Maoist Violence

A Correspondent

In its annual report for 2018-19, the government of India's union ministry of Home Affairs points out that in the last nine years, over 3700 people were killed in Maoist violence in ten states, the highest in Chattisgarh. The CPI (Maoist) continues to be the most potent among the various Left Wing Extremism (LWE) outfits in the country, and responsible for more than 88% of the total violent incidents and resultant death. The CPI (Maoist) has been making efforts to expand to new areas along the inter-state borders. The ten Naxal hit states are Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. As many as 3749 people lost their lives in 10,660 incidents of violence in ten states. The highest; number of casualties due to the Left Wing Extremism took place in Chattisgarh, where 1370 people were killed in 3769 violent incidents perpetrated by the Maoists between 2010 and 2018. Altogether 997 people were killed in 3358 LWE violence in Jharkhand in last nine years. 387 people lost their lives in 1526 similar violent incidents in Bihar, during the same period. The arc of violence has been considerably restricted, with just 30 districts accounting 89% of the total LWE violent incidents and resultant deaths.

For all preactical purposes Maoist Movement in India has been in a state of stalemte for long. Faced with a real possibility of encirclement in Central India, particularly in forest areas they are now trying to expand their base without much success. As for urban maoists they are too insignificant to affect the course of events. The figures of martyrs on bothsided make little sense to measure the balance of power. The army has not yet been fully pressed into service. Perhaps it is because para-military forces are capable of tackling the insurgents. After all Central India is not Vietnam. Nor is it Yenan of China. Unless CPI (Maoist) gets support from toilers and middle class people in cities, towns and semi-urban clusters with hundreds of thousands of unemployed youth they have no chance to withstand the next phase of state repression and violence.

The hard reality is that rural economy in India has changed a lot, since 1970s. Remnants of feudalism are there but they are not the same thing as they wre in pre-liberation China. Feudals can no longer exert their authority the way they did it five decades ago. The Chinese model is totally obsolete in today's India. But CPI (Maoist) is too dognatic to accept the changed equation of Revolution and come out of the vicious cycle of violence and counter-violence. Continually inflating the roster of martyrs creates uncertainty and anxiety. Confusion is all around and it creates more confusion only to confuse the confused. In 21st century socialism is being redefined in different ways but CPI (Maoist) continues live in the past. They have mortgaged their future to the moribund past. As a result the question of Indian Revolution hangs in the balance.

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Vol. 52, No. 24, Dec 15 - 21, 2019