changes. The policy of dealing with Left Wing Extremism by different state and central governments has seen many changes. In Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Chenna Reddy in 1990 tried out a radical solution to the problem by lifting ban on naxals and allowed them to function freely. Though this policy led to large scale violence and consolidation of the Naxal outfit, however this sudden freedom proved to be the most corrupting experience for them. This alienated them from the people who revolted against their atrocities. It is recognised by Left Wing Extremist leaders as well as social scientists that had this experiment continued for two to three years, the movement could have perished. Successive governments which came to power followed inconsistent policy of banning the Left Wing Extremist groups or lifting the ban as it suited their political compulsions. The recent initiative by Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh of inviting the Left Wing Extremism for negotiations was a step in the right direction though the talks failed because the Naxals refused to lay down arms and refrain from violence. However, such efforts need to be vigorously perused [35] .

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(d) Effects of Merger - Formation of CPI (Maoist). The merger of MCC (I) and PWG to form the CPI (Maoist) has resulted in the consolidation of their military and political wings and consequently in the emergence of a potent threat to internal security. Like LTTE in Sri Lanka, it is following the policy of coercion and elimination. It is forcing the other 37 Left Wing Extremism groups to either join CPI (Maoist) or be prepared to be eliminated, in this process, it has killed large No of the cadres of other groups. The merger will have following implications:-­

(i) Larger Foot Print. CPI (Maoists) has now emerged as the dominant Left Wing Extremist group with its influence extending over a large part of the country. It has made the other Left Wing Extremism groups irrelevant and is recognised as the sole representative of the oppressed and landless classes.

(ii) Enhanced Bargaining Power. As a dominant group, it will have a far greater bargaining power with the Governments in states and centre and thus legitimise its existence, policies and representation.

(iii) Credible Military Wing. It is estimated that the merger would increase the cadre strength from 7,000 to approx 12 to 14000. Even if 25% of these are capable of armed struggle, then also the strength goes upto 3500 to 4000 which is much larger than the terrorist at any time in J & K.

Financial Strength. The merger would have great impact on

finances of the org taking it from 150 to 200 crores to nearly 700 crores annually thus enabling it to the following:-

(aa) Acquisition of more and sophisticated weapons and

ammunition from arms market in South East Asian and African countries. It has been reported that the Central Technical Committee (CTE) of Maoist has developed a rocket launcher and have used it in attacks on police forces.

(ab) Increased influence among masses as they would help create jobs and irrigation facilities.

(e) Recognition and World Wide Visibility. The Left Wing Extremism is trying desperately to find a voice in international forums so as to get world wide recognition and acceptance. It has found a platform in "World Social Forum" the organization which opposes WTO, globalisation, MNC and capitalism. The participation of Left Wing Extremist leaders in world social forum meeting in Mumbai in Feb 2003 and their speeches are indicative of future tie ups.

(f) Violence levels to go up but still kept below the level where Army would be called in to take on the CPI (Maoist) militarily.

(g) Declare Dandakaranya as a fully liberated zone within India. They may not ask for freedom but run a Communist (Maoist) government in the area in the name of aspiration of the people. This would not pitch them at the level of anti-nationals and yet have considerable influence among masses [36] .

(h) The Centre and State policies to have marginal impact till they improve governance and till they do not deal with Left Wing Extremism as an internal security problem of the country and not a law and order problem of states.

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