Friday, May 21, 2010

Naxal Attack

Around 2750 people dies in the 9/11 attacks of the World trade center. The whole world felt the repercussions of that attack. The global economy reeled under the after effects of that effect. When the stock markets reopened, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) stock market index fell 684 points, or 7.1%, to 8921. Needless to say, several innocents in various countries, even including USA, suffered as well because of belonging to Afghanistan or other such countries, being held up in the detention centers etc.

Around six thousand people have died in India due to naxalite attacks between 2001 and 2009 (Official figures from Ministry of Home Affairs). The actual numbers may be even more. And its not like only police or CRPF personnel are being killed in these attacks. An equal number, or in fact even more, of civilians are being killed in the process. And that by the group which is said to have been evolved out of tribals who were fighting for the betterment of their own people and yet they end up killing a whole lot of them. The situation has gotten to the point that the civilians refuse to board any transportation vehicle being occupied by any police personnel for the fear of being blown up on the way.

Political angle
The origin of Naxalite or Naxalvadis can be traced back to the Naxalbari region in West Bengal, which became famous for the left wing revolt that took place in the late 1960s. Their political inheritance can be traced back to 1967 split of Communist Party of India (Marxist), leading to formation of Communist Party of India (Marxist- Leninist). To whatever extent, these tribals have been funded and supported by hard core leftists under the pretense that they have been organized to ensure that the tribals are no taken undue benefit of. And of course to further the self interest of the political parties by having a stand by army of hooligans just in case they wanted to have a strike, or organize a bandh or for that matter capture some booth or abduct the seldom truth speaking representative (deemed as being a heretic against the popular governmental opinion). Of course not that the things have gotten out of hand and that which used to be tamed is now no more, all the political parties actively abhor the naxals and the naxals are opposed by virtually all mainstream Indian political groups even their own leftists. Though, Arundhati Roy is still there to support them.

Doesn’t that remind one of a certain Muslim terrorist organization being funded by a global superpower for their own interest in the east and now that the things have gone out of hand, the global power is out to erase the very existence of the group that they themselves conceptualized.

Damage to property
On 20th May, Naxals set a good train carrying diesel on fire. 15 tankers of total 50 caught fire with tanker carrying over 60 thousand liters of diesel. That’s close to one million liters of oil. In addition, train services have been disrupted in the route. Four express trains have been cancelled while several others had to be diverted. In addition, in a separate incident, naxals also looted 17 tons ammonium nitrate in Chhattisgarh. And we all know that Ammonium Nitrate is frequently used as an oxidizing agent in explosives, including improvised explosive devices. Ammonium nitrate/Fuel Oil is a widely used explosive mixture. Nitromethane is one of the most effective fuels used in this sort of explosive. Our best hope would be that the mixture explodes while in the presence of a lot of naxals, thereby saving us a lot of trouble.

The Red Rebels on 19th May killed four CRPF jawans in West Bengal by blowing up a vehicle on which they were travelling. On that day itself, Maoists also blew up a railway track near Jhargram in West Bengal, injuring the driver and assistant driver of a goods train.

On 17th May, 31 persons including women and children were killed by the rebels in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada.

Where in these new do you find the interests of the tribal being protected? Damaging public property is an offence and these people are the worst offenders there could be

Naxals may stop the Indian economy
A look at the adjoining map depicting red corridor would be shocking enough for anyone to realize the extent of influence that the naxals have over the region. As of 2009, Naxalites are active across approximately 220 districts in twenty states of India accounting for about 40 percent of India's geographical area, they are especially concentrated in an area known as the "Red corridor", where they control 92,000 square kilometers.

Incidentally, all of this red corridor coincides with eth most mineral rich areas of the country comprising Eastern India, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and parts of Andhra Pradesh and having a wide range of important minerals such as Coal, Iron Ore, Diesel and others oils, wood and other minerals, food items through agricultural areas, foreign imports through ports. The worst case scenario could be that they power generation facilities may stop being of plans not letting be operated and lack of supply of thermal coal, scores of goods and passenger train etc.

Failure of public governance
At the end, it is very easy to say that the tribal are terrorists and that they must be eliminated. But even to eliminate them, we must understand why they are in the picture anyway. The main reason for the appearance of tribal donning the cap of a naxals is for them to prevent the unrestricted proliferation of outsiders into their area and to ensure the welfare of their fellows. At least that was the basic idea.

However, tribal alienation, displacement by large projects, and government failure to ensure food security have been the main reasons for the spread of Naxalites' influence in various states. The government, instead of making all the efforts towards understanding the concerns of the locals and solving  them, has been making half hearted efforts which have had more negative impact that positive. In fact such blatant ignoring of the locals have made them even more conscious of their shortcomings and made them more determined to fight for what’s their due and ready to struggle for land, forest resources, minimum wages, social dignity and self-governance.

In addition to this, various political influences have rather muddled up the situation and even the naxals, I assume, are not really sure what they are fighting for. But now that the fights have started, there is no way that they can stop now. They have to continue this fight, irrespective of the lack of rhyme or reason for this insane man slaughter.


PS: India is observing Anti-Terrorism Day on May 21, 2010 for today is the day when Late PM Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated.

Employees in various government offices, Public Sector Undertakings and other public institutions in the country will take a pledge against terrorism on this occasion. 

The Day is observed to generate awareness in the country among all sections of people, about the danger of terrorism, violence and its dangerous effect on the people, the society and the country as a whole.

Ironic isn’t it?

Disclaimer: Facts and figures from various sources. Opinions belong to me.

3 comments:

  1. Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, has recently release a report (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2010/RAND_MG965.pdf) that has provided great insight into 89 insurgency cases that affected people worldwide. The report offers a framework to help governments and policy makers develop counterinsurgency campaigns. It also talks about naxals. Hope you find it interesting :)

    Sevashree

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  2. use technology and stop naxalite

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  3. @Thakur: First off, Welcome to the world of my wandering thoughts!!!

    Secondly, my thoughts exactly on how to deal with these fiends... but the only prob is that the govt is a tad bit too concerned with their vote banks to actually do something about this!!!

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