QUESTION : Critically evaluate the root causes of the Naxalite movement in India and also comment on the latest efforts undertaken by the government to address this issue.
Topic- MOVING FORWARD IN BASE AREAS
- Internal Security – Naxalism in India
WHY IN NEWS ?
- The Union government is in the process of deploying five more battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to Chhattisgarh to scale up anti-Maoist operations, particularly in the south Bastar region.
MORE DETAILS ABOUT THIS NEWS :
- More than 45 Central Armed Police Force battalions are already deployed in Chhattisgarh, where 14 districts are Maoist affected. Of them, eight are severely affected. Most of the 22 State armed battalions are also deployed in these districts. In addition, the CRPF’s specially trained ‘Cobra’ units and the State’s Special Task Force and District Reserve Guards are also engaged in operations in the forward areas.
- Though the proposed deployment is in line with the ‘National Policy and Action Plan’ of the Central government on Left Wing Extremism, its impact may have wider implications on the ground.
NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF INCREASING THE PRESENCE OF MORE FORCE :
- Despite the present deployment, Bastar still has a security vacuum in many pockets, particularly in the south Bastar and Abujhmad areas. These pockets, called base areas by the Maoists, not only provide them occasion to wage ‘mobile war’ against the security forces, but also enable their military formations, including the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army battalion, to move about freely.
- Though their movement is regularly checked by the security forces, the Maoists still enjoy sufficient control over the tribal populace and it can exaggerate trust deficit what this tribal have with government in general and security forces in particular.
NAXALISM IN INDIA :
- The term Naxalism derives its name from the village Naxalbari of West Bengal.
- It originated as rebellion against local landlords who bashed a peasant over a land dispute. The rebellion was initiated in 1967, with an objective of rightful redistribution of the land to working peasants under the leadership of Kanu Sanyal and Jagan Santhal.
- Started in West Bengal, the movement has spread across the Eastern India; in less developed areas of states such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
- It is considered that Naxals support Maoist political sentiments and ideology.
REASONS BEHIND SUCH NAXALITE MOVEMENT IN INDIA :
- Tribal discontent: The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 deprives tribals, who depend on forest produce for their living, from even cutting a bark. Massive displacement of tribal population in the naxalism-affected states due to development projects, mining operations and other reasons.
- Easy Targets: Such people who do not have any source of living are taken into naxalism by Maoists. Maoists provide arms and ammunitions and money to such people.
- Gaps in the socio-economic system of the country: Government measuring its success on the basis of number of violent attacks rather than the development done in the naxal-affected areas.
- Absence of strong technical intelligence: There is poor technical intelligence when it comes to tackling naxalism. Infrastructural problems, for instance, some villages are not yet connected properly with any communication network are there which hinders action against naxalites.
- No Follow-Up from administration: It is seen that even after police takes hold of a region, administration fails to provide essential services to the people of that region.
BENEFITS FROM MORE SECURITY FORCES :
- As more area will now be dominated by the security forces, the Maoists’ movement will be restricted to a comparatively smaller area. In case of any attack on the security forces, the Maoists will not be able to retreat unchallenged. Consequently, the intensity of war will be reduced and the ‘mobile war’ will come down to its basics, i.e., the ‘guerrilla war’. Similarly, the Maoists’ battalion, being large in size, will become more vulnerable and in all likelihood, would be cut back over time due to continuous pressure from the security forces. Also, additional deployment and frequent movement of the security forces would improve the intelligence network.
- Establishment of new security camps always brings immediate benefits for the nearby villages. New borewells are dug and health services are also extended by the medical staff of security camps. Once these services are initiated by the forces, the district administration scales them up by providing the required funds. The dislocated fair price shops (PDS) are restored to their original locations and villagers are not required to walk long distances to fetch their rations. All other schemes of the governments are also implemented better through these newly established security camps-cum-development centres.
- Once the security environment improves, more roads can be laid and mobile towers and electricity poles installed for better transportation, communication and electricity supply. Financial inclusion can be improved and the MNREGA works started to give impetus to economic activities. More schools, primary health centres and anganwadis can be opened up to provide basic amenities to the villagers.
- Democratic institutions like panchayats may get revived and political activities could increase with the improved security scenario. This may further lead to better grievance redressal in the existing inaccessible areas.
IMPORTANT INITIATIVES FOR LWE AFFECTED STATES :
- Road Connectivity Project for LWE affected areas
- LWE Mobile Tower Project
- Aspirational District: The Ministry of Home Affairs has been tasked with the monitoring of Aspirational districts program in 35 LWE affected districts.
- Special Central Assistance (SCA) for 30 most LWE affected districts.
- Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme.
- Operation Green Hunt: It was started in 2010 and massive deployment of security forces was done in the naxal-affected areas.
SAMADHAN DOCTRINE :
- A one-stop solution for the LWE problem. It encompasses the entire strategy of government from short-term policy to long-term policy formulated at different levels.
- S-Smart Leadership,
- A-Aggressive Strategy,
- M-Motivation and Training,
- A-Actionable Intelligence,
- D-Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas),
- H-Harnessing Technology,
- A-Action plan for each Theatre,
- N-No access to Financing.
WAY FORWARD TO TACKLE THESE ISSUES :
- However, the security forces need to be more alert to thwart any untoward incident while moving in base areas.
- They need to be more watchful of their tactics knowing well that IEDs and iron spikes have been laid all over by the Maoists.
- The collateral damage must be reduced to its minimal. The Maoists usually oppose establishment of new security camps and use villagers as their cover. A lot of violence has been witnessed in the past at the behest of the Maoists.
- The villagers must to be taken into confidence and told that the new security camps will act for their welfare as centres of development.
WHAT CAN GOVERNMENT DO AT ITS LEVEL :
- Since the rise and spread of Naxalism is attributed to discontent arising out of economic and social discrimination, the government should primarily focus on social and economic development in the backward tribal areas.
- Government service delivery should be improved in tribal areas. Government should ensure statutory minimum wages, access to land and water sources, education and health.
- The government should initiate sincere dialogue with marginalized groups and the Naxalites and encourage surrender. Rehabilitation of the naxals and mainstreaming them into the society should be ensured.
- The government should strike a balance between development and interest of tribals. It’s important to recognize tribal rights on forests and ensure proper rehabilitation in case of any displacement.
- India has made some success in containing naxalism but the root causes have not been addressed yet. The central and the state governments should continue to follow the two pronged strategy i.e. ensuring safety of the people in the naxal-affected regions as well as taking initiatives for the development of such regions.
- Through a holistic approach focusing on development and security related interventions, the LWE problem can be successfully tackled.
QUESTION : “India-Nepal border issues have deteriorated the intimate relationship of both nations”. Justify the above statement and give key measures to tackle such issues.
Topic- RECALIBRATING INDIA-NEPAL TIES
- Indo-Nepal Relations
WHY IN NEWS ?
- When Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla arrived in Kathmandu on November 26 and spoke in fluent Nepali to the media, there was some hope that the visit would go beyond the traditional exchange of pleasantries.
- Nepal is an important neighbour of India and occupies special significance in its foreign policy because of the geographic, historical, cultural and economic linkages/ties that span centuries.
- India and Nepal share similar ties in terms of Hinduism and Buddhism with Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini located in present day Nepal.
- The two countries not only share an open border and unhindered movement of people, but they also have close bonds through marriages and familial ties, popularly known as Roti-Beti ka Rishta.
- The India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 forms the bedrock of the special relations that exist between India and Nepal.
UNCHANGING PERSPECTIVE :
- Many in Nepal continue to equate being anti-India with being nationalistic.
- Politicians and political parties whip up such sentiment especially before an election.
- Prime Minister K.P. Oli won the 2017 election partly because he projected himself as someone who stood up to India during the blockade.
- He again whipped up nationalistic sentiments when he got the Nepal map amended to add new territory.
- India continues to think that by providing aid and development projects in Nepal, it can win Nepali hearts.
- But despite pouring billions of rupees into Nepal over decades, it has still not been able to do so.
- Therefore, it needs to reflect on what it is not doing right.
INDIA’S AID VS CHINESE AID TO NEPAL :
- Two issues are important to understand here.
- First, all aid to Nepal from countries other than India and China go through the Plans of the Government of Nepal.
- Indian aid is seen in Nepal as a favour bestowed on a constituency it wants to garner support from rather than a contribution to Nepal’s planned development.
- Second, India competes with China in providing aid outside government budgets.
- And China picks up projects of visibility and strategic location.
- Chinese involvement in Nepal has increased since the April 2015 earthquake and Nepal is surely an area of strategic influence in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TIES :
1) Indian workers in Nepal constitute a big part of the workforce and send about $3 billion to India every year.
- In terms of remittances to India, Nepal ranks eighth.
- So, the Government of India needs to keep in mind that many households in India are being run with remittances from Nepal.
2) Nepalis have migrated in the past 20 years to more than a hundred countries; India is not the only country that Nepalis rely on for jobs or education.
- This is a new Nepal comprising young people with global aspirations.
- Meanwhile, Nepal needs to plan how it engages with the youth in mainland India for whom Nepal is just like Bangladesh or Myanmar.
WAY FORWARD :
- Given the importance of ties with Nepal, often romanticised as one of “roti-beti” (food and marriage), India must not delay dealing with the matter, and at a time when it already has a faceoff with China in Ladakh and Sikkim.
- Since the free movement of people is permitted across the border, Nepal enjoys immense strategic relevance from India’s national security point of view, as terrorists often use Nepal to enter India.
- Therefore, stable and friendly relations with Nepal is one of prerequisites which India can’t afford to overlook.
- India should also try to convey to Nepal’s leadership about the congenial and friendly environment that 6 to 8 million Nepali citizens living in India enjoy.
- Therefore, any thoughtless erosion of this centuries old togetherness may prove difficult for both countries.
- The existing bilateral treaties between India and Nepal have not taken the shifting of Himalayan rivers into consideration. A primary reason for this is the lack of an approach where ecological concerns and needs of rivers are often discussed.
- Therefore, India and Nepal should try to resolve the boundary dispute by taking into account all shared environmental characteristics.
- There are some fundamentals that we simply cannot forget: geography will not change, the border will remain open as millions of livelihoods on both sides depend on it.