The Maoists Issue [GS III, SECURITY]

CONTEXT: Home Minister Amit Shah noted in a meeting with State leaders and representatives that the influence of the Maoists in geographical area has reduced from 96 districts in 10 States to 41 now in 2010.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: Two major Naxalite groups have merged into the proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist) and it has opened the way for the armed struggle to expand beyond select pockets untouched by development issues or linkages with the welfare state concept, as continued so far.

Since the organisation is limited to the remote and densely forested terrains of central and east-central India, it may also have contributed in restricting the area of maoists- influence, as recorded by Govt. security forces.

CHANGE IN MAOISTS IDEOLOGY- Rather than mobilising discontents with the Indian state by projecting its weaknesses and ensuring inclusion and welfare, as the earlier followed modus-operandi, the Maoists have privileged armed struggle, invited state repression and sought to use this to recruit adherents.

Consequence- for example, in the Philippines and Peru,  most Maoist insurrections retaining armed struggle to achieve the targeted objectives, left behind death and violence rather than the genuine upliftment of the poor, that they show them as dreams.

 In Spite of these factors, the Maoists have not moved from their misunderstanding of the nature of the Indian state and democracy.

They are unwilling to accept that the poor people, whom they claim to represent, seek greater engagement with the electoral process and democratic system and can be benefitted only after being the part of welfare Indian State.

SPREAD:-( still in)

  • South Bastar in Chhattisgarh,

  • Andhra-Odisha border 

  • some districts in Jharkhand.

 These States must focus on expansive welfare programs and infrastructure building activities in addition to the already driven process of our security forces, to weaken the Maoists and their spread.

Frequent skirmishes and attacks often led to the damages and casualties as far as security forces and tribal civilians are concerned.

Though the insurgency has weakened, but its potency in select areas has not reduced, which should be the next target of Govt. in general and security forces in particular.

Problem- A purely security-driven approach fraught with human rights’ violations has only added to the alienation among the poor in these areas.

Probable solution- To empower tribals, civil society Activists promoting peace

WAY FORWARD: The Indian government should not be satisfied with the mere weakening of the Maoist insurgency and reduce commitments made for the developmental needs of some districts of concern in States such as Jharkhand, as its Chief Minister has alleged.

The Union government and the States must continue to learn from successes such as the expansion of welfare and rights paradigms in limiting the movement and failures that have led to the continuing spiral of violence in select districts.

The welfare programs along with Health, Education, Infrastructure developments and others should be extended and with a pace. Furthermore, people have to be included in the electoral process and they should participate willingly. Though it may take time, the participation of civil society, tribal people, activists and others will be fruitful in the times to come.

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