Knowing the Indian Maoist Rebels

We all have seen scenes of kids using guns and rocket launchers in Afghanistan during extensive media coverage of America’s war on terrorism. But we actually do not need to go so far to learn about how the youth is being maligned by indoctrination as well as poverty and neglect.

For 42 year maoist rebels have fought the Indian Government using guerrilla warfare. This fight has been waged for too long and now poses one of the biggest internal security crises the country faces today. As an affluent city dweller I find it easy to go about my daily chores and not think of these issues. But upon learning in greater detail about the maoist rebels, I am reminded of this quote by V.S. Naipaul:

“Hate oppression. Fear the oppressed.”

Rural development, especially of tribals and people living near state borders has been one of the biggest blind spots of this country and poses the greatest threat to it integrity.

I am provoked by this article in a daily newspaper that I read, which has covered some of the personal letters the Maoist fighters had written to each other (These letter came into the possession of police after they forced the Maoists to flee from one of their camps) and have been shared with the Media. The matter in these letters is very thought provoking and moving. It clearly indicates the extreme resolve and state of frustration these fighters have lived in. Their sole occupation and life mission is to fight and die for their cause.

While it is said that India is on the verge of launching one of the biggest offensives to neutralize the naxal threat, I ask, do we also have a plan to attack the root causes of the problem and prevent them from cropping up again. I doubt. In places where there will be isolated pockets of prosperity, failure of the government machinery and such extreme poverty, I think all of us must be afraid.

The unfortunate lack of proper facilities, infrastructure and training coupled with difficult terrain and outdated weapons make the local police force a very easy target. Therefore, it is way too easy and cheap for the naxalites to involve in conflicts and gain formidable advantage over the law enforcement agencies. One must also not forget the rampant corruption, bureaucratism and red tapism which makes it inefficient and leads to endless delays in planning and implementation of solutions. Some of the letters recovered from maoist rebel bases also describes atrocities and crimes committed by police men which in turn lead to more people taking up arms against the government.

I can write at length about the suggestion that can be implemented to improve this situation. But all proposed solutions shall end in failure as the country’s implementation mechanism is impotent and mired in absolute hopelessness and corruption. No system is wrong or incapable. It is always the people who run the system that fail. If the hand that implements cannot act with a welfare motive, what virtue is there in formulating an action plan.