Think Maoists and invariably bloodshed and cruel massacre of people comes to mind. The upsurge of their movement dates back to The Telengana Struggle in July 1948.They follow the ideology of China’s Mao Zedong and enjoy a strong presence in many inland areas of the country.
The Naxalite movement was triggered when members of the Communist Party of India(Marxist) split to form the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), after the Marxist party decided to form a coalition government in West Bengal.
What started as a movement to acquire justice for landless laborers and tribal people and protect them from being exploited by landlords and others has now become a major threat to the subcontinent. The Naxalites claim that they are fighting oppression and exploitation to create a classless society. Yet, the Prime Minister has called them the biggest internal security threat to the country. It is also alleged that they control about 165 of India’s 602 districts. These so-called red corridor areas are completely under the grip of the Maoists.
There are many groups operating under various names, the most prominent being People’s War Group and the Maoist Communist Centre. In September 2004, they merged to form the CPI(Maoist) party.
Their nexus of terror is growing alarmingly. It is estimated that the Naxalites have 9000-10,000 armed fighters, 6500 firearms and about 40,000 full-time cadres.
The movement saw increase in membership in the late 1960s and 1970s.Reports that many students had come forward to become a part of this movement did the rounds at that time. These students arduously plunged themselves in the struggle for rights of landless laborers and tribals. They claimed to represent the oppressed and the manipulated hapless powerless people who had no say in the country i.e. the tribals who remained oblivious to the benefits of a developing India. So to sum up, Naxalites started with the aim of representing the Adivasis, Dalits and all those wallowing in abject poverty. But somewhere down the line, this vision was lost and compromised upon. Over the years their aims and paradigms have seen a major shift. At present, violence and Naxalism goes hand in hand. They have often resorted to extorting money from the not so wealthy landowners and tribals, killing police personnel etc . They dominate the lives of the villagers and adivaasi’s they claim to represent – at gunpoint. Many of these villagers are forced to support them due to the fear generated by them and the atrocities which the Maoists have proved they are capable of committing. Even though in the early stages a number of students and middle class people supported their ideology, they now mostly recruit the bottom rung, the poorer of the poor.
The naxals are highly organized an outfit; they apparently conduct detailed socio economic surveys in target areas to nail down the evils they can exploit to their advantage. They often use crude landmines in their attacks which end up killing many unsuspecting innocents. The Indian Naxalites are brothers in arms with Nepal’s Maoists.
At present, the Naxalites operate in rural and adivasi areas, the areas suffering from their menace and influence include Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra, the Telengana regions of Andhra Pradesh and western Orrisa. These areas are often led to bleed due to terror wielding Maoists. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand accounted for 68.18 per cent of total incidents and 76.42 per cent of total causalities due to Naxal violence last year. Security forces suffered huge losses as 214 personnel were killed in 2007 as per the official data compiled in November 2007.According to the data in 2007, civilian causalities were less than in 2006.Yet the number of civilian deaths bordered close to 418 till November 2007.
The Naxalites seem not to be aiming on wreaking havoc on economic and infrastructural organizations. They are willing to throw our country and economy out of track to meet their so-called objectives.
It is feared that the Maoists and their influence may spread to other parts of the country. In the wake of such an event, India will be completely destabilized.Strict measures and dedicated action would be required by the authorities to crack down on the surge of Naxalism before it becomes an untamable and invincible phenomena.