BY RSN SINGH
Wherever Maoists make inroads, they rob the soul of that area. India’s soul is being desiccated by the imported ideology and violence of the Maoists.
Once captured, Mahendra Karma was stabbed more than 70 times by Maoist women cadres. A boy wielding a wireless set during the ambush was no more than ten years in age. The leaders and planners were some diabolical Andhrites.
This level of brutality and dehumanization of tribal women and children is a result of sustained indoctrination and psychological campaign by the Maoists in their liberated zones. In these zones, not a soul owing allegiance to the Indian State is present. Mao’s photographs have replaced local deities and morning prayers in schools that remain functional have been supplanted by revolutionary songs, wherein children are exhorted to kill those Indian citizens who come in the way of establishment of a Maoist state.
Being Indian means death
Anyone suspected of being loyal to the Indian State is subject to most grisly murder in full public view. Following one such murder in Malkangiri district in Orissa, the local Maoist leader ate the flesh of the victim in front of the villagers to drive terror so that they did not even dream of being loyal to the Indian State.
This author was told by the Collector of the Gaya district in Bihar that on the eve of one Independence Day, the Maoists had issued a diktat that only black flags will be hoisted in the schools. In one particular school, a class seven girl student could not bear the anti-national sight, and in a fit of patriotic rage, she tore down the black flag and hoisted the national flag. She and her family have been missing since then.
Aiding in this savagery and criminalization of innocent people of India are characters such as ‘a drug addict fiction writer turned activist’, criminals in garb of saffron, professors drawing huge salaries from the State, students owning cars and enjoying educational and hostel facilities hugely subsidized by the State, and social workers with names to mislead their religious denomination. One such social worker has been carrying out vasectomy operations on young Maoist cadres in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra so that they can sleep with women cadres without consequences. The Maoist leaders adopted this course because a large number of their armed cadres were abandoning the terrorist path in favour of settled family life. The Maoist leaders have, over a period of time, created such terror that women have no option but to become tools of violence and sex in the service of male cadres. Villages are being terrorized to ‘donate’ at least one child from each family to the cause of Maoist terror.
Those who refused to compromise the modesty of their wives and daughters, the future of their sons, and the honour of their Gods, made escape from the ‘liberated zones’ and formed the ‘Salwa Judum’. The slain Mahendra Karma, who supported the ‘Salwa Judum’ was also a tribal, and chose to rescue the people from the Maoist terror, was a Congress leader. In his struggle, he received little or no support from his own party. The over-ground Maoists in Delhi, who economically thrive on extortion money of the Maoists and have been provided adivasi servants and maids went on an overdrive to discredit ‘Salwa Judum’, which means ‘peace march’. It did not occur to the right quarters that the members of Salwa Judum had left their homes, hearth and their lands to escape terror.
Who is responsible?
Mr Manmohan Singh, Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Rahulji on their visit to Chhattisgarh after the massacre in Dantewada in which 27 people were killed furiously inquired as to ‘who was responsible’. Agitated the senior most civil servant of the state bluntly retorted to Rahulji: “I am responsible”.
The responsibility actually lies with Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Mr Manmohan Singh, in that order. The defining symbol was Binayak Sen. To allow the European Commission members to attend the trial of Binayak Sen (accused of aiding the Maoists) in Raipur was nothing but criminal collusion with Maoists. His appointment as member of a Health Committee of Planning Commission dispelled any doubts regarding this collusion. The nexus between international forces and elements in the Indian government in furthering Maoism was obvious.
Foreign support and Religious catalyst
While the regional support frame work of the Maoists is well known, its European support structure has either been dismissed or ignored. The Maoists Communist Party, Manipur in a press release on 09 December 2011 revealed the support by various ultra-leftist outfits based in Philippines, Malaysia, European countries and Canada. The various ultra-leftist outfits aiding and abetting the Maoists in India are Association for Proletarian Solidarity, Italy (ASP), Communist Party of Philippines (CPP), Maoists Communist Party of France (MCPF), Partito Comunista maoista (PCM) Italia, Party of the Committees to Support Resistance for Communism (CARC), Revolutionary Communist Party, Canada (PCR-RCP), and Struggling Socialist Union, Italy (SLL). This explains the visit of a delegation from the European Commission to witness the trial of Binayak Sen. This also explains the kidnappings (allegedly staged) of two Italians Paolo Bousco (58) and Claudio Colangelo (61) . Paolo has been trekking in Orissa for many years. Both the Italians had gone to Orissa jungles despite travel advisory by their government. Both were abducted from the Kandhmahal area where most Maoist terrorists are Panna cast Christians and the Maoist discourse in the region has strong Church and anti-Hindu elements.
Christian evangelical organizations world over have thrived in insurgency. Their tacit support to LTTE in Sri Lanka and Maoists in Nepal is well documented. In fact conversions, which was banned in Nepal is now like wild fire.
In April 2012 nine French tourists were deported from Bihar as their activities in the interior of the State betrayed Maoist links.
These ultra-leftist groups have been conducting meets in Europe in support of Peoples War in India being waged by the Indian Maoists. These are attended by the Maoists leaders, sympathizers and benefactors of the Indian Maoists.
The anti-national Tribal discourse
The bogey of Maoist insurgency being tribal problem is propagated by vested interests to at the behest of foreign funded NGOs and evangelical organizations. It is a deliberate untruth with anti-national motives. The Maoist menace has consumed 230 districts spread from Kerala to the Nepal border. Of these not more than 20 percent are tribal majority districts. In Jharkhand, which has 24 districts, no more than three have tribal majority population. The same is the case with Orissa. Thirty-two districts or Bihar are impacted by Maoist terror, not a single has tribal majority. The causality figures over the years given below, reflects the spread of the Maoist problem.
Revolutionaries or Dacoits?
In 1989, the former Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal Dennis La Fontaine, who had chosen to settle in rural Andhra Pradesh, was robbed of his pistol by the Maoists. In fact, he was tied up with the chair and he remarked whether they were revolutionaries or dacoits? Twelve years down the line, i.e. in November 2001, he was again robbed of another pistol. Comparing the two incidents La Fontaine said: “The confidence of the teenagers this time was much higher because they were better armed.” In 1989, he maintained: “That seemed a ragtag bunch while this one came in jungle fatigues, boots and caps.” The State, however, did not show any resolve to tackle the menace of Maoism in the intervening years.
Even more recently one Group Captain RK Prasad, had to cough up Rs.10 lakh for the release of his brother, kidnapped by the Maoists in Jharkhand. The Air Force Officer ran from pillar to post in desperation, met the Governor and the DGP of Jharkhand, but time was running out given the Maoists deadline on which his brother’s life precariously hung. He literally had to beg all quarters to arrange the demanded sum. Incidentally, the Group Captain was one of the officers coordinating the air effort at Air Headquarters during 26/11.
If the Indian State fails to be impelled by the latest massacre in Dantewada, it may well be prepared to dissolve itself from being a liberal and a democratic state. The Dantewada massacre only signifies the extent of subversion of democracy by the Maoists. Can there be free and fair election in the fear ridden Dantewada region? The same question needs to be applied in all the 230 districts affected by the Maoist insurgency. These districts constitute one-third of India. Election time is the biggest extortion bonanza for the Maoists. The Maoists have been manipulating voting patterns by selective use of boycott call. One Chief Minister aspirant of a state allegedly paid 300 crores to the Maoists in the last elections. Another political party in Jharkhand owes half its 15 seats to the Maoists. An MP from Jharkhand was shown on television to be soliciting the favour of a Maoist leader during the elections. A speaker of a state legislative assembly is known to have truck with the Maoists.
Revolutionary objectives notwithstanding, the Dantewada massacre therefore was part of political manipulation and extortion of politicians before the impending Lok Sabha elections. The targeted killing clearly indicates an insider involvement of the Congress party. The Maoists otherwise are known to resort to indiscriminate firing whenever they spring an ambush. The politicians who became victim of the Maoists, by all reckoning, were seemingly lured into the trap by assurance during backdoor talks with the Maoist leaders.
In Jharkhand, Orissa and Maharashtra, a large number of Panchayats have been electorally captured by the Maoists by sheer intimidation. Indian money flowing through the Panchayats is being utilized by the Maoists to acquire weapons and bolstering their fighting capability.
The Maoists therefore have subverted all levels of democracy, i.e. panchayats, state legislatures and now the parliament.
Indians have to be rescued
It is again a criminal neglect of the Indian State that it has failed to rise up to the dying imperative to rescue people who are hostage to Maoist terror. They deserve the same freedom as rest of India including over-ground Maoists. Their children too deserve a secular, liberal education. They too deserve to be weaned on stable families and childhood innocence. Instead they are being forcibly recruited and trained for violence. Maoists have destroyed about 300 schools. Teachers have run away due to Maoist terror. Those who remain are forced to follow violence loaded ideological syllabus prescribed by the Maoists. They too deserve to enjoy the entertainment and information provided by the television. They too deserve to communicate with their near and dear ones. The Maoists have in all destroyed more than 200 communication towers. Only days before the Dantewada massacre they attacked the Doordarshan station in Jagdalpur.
The Collector of Dantewada told this author that his efforts to take electricity to the poor in the region under the Rajiv Gandhi Vidyutikaran Yojna has been frustrated by the Maoists, as they destroy the pylons because they feel that electricity would bring television, which in turn will bring awareness. They too deserve the schemes of the State to impact on their lives. The Maoists do not allow that for fear of losing their control and influence, and even if some of them are selectively allowed, it is much in diluted form after filtration. The Maoists are therefore thriving on tax-payers money.
Above all inhabitants of Red Corridor have done nothing to deserve medieval dispensation of justice which ranges from decapitation to flogging by Maoist ‘Jan Adalats.’
Just as democracy, economic development in the Red Corridor is being prevented or subverted by the Maoists. Mahesh and Sarita, a couple dedicated to the upliftment of Sabdo village in Gaya district of Bihar were brutally gunned downed by the Maoists in 2004 because they dared to bring unprecedented economic development through peoples’ participation. Their achievements were hailed by leading Indian dailies. Their lives were snuffed by the Maoists because they saw their influence being eroded. No infrastructure development is allowed by the Maoists in the’ liberated zones’ and in other areas only those contractors are allowed who are ready to pay abnormal amount of extortion money. The extortion industry of the Maoists by conservative estimates is 20,000 crores. Illegal mining also fetches several thousand crores.
In fact the Dawood gang has been trying to get into the illegal mining business through the Maoists. They have also made forays into opium cultivation and drugs. Corporates have no choice but to purchase peace with the Maoists. India’s economic sovereignty too is being subverted the Maoists. The economic drain due to the Maoist terror can be gauged from the fact in Maharastra alone which has just three Naxal affected districts of Gadchiroli, Bhandara and Gondia crores are spent by the government on VVIP security which also includes members of human rights commission. Each VVIP is provided three tier security by 550 personnel as per Home Minister RR Patil. If this cost was to be extrapolated on the entire Red Corridor its magnitude would be overwhelming.
In Maoists, inimical powers have found a willing tool to pursue their agenda of stunting India’s growth.
Anti-nationals and China’s proxies
This press release of 5 May 2009 of CPI(M) Central Committee on developments in Nepal should dispel all doubts regarding the Maoists being China’s proxies. The press release says: “US imperialism and Indian expansionism are particularly perturbed over the growing influence of China over the region, consolidation of China’s grip over Sri Lanka, and fear that the government in Nepal is moving closer to China. And it is this fear which is common to both India and the US that has pushed these powers to oust the government led by Maoists in a bid to install a regime loyal to them… it (Indian Maoists) pledges all support to the Maoists in Nepal in their fight against Indian expansionism”.
How did Indira Gandhi deal?
Only a few years ago the Maoists had called for a railway bandh. Consequently more than two dozen trains between Mugalsarai and Calcutta were cancelled. The East-West railway communication in India came to a naught. This is pure recipe of disaster during a full-scale war with China or Pakistan or both, for the danger it poses for inter-theatre movement of men and material. This threat to the integrity of the country by the Maoists is not new. The Naxalbari movement grew rapidly between 1969 and 1971. In 1971, the war clouds were hovering over India and India’s eastern theatre had become strategically sensitive. Given the China-Pakistan strategic partnership and China-Naxalite links, Mrs Gandhi realized the need to tackle the Naxals immediately and with a firm hand she announced in Parliament that the Naxalites would be fought to the finish. Accordingly, Operation Steeplechase was launched from July to August 1971 by the army and police in West Bengal and the bordering districts of Bihar and Orissa. There were 1,400 arrests in Andhara, 2000 in Bihar, 4000 in West Bengal and 1000 in Kerala. Several leaders were killed. This clearly indicates that even then the Maoists movement was pan-Indian in nature and had little to do with demands of development and local grievances.
If Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh have some love for Mrs Indira Gandhi, beyond exigencies of politics, they are advised to dust the records of that period and read it.
How did Sardar Patel Deal?
At the time of Independence, the communist movement in Telangana was as or even more cruel and violent than the Maoist insurgency of today. In their bid to capture India, the communists under the banner of Andhra Mahasabha had ‘captured’ and liberated 3000 villages in the districts of Nalgonda, Warangal and Karimnagar. The communists were certain that with the help of China and the Soviet Union, they would be able to humble the nascent Indian nation-state and establish their one-party rule. It was then that Sardar Patel diverted a part of the Indian Army engaged in Operation Polo for integration of Hyderabad to deal with the communists in Telangana. More than 2000 communists were killed and the so-called ‘liberated’ areas were reclaimed by the Indian State. This bold measure by Sardar Patel made the communists realize the futility of violence and compelled them to enter electoral politics.
The war is on. In this war the adversary has a deadly cocktail of ideology, foreign support, religious agenda, armed cadres, criminal financing and terror. It would be anti-national to treat it as a law and order problem. The assault is now on Indian democracy and the unity of India. Let us unite and fight because now in question is the very air-of-freedom that we are breathing. We have been churning PHDs for several decades now on left-wing extremism. No more PHDs and no more seminars.
The Maoists have struck nexus by forging links with insurgent organizations in Northeast, with the ISI, terrorist organizations in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and with the Dawood gang. Together Maoists and some of these outfits have formed a ‘strategic united front’. Combined, these inimical forces pose unprecedented destabilization process of India.
The war has to be fought by a combination of the Army, the Central Armed Police Forces and the state police forces on a pan-India basis. Each of these organizations has different capabilities to deal with the given level of threat and violence. The Maoists strongholds and ‘liberated zones’ with bunkers, mines and embedded explosives on avenues and roads can only be tackled by the Army. Nowhere in the world have insurgencies been operationally overcome without the Army. The expansion of the police forces and the CRPF amounts to ‘reinforcing failure’. It is none of their fault. Their training, orientation and primary role is different. In the Red Corridor they can be successful only in those areas where the threat is of the proportion of ‘law and order’ and not internal security. Moreover, police officers are trained to be managers of ‘law and order’ and not ‘leaders in combat’. Meanwhile, the Indian Army needs to revise its threat perception. This is an era of sub-conventional conflicts and so is the Maoist insurgency. Sardar Patel and Mrs Indira Gandhi had realized this long ago.
Wage war now or perish!
(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a guest blogger for Canary Trap)