Naxalite–Maoist insurgency: Updates and Discussions

Sumanta

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The Siege Within: Urban Naxalism In India Looming Large

Magazine The Siege Within: Urban Naxalism In India Looming Large
by Vivek Agnihotri - Mar 09, 2018, 9:13 pm


Snapshot

  • The Maoist movement wants nothing short of a break-up of the Indian state. Its most insidious and dangerous arm is urban Naxalism.



The GURU of Fourth Generation Warfare, William Lind observes that “if nation-states are going to survive, people in power must earn and keep the trust of the governed”. Addressing the American Council of Foreign Relations, he said, “The heart of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) is a crisis of legitimacy of the state.” How true to the Indian model, when he added that “the establishment is no longer made up of ‘policy types’ — most of its important functionaries are placemen. Their expertise is in becoming and then remaining members of the establishment. Their reality is covert politics and not competence or expertise. When the 4GW will visit them, their response would be to ‘close the shutters on the windows of Versailles’.”

This fourth generation war is complex and long-term. It is decentralised, small in size and lacks hierarchy. The strategy is to make a direct attack on the enemy’s (in this case, the Indian state) culture, including genocidal acts against civilians and wage a highly sophisticated psychological and cultural warfare, especially through media manipulation and lawfare. All available pressures are used — political, economic, social and military. For this purpose, legal professionals are required, media professionals are required, creative people, varied intellectuals and academicians are required, and civil society leaders are required, especially those who are connected with NGOs. It begins with low-intensity conflicts where all the actors attack from different platforms.

In 2004, the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) People’s War, usually called People’s War Group, merged with the Maoist Communist Centre of India and formed the Communist Party of India (Maoist), pledging to the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. The party became a member of the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia.

This new entity drafted a blueprint for their urban movement/activities. It is believed that Kobad Ghandy, who was arrested in September 2009 in New Delhi, played a major role in the preparation of this urban perspective plan.

The document admits that the enemy is very strong in urban areas and therefore should never be engaged with until the conditions are favourable. And to make them favourable, it suggests the exploring and opening of opportunities, and organising people through front organisations. Target the “vulnerable group” of minorities, women, Dalits, labourers and students through influencers who work undercover for a long time and accumulate strength. The document stresses on uniting industrial proletariats and students, and using them as vanguards who can play a direct role in revolution.

The city becomes the money source, shelter for cadre as transit points, source of weaponry and legal protection, medical aid, media attention and intelligentsia network.

The stronger the movement becomes in urban areas, the more likely it is to contribute to the agrarian revolution, in terms of providing leaders, men and material to the people’s war.

The majority of the people in Maoist-affected areas and even their supporters and cadres have little to do with Maoism at the ideological level. They are only alienated and angry people with a sense of injustice, oppression and indignity. Maoists cleverly exploit this sentiment to their advantage — caste conflicts in Bihar, resentment against landlords in Andhra Pradesh, discontent against forest laws in tribal areas, unemployment amongst youth, radicalism among Muslims are all given the prescription of capture of power through the gun. While local grievances need to be effectively addressed through improved governance and ruthless accountability, there is an urgent need for creating mass awareness of the ultimate designs and consequences of what the extremists stand for.

The forest-based rebellion survives mostly on what Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao calls the “movement in urban areas”. The network is in many cities, and sympathisers occupy prominent positions.

Consider logistics support. In 2006, the police seized empty rocket shells and rocket launchers in Mahabubnagar district, Andhra Pradesh. The kingpin, “Tech Madhu”, later surrendered to the police, which led to the detection of an elaborate network the Maoists had built. The network originated in the industrial centre of Ambattur, a Chennai suburb, where rocket parts were fabricated, and stealthily transported in private commercial carriers to different parts of the country. The network is spread across five states: Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

In the cities, an invisible naxal-intelligentsia-media-academia-NGO-activist nexus works as strategic fortification with the ultimate aim of taking over the Indian state to achieve Maoist rule. The Maoists have identified Pune-Mumbai-Ahmadabad as the “Golden Corridor”, Delhi-Kanpur-Patna-Kolkata as the “Ganga Corridor”. And Chennai-Coimbatore-Bengaluru as “Tri-junction”. Key universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jadavpur University (JU), Osmania University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) would work as R&D centres of urban naxalism.

Maoist documents mention three kinds of urban mass organisations: secret, open and semi-open, and legal “democratic” organisations.

The legal organisations are the most dangerous for national security, as they try to subvert constitutional authority surreptitiously by building mass support through subtle manipulation of grievances against the state.

Though government can ban the other two types of organisations, it is almost impossible to ban these legal organisations as civil society, human rights and other vigilante groups rush forth and create a hue and cry that the rights of the common man are being denied. These organisations work closely with disgruntled groups of trade unions, student bodies, women’s fronts, caste abolition organisations, nationality organisations, writers’ associations, lawyers’ organisations, teachers’ associations, cultural bodies etc.

“Mass organisations are operating under the garb of human rights NGOs. These are manned by ideologues, including academicians and activists,” the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, detailing the new strategy of the Maoist movement. “The mass organisations… are organically linked to the CPI (Maoist) structure but maintain separate identities in an attempt to avoid legality.” According to the MHA, ideologues and supporters of Maoists in cities and towns have undertaken a concerted and systematic propaganda against the state. “In fact, it is these ideologues who have kept the Maoist movement alive and are in many ways more dangerous than the cadres of the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army,” the affidavit says.

The tactics employed are extremely effective and media attention-grabbing. These range from using aggressive agitations and propaganda, provoking Dalits to take up arms, to programmes on anti-capitalist policies, to controversies in history (eg. Is this what Dr Ambedkar wanted in the Constitution?). The activists take up genuine issues — not with the aim to solve them but to create unrest and anger against the system, and make people believe in armed struggle.

On many occasions, top-level leaders of the CPI (Maoist) have been arrested from cities and towns, indicating that urban front organisations in cities are used as shelters.

The detection of Maoist activities in towns such as Surat clearly shows that Maoists are attempting to penetrate the urban working class. There have been reports of Maoist activities in Haryana — in Jhind, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Sonepat, etc. These are industrial hubs. In Delhi, Maoists have reportedly infiltrated the municipal sanitation workers’ union Delhi Safai Karmachari Sanghatan. According to a media report quoting unnamed intelligence officials, “the rebels have plans to strike in the industrial belts of Bhilai-Ranchi-Dhanbad-Kolkata and Mumbai-Pune-Surat-Ahmedabad to take their battle into the heart of India.”

Some instances of naxal violence adversely affecting the trade and economy are — damaging road construction machinery, shutting down and destroying bank branches, damage to railway lines, highways and telecom towers, thereby inhibiting communication and transport, and destruction of the pipeline for transporting iron ore slurry in Chhattisgarh. According to reports, power and steel industry projects in Chhattisgarh with investments of the order of Rs 13,000 crore were stagnated due to naxalite disturbances. All in all, it’s a grim economic condition, which affects all sectors of industry and all classes of people. Micro-economic effects include lower tourist inflows, reduced usage of public transport, reduced long-term investments, reduced enrolment in schools, lower job availability and lack of opportunities.

The urban movement has attracted students towards the Maoist fold in various parts of the country. In the 1980s, hordes of students from Kakatiya University and Regional Engineering College (now National Institute of Technology), Warangal and Osmania University, Hyderabd, joined the then Progressive War cadres. According to one media report, “…security agencies believe that the front organisations have started vigorous movement in the education sector, to rope in students from several reputed colleges for their cause… People working under banners with hints of revolution, like ‘sangharsh’ and ‘kranti’ are under the scanner”.

Following the arrest of Himadri Sen Roy, a senior Maoist leader, and Somen alias Sumanand, West Bengal state committee secretary, near Kolkata, the police claimed that “the CPI (Maoist) has initiated a drive to spread its network in the city (Kolkata) and its outskirts and the outfit has brought some youths and students from premier educational institutions like Presidency College under its fold.”

In Bangalore, too, Maoist activities in colleges have been noticed. According to a media report, the police suspected that a group known as the Karnataka Communal Harmony Group (KCHG), a congregation of intellectuals and activists, is a Maoist front. Apparently, top police officials visited the famous Jesuit college St Joseph’s to investigate the involvement of students with KCHG and the Maoists. In fact, in Karnataka, the urban movement was stronger than the rural one. JNU, Hyderabad Central University (HCU), TISS, Allahabad University, IIT Madras, JU are citadels of urban naxalism.

Moreover, if and when the urban movement catches on, the state will then have to deal with industrial unrest and urban terrorism.

Maoists also attempt to exploit the inherent fault lines of urbanisation to their advantage. Seized documents reveal that the first step of the urban mobilisation strategy is “Survey”. This step involves scrutinising urban landscapes based upon their geographical profile — whether they are serving an industrialised or underdeveloped hinterland; changes in workforce composition; minute study of the linguistic and religious minorities, of the economic divergences within cities, of the processes involving ghettoisation as these are the potential breeding grounds for their recruits whom they can very easily indoctrinate to work against the interests of the Indian state.

The Times of India of 11 April 2010 reported “The Jawaharlal Nehru University campus became a battleground on Friday night when members of disparate student organisations clashed over what was seen as an attempt to support the Naxalites and ‘celebrate’ the massacre of 76 CRPF men. Members of Democratic Students Union and All India Students Association organised a meeting to celebrate the killing of 76 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh. They were even shouting slogans like ‘India murdabad, Maovad zindabad’.”

How can this be allowed inside a central university without the protection of the faculty and the administration?

Under the headline “Maoists have a new address: Jadavpur University”, The Indian Express of 10 December 2010 reported that “Kanchan, the arrested CPI (Maoist) state secretary, has reportedly told the security agencies that a recruitment process is on for the outfit’s military wing and Jadavpur University has emerged as a major centre for the cadres. Also, the Maoists are believed to have a backup module among the university students. Kanchan has reportedly also said that 12 students from Presidency are working actively as CPI (Maoist) cadres in Lalgarh.”

Hindustan Times of 28 March 2010 carried a column with the headline “1970s revisited? Kolkata youth back in Naxal fold”. The report interviews an Intelligence Branch officer involved with tracking Maoist activities, who said, “This trend is alarming. Many student and youth activists in the city campaigning for Lalgarh have visited the jungles and undergone arms training.”

Varavara Rao said at a news conference in JU on 26 Feburary 2010, “Our support is growing among students of Kolkata. Though these students don’t come from tribal areas, they understand the situation.”

Many university campuses have been witnessing student unrest in the last few years. The common thread in all these institutes-turned-battlefields is a protest against the union government in the name of constitutional principles and democratic values. A closer look reveals that there is no suppression of “democratic principles” by the government. However, a picture has been painted so. Some faculty members too tried to escalate these protests through their active participation or supportive roles. All this left the common man wondering “How did students turn anti-India?” “What is suddenly wrong with all these institutes?”

In the cities, the front “mass organisations” are generally manned by ideologues, who include academicians and activists, fully committed to the party line. Such organisations ostensibly pursue human rights-related issues and are adept at using the legal processes of the Indian state to undermine and emasculate enforcement action by the security forces. They also attempt to malign state institutions through propaganda and disinformation to further the cause of their “revolution”.

From these mass organisations, individuals are selected, brainwashed for supporting and becoming members of the Maoist party.

Urban areas are important for Maoists to get cadres who have the skill sets to perform military tasks; they are also critical for developing international networks, local intelligence, reaching medical aid to rural guerilla forces, as transit facility and for cyber warfare.

One more important reason for the Maoists’ focus on urban areas in the last few years is the recruitment ebb they are facing in tribal areas as tribals began to understand the hollowness of Maoist ideology. Maoists are not getting recruits for their dalams (small units in their armed guerilla force). The number of surrenders has gone up manifold.

The history of students’ and teachers’ association with Maoism is as old as the movement itself. The Maoists’ “Strategy and Tactics of Indian Revolution” document mentions the following about students’ role:

“Among the urban petty bourgeoisie, students and youth constitute an important category. They react to events, and historically, from the anti-British movement, they played a significant role. In the wake of Naxalbari, their role is exemplary. Our party has good experience in organising them. While working in urban areas, we must pay necessary attention to organise them.”

The faces of urban naxalism are intellectuals, influencers and activists of importance. They indoctrinate the young by pretending to be concerned about social issues. However, they never make an attempt to find solutions to social problems. They only exploit the situation by organising protests and mobilising the impressionable youth. They encourage students to take admission in colleges and fail their examinations so that they can continue longer on the campus. For a student from a poor or marginalised background, a subsidised stay in a government hostel in a big city is a luxury which he laps up without questioning the ulterior motives of his mentors. With the help of these students, the Maoists attract new students and organise “boot study camps”.

For instance, the CPI (Maoist) organised a 15-day camp in mid-2010 at Kude Burdruk village in Bangarwadi in Khed taluka of Pune district. Seven men and four women participated in the “study camp” called “Teachers Training Programme”. During the camp, a top CPI (M) state operative, Milind Telumbde alias Jyotirao, and his wife Angela Sontakke alias Sadhana, the secretary of CPI (Maoist)’s golden corridor committee, taught Maoist ideology to new party members and potential recruits. The room where the classes were held belonged to a local farmer, a relative of Dhavala Dhengle alias Deepak alias Pratap. He was told that it was a camp for teachers to study tribal issues.

Pratap was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in May 2011. A singer and poet, he was a member of the Pune-based cultural group Kabir Kala Manch, which was allegedly used by CPI (Maoist) for interacting with city youths and indoctrinating them. Pune resident Chandaliya, who attended the camp, said in his statement, “Sadhana (Angela) and Jyotirao (Milind) explained Maoist ideology to us. They showed us a video named ‘Blazing Trail’ on attacks on police and paramilitary forces.”

To accomplish their urban objectives, Maoists have employed multi-pronged tactics. Here are some of them:

• To recruit or install Maoist sympathisers in key public sector industries.

• To infiltrate the enemy camp in critical departments like finance, military, police, power, IT, defence production and disrupt the activities from within by gaining control over the workers. Slowly, passive protests and continuous grievances lead to a domino effect in an already disgruntled nation.

• To create a network of doctors and hospital attendants sympathetic to their cause, who will treat injured cadres in utmost secrecy.

• To create cadres in urban areas who are technically qualified to handle the latest arms and ammunitions.

• To create groups of highly motivated individuals who constitute what the Maoists call “city action teams”. Members are entrusted with the destruction of high-value targets or annihilation of individuals of importance. The identity of such members is unknown even to the local urban party structure.

• The collection of centralised intelligence and cyber warfare. The party tries to use modern electronic means to infiltrate into the enemy’s networks and collect vital information. For this, they need to have individuals with requisite skills, who can only be found in urban areas and who, because of the nature of their job, need to be based there. These people are under the direct control of the highest party echelons.

• To create cultural unrest with the help of propaganda platforms like Kabir Kala Manch.

“This is a classical model of fourth generation warfare — a warfare where the enemy is invisible and the battle is for the control of civil society — through coercion, controlling the hearts and minds of the people,” says National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

Urban naxalism is India’s biggest threat. It can’t be fought by the government alone. It has to be fought by exposing them, which is a responsibility of every citizen who wants India to succeed.

@vivekagnihotri is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, public speaker and thought leader. He has made an award-winning film on urban Naxalism – Buddha In A Traffic Jam. His book Urban Naxals is due for release in March 2018.
 
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Sumanta

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Revolution and protest were not in his scheme of things: Father of accused - Times of India

KOLKATA: Twenty-eight-yearold Deb Chakraborty rarely had two square meals a day. A basic amenity like a fan is not always available to him. A resident of an otherwise posh neighbourhood in Santoshpur, he had recently showed signs of depressions having failed to secure a job and was under medication. Of late, though, he had been frequenting Jadavpur University and dreaming of getting a job in a“more equitable world”.
For his well-wishers, including his parents, his sudden arrest has brought nothing but “more shame and misery”. “He has understood his mistake. When I met him at the Tollygunge police station on Wednesday, I told him he acted only on the advice of his new friends and not his family,” said his mother who did not wish to be named fearing backlash in their locality that was “increasingly getting polarized”.







Deb was one of the seven Radical members arrested by the police for vandalizing and pouring black ink on the bust of Syama Prasad Mookerjee at Keoratala on Wednesday. His wellwishers had no clue of the incident, which is creating political ripples across the city, until Wednesday evening when a call came from the police. “Their family is not in a position to afford alawyer. The sole income of the family is the rent they earn and it’s difficult to sustain three members with that,” said a family friend.
 

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8 CRPF personnel martyred in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district

NEW DELHI: Eight CRPF personnel were martyred and 10 others injured today in a Maoist attack + when their Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV) blew up in the restive Sukma district of Chhattisgarh's Bastar division.


Four of the injured personnel are said to be in critical condition.

The attack took place in Kistaram when the personnel were out on a combing operation on the MPV. The team of CRPF jawans of thw 212 battalion was targeted by rebels who used heavy explosives to blow up the vehicle and had triggered several IEDs, police officials said confirming that eight personnel were killed in the blast.

"In an ongoing operation in Sukma District, an encounter took place with Naxals around 8 am on Tuesday. Seeing the response of 208 CoBRA naxals initially fled away," said CRPF spokesperson Moses Dinakaran.

" Again at about 12:30 pm Naxals targeted another team of 212 battalion CRPF in between Kistaram and Palodi in Sukma in which a Mine Protection Vehicle was blown of by triggering IED. As per information received 8 CRPF personnel attained martyrdom and 3 are injured. Injured personnel are being evacuated by helicopter to Raipur," he added.

Today's attack comes almost 11 days after security personnel killed 10 allegedNaxalites in the state. It also comes six months after 25 CRPF jawans were slaughtered + in one of the deadliest attacks by Maoist rebels, or Naxalites. Earlier last year in March, 12 CRPF personnel of a road opening party were ambushed in Sukma.

Still, security forces have had some success deaing with such attacks. As many as 300 Naxals were reportedly killed in separate encounters with security forces in Chhattisgarh in the last two years, said state home minister Ramsewak Paikra to thestate Legislative Assembly last month.

Earlier this month, the CRPF for the first time set up three permanent camps in the Maoist hotbed of Abujhmadh forests in Chhattisgarh to launch 'surgical' operations against the ultras, a year after it lost 37 personnel in two ambushes, reported PTI.

The paramilitary force, along with contingents of the state police, has set up three bases in the dense and remote jungles of the 4,000 sq km region which essentially means 'abujh' (unknown) and 'madh' (hill).

Till now, the security forces used to undertake patrols inside the Abujhmadh jungle area in the Bastar region, camp there for few days and come back as they had no support system to stay in the jungle for long.
 

Sumanta

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14 Naxals killed in encounter in Gadchiroli

14 Naxals killed in encounter in Gadchiroli
PTI
Mumbai,April 22, 2018 17:07 IST
Updated:April 22, 2018 17:37 IST


Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra | Photo Credit: Google Maps




Two district-level “commanders” of the proscribed outfit, identified as Sainath and Sainyu, were among those killed
Fourteen Naxals were killed in an encounter with the police in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district on Sunday, a senior official said.

He said a team of C-60 commandos, a specialised combat unit of the Gadchiroli police, carried out the operation.

“Fourteen Naxals were killed in the encounter. Combing operations are still on,” Sharad Shelar, Inspector General of Police, said.

He said the combing operation, which started in the morning, was currently underway at Tadgaon forest in Bhamragad, around 750 kilometres from Mumbai.

The official said that two district-level “commanders” of the proscribed outfit, identified as Sainath and Sainyu, were among those killed in the encounter.

Director General of Police Satish Mathur congratulated the C-60 team which carried out the encounter.

“This is a major operation against Naxals in recent times,” Mr. Mathur told PTI.
 

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37 Naxals killed in major operation in Maharashtra

Fifteen more bodies of Maoists, who were killed in an encounter with C-60 squad of commandos of the Maharashtra Police, have been recovered, taking the total number of casualties of Naxals in the Gadchiroli encounter to 31.

"In the operation by C-60 squad in Kasanasur jungle area, 16 bodies of Naxals (9 men and 7 women) were recovered on April 22," a senior police official said on Tuesday.

"Due to heavy rain and paucity of manpower, search was stopped. Yesterday, an operation was launched to search for bodies in Indravati river and 15 more bodies were recovered," the official said.

Search for more bodies and weapons is going on, he said.

In another operation in Kapewancha area of Rajaram Khandla post yesterday, six Naxals were killed and their bodies recovered. These include two men and four women,the official said.

Maharashtra Director General of Police Satish Mathur said the massive operation against Naxals was a result of "accurate and specific" intelligence, low morale of Naxals and divisions in their ranks.

 

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60 Naxals surrender in Chhattisgarh

60 Naxals from Abujmarh surrendered before Bastar Inspector General (IG) Vivekananda Sinha in Narayanpur, on Thursday.

The Naxals, which included 40 men and 20 women, said they were fed up with the Naxalites’ strategies and hence decided to quit.

They also surrendered seven rifles.

They will be now provided government relief and benefits under the rehabilitation policy.
 

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6 Arrested For Allegedly Giving Arms To Maoists From Bengal Gun Factory

KOLKATA: A 10-year-long racket of supplying guns to Maoists from one of the oldest ordnance factories in the country was busted in West Bengal today, the police said.

Six people, including two guards and two officers of Rifle Factory Ishapore, 50 kilometres from Kolkata, have been arrested for allegedly smuggling out guns to Maoists in India and Nepal and to criminal gangs in Bihar and even terror groups in a racket going on since 2008, the police said.

The factory makes INSAS assault rifles for security forces, as well as other sophisticated self-loading rifles.

The police said they have recovered some guns from the accused, who are suspected of having links with Maoists in Nepal. Those who ran the racket also allegedly gave guns to gangs in Bihar and terror groups.

Finished weapons at the factory which were rejected for final use due to defects were smuggled out after repairing them, the police said. To avoid detection, the weapons were dismantled before they were taken out from the factory, the police said.
 
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Urban Naxalism: Dismembering India Through Manufactured Agitations

By SANDEEP BALAKRISHNA

Urban Naxalism: Dismembering India Through Manufactured Agitations


After four years, an important perspective from which to analyze Narendra Modi’s conquest of Delhi is couched precisely in one word: revelation.
Whatever his other achievements or lack thereof, one thing is clear as sunshine: Narendra Modi as Prime Minister has stripped naked the entire Congress-legacy political system across the national landscape. In this disrobing, he has chiefly used a combination of tough, nuke-like measures like demonetization, frontal attacks like the unrelenting sprees electoral victories, and stone-like, unapologetic silence in face of even the gravest of provocations.

Consider the situation in these last four years.

Think how, despite being in the throes of a paroxysmal death-spiral, the nakedness of the Congress-nurtured political and ideological system continues to manifest itself. It’s as if this Congress system can whip up violence and unrest at will. On any issue. In any city, town or village. At a time of its choosing. Whatever be the cost to the nation and the society.

Now think of the alternative scenario: of a UPA-3 recapturing power in 2014. Of the fate of a Narendra Modi who had lost the elections. Think of these two aspects for a brief moment…in fact, think of these two aspects every single time before uncritically swallowing the multi-pronged, multi-directional propaganda that masquerades as news and opinion.

At a very high level, the contours of this manifestation is this: while an out-of-power Congress can unleash frequent disruptions across the nation, a Congress in power can give us RTE, Communal Violence Bill, communal headcount in the armed forces and manufacture the balloon of Hindu terrorism among numerous such evils.

To put it bluntly, the Congress party today stands naked as a party of Urban Naxals with a network and toxicity that’s perhaps unparalleled anywhere in the world. The decades-long political power that it held in its thrall and which attained its full, venomous bloom during 2004-2014 was a beautiful dandelion that concealed its true nature as a party of Urban Naxals.

What is Urban Naxalism
One definition of Urban Naxalism is that it’s a phenomenon that is marked by one or more or all of the following characteristics:

  • An attempt to weaken the Indian state in any form: by hampering its economy (for example, by filing PILs against dam constructions, nuclear power projects, etc), tampering with its education (for example, RTE, Marxist propaganda in textbooks, etc), interfering in its legal and judicial process, meddling with its armed forces, demonizing the native Hindu culture (for example, attacking Hindu festivals, customs, etc).
  • Manufacturing non-existent issues like Award Vapsi, intolerance, fake reports of cow slaughter, rapes, lynching etc.
  • Mobilizing caste and other groups against the Indian state: the recent example is the Maharashtra “farmers” agitation, which turned out to be populated by serving cadres of Communist and allied elements.
  • Using the combined might of a supplicant and supportive media, academia, intelligentsia, and the film industry to hype up these incidents aimed at weakening the Indian state.
  • Allying with hostile transnational forces in their war against the Indian state.


A recent news report claims that according to the Home Ministry, “Left wing extremism” (Naxalism, Maoism) has all but been uprooted in 44 districts. While this is certainly a reason to rejoice, we overlook the other important, dangerous fact: Left wing extremism, over the last fifteen years at least, has quietly invaded the drawing rooms of Urban India and captured the minds of our kids and has altered their sense of reality.

Here’s a random question: would you believe anyone if they told you that Gurmehar Kaur, Swara Bhaskar, the Hardik-Alpesh-Jignesh (HAJ) trio, and allied worthies are all actually Naxals? No, you’d think that person is crazy but that’s precisely what they want you to think. It is subversion that has touched the upper reaches of perfection of an ideological art-form.

Even if you don’t “belong” to any ideological camp, consider your own vocabulary today: LGBT, patriarchy, misogyny, fat-shaming, upper caste privilege, rape culture...the list is infinite. There’s an entire generation that uses these words as settled truths. The question is: why wasn’t this vocabulary so widespread, so commonplace even a decade ago?

Urban Naxalism is Warfare, not Ideology
Nearly thirty years ago, William Lind, one of the finest minds in military and warfare strategy jointly authored a seminal paper titled The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation. Ever since, the phrase, “Fourth Generation War” gained wide currency. Here’s an excerpt:

[There]is a goal of collapsing the enemy internally rather than physically destroying him. Targets will include such things as the population's support for the war and the enemy's culture. Correct identification of enemy strategic centers of gravity will be highly important…. fourth generation warfare seems likely to be widely dispersed and largely undefined; the distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point. It will be nonlinear, possibly to the point of having no definable battlefields or fronts. The distinction between "civilian" and "military" may disappear. Actions will occur concurrently throughout all participants' depth, including their society as a cultural, not just a physical, entity.

[…]

The growth of robotics…and artificial intelligence may offer a potential for radically altered tactics.

[…]

Psychological operations may become the dominant operational and strategic weapon in the form of media/information intervention… Fourth generation adversaries will be adept at manipulating the media to alter domestic and world opinion to the point where skillful use of psychological operations will sometimes preclude the commitment of combat forces… Television news may become a more powerful operational weapon than armored divisions.

[…]

Terrorists use a free society's freedom and openness, its greatest strengths, against it. They can move freely within our society while actively working to subvert it. They use our democratic rights not only to penetrate but also to defend themselves. If we treat them within our laws, they gain many protections; if we simply shoot them down, the television news can easily make them appear to be the victims. Terrorists can effectively wage their form of warfare while being protected by the society they are attacking. If we are forced to set aside our own system of legal protections to deal with terrorists, the terrorists win another sort of victory. [Emphasis added]

Consider the numerous instances of manufactured unrests, violence, etc since 2014 to now. And compare how precisely it tallies with Lind’s prognosis. For example, on his point about technology and artificial intelligence, one can cite the recent explosive revelations of the numerous skulduggeries by Cambridge Analytica hired by the Congress party to foment disruptions within the Indian political, societal and legal system. Indeed, Lind’s entire paper is a brilliant manual analysing Urban Naxalism in all its manifestations.

The infographic below gives only a partial list of all such instances of Urban Naxalism from 2014 to the present categorized by event, actors, and impact.



The fact that the Congress party can incite sitting judges against an inconvenient Supreme Court Chief Justice shows another deadly face of Urban Naxalism. If this isn’t a war against the Indian state, we fail to find a suitable word to characterize it.

In fact, it’s in this light that we need to view both the magnitude and significance of Narendra Modi’s 2014 victory and his subsequent electoral blitzes. But for that fateful 2014 political summer, the Congress-legacy system would’ve noiselessly persisted with their wreckage of India till it reached a tipping point. And so, when we now notice all these incidents of Urban Naxalism unleashed by a Congress with just 48 seats, it’s clear that the subterranean, invisible government run by India’s oldest political party is functioning smoothly with the effectiveness of a Lucifer operating through countless Mephistopheleses.

Given all this, the entire nation owes an enormous, non-repayable debt of gratitude to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for combating this multi-headed menace for over eighty years often at great cost including the political murders of hundreds of its Swayamsevaks. Any other country faced with similar threat would’ve gone under in a matter of a few years. Indeed, a comprehensive history of this courageous combat given by the RSS is still waiting to be written.

From the Jungles to the Cities
Without going too deep into the history of Naxalism, we can examine a relatively recent quote:

Like forests provide safe hideouts to Naxalites in tribal areas, the cities also provide them cover. Taking advantage of this, they plan to target major installations in cities.

That was Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on the floor of the Lok Sabha on 5 December 2006. That was also the era when the first innings of the UPA government was supported by the Communists. That was also the era when Shivraj Patil did nothing even after repeated Jihadi attacks on Indian soil until 26/11 happened. The underlying message from his numerous silences on such occasions is simply this: the ministers in a Government remote-controlled by Sonia Gandhi had been thoroughly emasculated to the point of slavish cowardice.

Further, it was also the same era where, as Ajit Doval notes in his excellent paper,

the area under Naxal influence has nearly doubled extending to nearly 203 districts in fourteen states. The strength of armed guerrillas has swelled from less than 7,000 then to somewhere around 13,500 now. Left extremists, today, have many more and much sophisticated weapons; (estimated to be nearly 14000 as against 5500 in 2004) and have upgraded their tactics, field craft and skills in handling weapons and explosives manifold. They raise funds nearly to the tune of Rs. 1,200 Crore a year, which in an impoverished area of their dominance is a huge amount to create instability and enables them to pay regular monthly salaries to their armed cadres.

It would take a logical leap of the orders of several magnitude to think that this explosive growth of armed Naxal power was merely coincidental with the fact that the Communists politically supported the Congress-led UPA. It is also no coincidence that the world’s only Hindu state of Nepal turned Red in the same era.

But with the exit of the Communists from the UPA in 2008 and the reemergence of UPA 2 in 2009, something else happened. Influential sections of Naxals had directly occupied the corridors of power—both overtly and covertly thanks to Sonia Gandhi’s unconstitutional body named the National Advisory Council, an innocuous moniker for a vast cabal of anti-national NGOs. One only needs to read the two-part biography of the late Outlook editor Vinod Mehta who nonchalantly and in vivid detail mentions the nature of the activism by eminences like Aruna Roy, Arundhati Roy, Arvind Kejriwal and Harsh Mander.

Jungle Naxalism had systematically, but surely moved into the cities. One significant, official proof emerged in 2013 in the form of a report by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In Nov, 2013 MHA filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court acknowledging that ‘The ‘frontal’ organisations of CPI (Maoist), operating under the garb of human rights NGOs, have kept the Maoist movement alive and are more dangerous than armed cadres. These ‘mass organisations’ (‘frontal’) are generally manned by ideologues, who include academicians and activists, fully committed to the party line.Such organisations ostensibly pursue human rights related issues and are also adept at using the legal processes of the Indian state to undermine and emasculate enforcement action by the security forces . They also attempt to malign the state institutions through propaganda and disinformation to further the cause of their ‘revolution’. The state governments are required to initiate legal action against the Maoist front organisations in towns and cities….However, initiating legal proceedings against them has often resulted in negative publicity for the enforcement agencies due to the effective propaganda machinery of the CPI (Maoist).’

Another important weapon in the Communist arsenal is the so-called “surrender” of armed Naxal leaders. These worthies are given relatively light sentences and once they rejoin the mainstream society, they are rehabilitated by the party apparatus by creating jobs for them in the academia, media, think tanks, etc. The task remains the same: of spreading toxic propaganda against the Indian state and society.

It is this well-oiled apparatus that whips up violence, revives an old rape like in the case of Kathua, anoints posthumous sainthood upon a kindred non-entity like Gauri Lankesh, cashes a Fixed Deposit like Prakash Raj, etc. It’s worth recalling William Lind’s words again:

…fourth generation warfare seems likely to be widely dispersed and largely undefined; the distinction between war and peace will be blurred to the vanishing point.

How does one even fight this?

The next and concluding part of this series will examine more facets of Urban Naxalism and throw some light on possible responses on combating it.
 

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119 naxalites, 65 terrorists killed till May this year
As many as 119 Maoists have been eliminated so far this year as compared to 136 killed in the whole of 2017, according to latest data put out by the home ministry. The unusually high casualty figure, considering that no more than 48 Maoists were eliminated by the security forces until April 30 last year, includes 40 cadres killed in two encounters at Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, on April 22 and 23.

The home ministry, in a report listing its achievements over the past four years of Modi government, claimed that it had contained "the incipient threat" from Islamic State (IS) with the arrest of 113 sympathisers of the global outfit from across the country and banning of IS as a "terrorist" organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Putting out a comparative analysis of violence statistics between 2010-2013 to 2014-2017, the home ministry said incidents of Left-wing extremism were down 36.6 per cent from 6,524 in the period 2010-2013 to 4,136 between 2014-17. Deaths of civilians and security forces in LWE theatres fell 55.5 per cent from 2,428 to 1,081, while the number of Maoists eliminated rose from 445 to 510 in the corresponding period.

In Jammu & Kashmir, the home ministry document has only listed the figure of terrorists killed. As many as 619 terrorists were eliminated between 2014 and 2017, against 471 between 2010 and 2013. Incidentally, 65 terrorists were killed till May 26 this year, as per intelligence sources.

The report focuses on recounting steps taken over the last four years to improve the situation as well as sentiment in J&K. For instance, it talks of Central forces in J&K having raised 300 football teams in the Valley state, involving 4,600 youth. The Modi government’s tenure has also seen the direct recruitment of 3,882 J&K youth in the Central forces, 7,302 in the Indian Army and 7,698 as special police officers (SPOs), besides raising of 5 Indian Reserve battalions comprising 4,690 personnel from J&K. Also, ex-gratia for a J&K police personnel killed in a counter-terror action stands enhanced to Rs 30 lakh from Rs 10 lakh.

Recording the status of employment generation in J&K , the report said that while 18,174 graduate and diploma-holders from the state were offered jobs under ‘Udaan’ scheme and 56,829 school and college dropouts under ‘Himayat’ scheme, 4,780 women from Kupwara were trained for self-sustenance.

In the north-east region, the home ministry said violent incidents declined 85 per cent in the past four years and 96 per cent since 1997. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act had been lifted from Meghalaya and Tripura, and its area reduced in Arunachal Pradesh.

The home ministry, which only last week notified a new division dedicated to women’s safety, said it had made the anti-rape law more stringent by providing for death penalty to rapists of girls below 12 years of age. Also, 33 per cent of the non-gazetted posts in the Central forces have been reserved for women.

As many as 94 per cent of the country’s police stations were now connected through the Crime and Criminals Tracking and Network System (CCTNS), as against 73 per cent in 2014. The home ministry also listed the cancellation of registration of 19,000 "defunct, non-complying" NGOs under the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act as an achievement.
119 naxalites, 65 terrorists killed till May this year - Times of India
 
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