Monday, December 28, 2009

Dare not axe the Naxals.

Over the course of history, we have learnt that the moment you push a civilization to the brink and neglect them of all their needs and drive them to oppression they are far often left with no choice but to take up arms and rebel for their existence. As a measure of last resort they are freedom liberators fighting for recognition. Fighting for survival.

The Naxal movement started in Naxalbari, West Bengal. The villagers of Naxalbari were largely tribals and were people who were oppressed and disregarded by the government. They were constantly ignored and their needs not addressed. Land owners and ministers paid little heed to the pitiable conditions of the village. It all started with the decapitation of landlords by the rebel villagers after unfair and unjust means adopted by these landlords. Soon the movement drew inspiration from many villagers and captured the imagination of various poor people across the country. People joined the ‘uprising’ in hordes and today Naxalism is the biggest internal threat India faces. It has spread to roughly 20 states and is increasing by the day. If the government does not take adequate measures to curb their stupendous growth, we all have a reason to fear.

One has to understand the uprising of Naxalism. These are people who have been deprived of their basic needs. Today, many villagers support the Naxal movement as their needs are addressed; the moment a minister is kidnapped or even better, decapitated. If your needs have to be addressed it has become obligatory to make some noise and the Naxals did just that. In the eyes of the villagers Naxals are law enforcers and champions in advocating their rights. In a way, I feel proud that such an uprising can occur in India; which means that there is a democracy to voice out your opinions but the moment such an uprising resorts to violence, state sponsored killings becomes a just cause. Or does it?

The debate now can be whether the government should use military force to kill these radicals or engage in talks with them to resolve the issue. For if the government were to kill these people, all one is doing is give more conviction to their ideology that violence is the only means to answer their needs. It is a very fragile situation and the government needs to proceed with caution and care.
It is admirable that the government has accepted that the rise of Naxalism is due to poverty and negligence from the part of the government. They are no more labeled terrorist or extremists but citizens of the country crying out loud for basic amenities.


No we are not talking about Copenhagen or effective measures of any substance taken by the government to avert the climate change crisis. India by far has been indifferent towards these issues. We might not be the worst polluters as compared to China or the US but a little more concern and application would’ve been well received. More on it later.

Operation Green hunt is the name given to a separate force concerned with the eradication of Naxals. The mission plainly put, is to destroy these insurgents once in for all. The manner in which the security forces are carrying out this operation has to be noted.

PLEASE NOTE: The following information will never appear in mainstream media as the media by far and large is controlled and curbed. The following are eye witnesses of the incidents:

1.Gachanpalli murders: In the early hours of 17th September, 6 villagers were murdered by security forces in this village. Dudhi Muye (70 yrs) who could hardly walk was murdered after her breasts were cut off. Family members who had fled the scene on seeing the security forces, found her lying dead in a pool of blood. Similarly, Kawasi Ganga (70 yrs) who could barely see was stabbed and murdered in his bed. He too was found by his family members who had fled from the house and had taken shelter in the forest. Madvi Deva (25 yrs) was tied to a tree and shot at three times and then beheaded. His grandfather who was accompanying him back to the village was a witness to this. The family hasn’t found his body. Three other villagers, Madvi Joga (60 yrs), Madvi Hadma (35 yrs) and Madkam Sulla were stabbed and murdered. The last two were killed in front of one witness, the wife of Madkam Sulla. Madvi Joga was killed after being stripped naked while ploughing his little plot of land. All the houses were ransacked, broken and burnt down. Family members are either living in sheds in the forests or have taken shelter with relatives. Many others have also taken similar shelter as their houses were burnt down by the security forces.

2.Gompad “encounter”: SP Dantewada described the operations in Gompad village on 1st October as an `encounter’. An encounter with a difference: while 9 villagers were killed by security forces in the village and their bodies were left there, no casualties were inflicted on security forces. This too the SP confirmed. 4 members of one family, Madvi Bajar, his wife, Madvi Subbi, their married daughter, Kartam Kanni and their young daughter, Madvi Mutti were stabbed and killed inside house. So too were two other villagers from Bhandarpadar, Muchaki Handa and Madkam Deva, who were staying the night over at Madvi Bajar’s house on their way home from Andhra Pradesh where they had been working. Another couple, Soyam Subba and Soyam Jogi were stabbed and killed inside their house. Yet another villager, Madvi Enka was stabbed inside the house and then dragged all over the village. Before leaving the village, the security forces shot him and left his body. All 9 deaths, like the ones on 17th September, were preceded by stabbing and the bodies were left in the village. When the team asked the SP about recovery of bodies from the encounter site, the SP stated that Naxalites had “taken them away”.

These are a few examples of how the security forces are carrying out their operations. If this does not stop it will only escalate the violence and result in Naxals getting angered by the injustice met towards them. It is indeed hard to believe the complete lack of apathy and a malignant attitude shown by the government.


Tanmay said...

This is one topic that has always intrigued me.. before i comment i must mention that in a few places i think your ideas seem conflicting.. as in i am still not sure to what extent you support the idea of Naxalism..
In my opinion calling Naxalism a 'threat' would be outright rejection of their ideals. Naxalism is not a disease or epidemic that we need to fear.. it is an uprising.. as you correctly put it earlier.
I will reserve my comments on using violence as a means to getting your demands met. However..
let's say someone tries to barge in and remove you from the place you stay.. uproot you from where you have resided. forcefully. promising you employment and land elsewhere. all for catering to their vision of 'development' of the country - more factories.. more mncs... basically more exploitation of the locals. how should one react? i would think violence would be an almost desperate measure.. to protect oneself and one's family.
also.. i would think it goes the other way round.. state sponsored killing was always considered just.. with the 'social contract' et al. this perhaps leads to uprising and consequently violence. this applies in the case of Naxalism to a good extent.
Naxalism certainly isn't terrorism. it is standing for what is rightfully yours. also what do the naxals demand? recognising the basic democratic rights of people, implementing reforms in the agricultural sector and ending atrocities committed on people. could this be a 'terrorist's' demands? i would not hesitate to call them 'champions of the poor'.
i tend to think violence on behalf of the state is more for the purpose of subjugation. on the other hand Naxal violence is essentially a struggle.
i'll be a little cynical at this point and say that unless some radical changes in our thought process occur.. this issue will still remain alive.

Adi said...

When i say it is India's biggest internal threat, what i mean is that it is not in accord with harmony in the state. I agree Naxalism is the rise and voice of the poor. I also believe that Operation green hunt is a BAD way to deal with the situation.

Saro said...

Thank you for your insight on Naxalism.. I've always been curious as to what their qualms were. I mean they don't seem to have one single doctrine that they follow, and yet as you've mentioned, they're widespread.

I suppose to a certain extent, villages are hotbeds for new ideologies to garner attention. Veerapan down south was an example of a man with not much meaning, getting the support of Villagers, and it was this support coupled with bribery that made him seem so invincible for such a long time.

Having said that, perhaps the best way to curb these hostilities, is to address and move towards curing. All these incidents are telling us, is that it's about time more focus is put into the distribution of wealth from the cities to the villages. What do you say?

Adi said...

Hey Saro, welcome to my blog :-)

The issue of Naxalism is a strong and just fight for justice. One can only hope that the government will hold talks and solve the issue rather than use force as a measure. As for distribution of wealth, its practicality is highly impossible. What can be more realistic is cutting down bureaucracy, red-tapeism and create accountability to ensure that the government allocated money, reaches these villages.

Anonymous said...

Facts have been presented biased in one direction and ignoring the greater facts. Its true that many a time, government agencies commits crime, but they who selects government and who is there in police and bureaucracy. Secondly, Naxalism is not any kind of uprising or any reaction. Its a organized philosophy and its goal is to capture power. Poverty is the breeding ground for Maoism and marxism. Add to them the atrocities of government agencies and bad political scenario. Maoism is very dangerous philosophy. Under their rule, you have no other option but to agree with them othewise they will just wipe you out. Its also wrong that they are against state, no, They are not against state, but they don't accept anything other than maoist or marxist state. I never seen they ever critising china, who used tanks and military and killed 10000 citizens in one day. It is also wrong that they have public support. Yes some poor people support them because they are at such situation where they have nothing to loose and they can go into it easily. But all other people seem to be supporting them is because they fear naxals. People in such area even fear to speak freely because you never know what you say which goes against them. They can kill you even there is some suspicion on you. You never get even a chance to prove itself. You just have to listen and accept what they say. In marxism and maoism whole society is on the mercy of just few people. Its worst than even kingdom. Their philosophy is tougher than dictators. A normal person is worst than slave in their rule. So while talking anything in support please thing from all direction. Democracy is still the best form of rule. With all its disadvantages democracy at least provides freedom. Many people who are writing in this blogs only because they are in democracy. Imagine you were in Maoism rule, you are not free to do anything.

Anonymous said...

It appears that many people who are writing here have never been to naxals areas. Before criticizing Indian state and saying anything in support you must pause for a moment and think twice. you should feel lucky that you live in a democracy where you are able to write your views. Imagine you were in maoist ruled state and saying anything against you might have been killed immediately. Here I present one true incident. In one of the village in Bihar, maoist came to a school. Catch a teacher. In front of all students, they first cut his hands, his legs and other body parts one by one and finally killed. They killed many of his family members whom they found. And what was the crime, they believed he was a informer to police. In other incident they surrounded a small village. Put all houses on fire. Anybody trying to come out have been killed by them. Only few people survived in village. Victims involved children and women. And the crime, no body knows why they killed them. There is so many misconceptions, that naxalism is uprising or poor, or people support them. Everything is wrong. Naxalism is nothing but maoism and marxism. This is one of the dangerous philosophy exising on earth and everybody knows its a failed philosophy. It has been wiped out from other part of world but unfortunately it is present in India. They never support poor, rather they use poverty to justify their philosophy. There is no wonder that communism and maoism exists in India. There are so much poverty here. Remove poverty and they will loose all the logics to justify their philosophy.