The Wingless Dove: the Naxalite movement of India

“All political power comes from the barrel of a gun….” -Mao Zedong
If I were to ask my local community that “What is the centre of extremist activity in India?” most, if not all would answer back saying “Kashmir!!” but that is a false dilemma instilled in people whereas, the truth is sailing under false colours somewhere else which worries me. The true centre of the conflict is not at the borders, but it’s in the heart of our country, with our people. This is why I wanted to shed light on a topic which is not given the attention it deserves.
Naxalism, the longest ongoing strife after Kashmir can be traced back to the early 1900s. When countries like China and the USSR in the early 1900s started popularising the concept of Communism. The ideologies of reaching the ultimate goal of building a classless society before long discovered their way to India.
Initially, there was the formation of the Communist Party of India (CPI)but later due to because of differences about an appropriate political strategy for achieving their “ultimate goal”, the party split in 1964, leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India(Marxist)(CPI-M), which was made up of all the more radical elements of the CPI. It was only a matter of a few years when even the CPIM started to follow the ways of the CPI and embraced electoral democracy, which was unacceptable to the more radical Maoist faction within CPI-M, who then started this violent Naxalite movement.
This movement which affects nearly 40% of Indian citizens, which has killed more people than all the Indo-Pakistan wars combined, has its reach in 150 out of 600 districts of India is named Naxalism after a place in the Darjeeling district named “Naxalbari”, the place where one of the first main savage-like violent rebellions occurred.
Some people also call Naxalism the Maoist movement because Naxalites are considered far-left radical communists and even I strongly agree with that. Mao Zedong the founding father of the People’s Republic of China once said: “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun….” and this is precisely the sort of belief systems the Naxalite embraced. Mao’s ideologies provided a sense of path and basis for the Naxalite ideologies, advocating that the Indian peasants and the lower class tribals should overthrow the government of the upper classes by force, which is quite evident in their actions even now.

The Naxalites are spreading their wings to larger areas which worries me. In the past, the area experiencIng maximum Maoist/Naxalite insurgency was “the Red Corridor” is the belt of land in the eastern, central and southern parts of India consisting of mainly Jharkhand, Haryana etc. The scale of violence has increased by leaps and bounds just like “the Red Corridor” has in size. Only some years ago one of the most infamous attacks took place,2013 in a small valley of the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh Maoist-Naxalites attacked a convoy of Indian National Congress leaders, killing 27 innocent people in the process including a minister and a party leader.
Now many of you may argue that “if this conflict is this serious then why are we not aware of it?”In my opinion, this is mainly because of the political attitude of the state governments when it comes to taking necessary effective measures to deal with the Naxalite problem. Ignorance is bliss in this situation. This is

what has made Naxalism survive and even prosper till now to the point where we see the formation of new ideologies like urban Naxalism as Naxalism spreads like a virus in our urban areas.
Many experts are already calling it “A Lost War” but I strongly disagree. I mean these people are our kin, they are our people, it’s just that they have been swayed by radical ideologies of the anti-state and anti-elite. We just have to give the attention it deserves by implementing the programmes or other measures to solve this problem before it goes further out of hand. This is because after all, the Naxalites are after all protesting because of a multitude of reasons, and if we see the trend, people who join this movement essentially comprises of the individuals persecuted by the cultural standards and hierarchy, and are just attempting to retaliate back by extremist methods.
At the end of the day, we just have to understand that” All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal”, and this one is because of the prolonged ignorance towards the lower class.

Satvik Petwal
The Doon School

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