• Sanskriti IAS - अखिल मूर्ति के निर्देशन में

On the Gadchiroli encounter and Maoists

  • 16th November, 2021

(MainsGS3: Challenges to internal security (external state and non-state actors) & Linkages between development and spread of extremism)

Context: 

  • In a major intelligence based operation 26 naxals were killed in a police operation in Gadchiroli district of Vidarbha region in Maharashtra.

Recent incidents:

  • The proscribed Communist Party of India (Maoist) has faced setbacks in its “protracted armed struggle” against the Indian state. 
  • Gadchiroli, a largely forested and tribal-dominated district, is among Maharashtra’s poorest and the Maoists have sought to expand their presence extending from neighbouring Chhattisgarh. 
  • There have been major encounters in the district, with recent ones involving the deaths of 40 Maoists in two separate operations in April 2018 and a landmine blast claiming 15 police personnel and a driver in May 2019. 

Cycles of violence:

  • The Maoists can never match the government’s resources and professional prowess despite the assistance they receive in terms of weaponry from various sources. 
  • Despite suffering significant losses to its leadership either in military operations or due to physical infirmities and a shrinking of the areas of influence, the Maoists have refused to withdraw from their pursuit of armed struggle.
  • The conflict has fallen into a pattern — violence begets violence as insurgents and the security forces continually lose combatants, but equally disturbing, this also affects the poor tribal people whose lives are caught in a prolonged crossfire.

The Maoist objectives:

  • The objective of the Maoists is to drive a wedge between the security forces and the government so as to sow disaffection against the government.
  • Another aim is to serve a warning to the government that it has no option but to concede all the demands of the extremists.
  • It is another matter that these demands, such as the formation of a ‘people’s government’, are secessionist in nature, which no constitutionally elected establishment will ever concede.

The lost cause:

  • The Indian Maoists’ programme bases itself on replicating the Chinese Revolution of the previous century, and its quixotic pursuit of armed struggle as the means to achieve its aims. 
  • But neither are the conditions in India remotely closer to that of China in the 1920s, nor are the peasantry enamoured of the Maoist programme or its reliance on guerilla struggle. 
  • The Maoists’ refusal to acknowledge the diverse industrial base in the country, their rejection of liberal democratic instruments in the Indian state and the faith of the poor in the robust electoral system have blinded them to pursue a futile cause.

Government policies:

  • The Maoists’ inability, not just to expand but also to entrench themselves, is to some extent to the credit of the Indian state apparatus, both its security establishment and its work, through development schemes.
  • These efforts of the government weaned away support for the Maoists among the poorest and marginalised sections, especially in remote areas.
  • The governments both in the States and at the Centre, have taken the plea seriously and implemented several development schemes in naxal affected areas. 

Conclusion:

  • Government must act continually in winning over the support of tribals in the region and retaining their faith in the liberal democratic institutions of the state.
  • Inducting Local youth and technology upgradation of the security forces  along with exposing  relentless propaganda of maoist will surely work in the long run to curb left wing extremism.
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