By Bhashyam Kasturi
AAKROSH. January 2007. Volume 10. Number 34
The main aim of this paper is to understand the present state of the Naxalite Movement in India. It is necessary and relevant to do so because it is often little understood, and the implications of allowing this problem to persist are overlooked. The Naxalite Movement is today a challenge to the state and presents a clear and present danger to national security.
This is so in many ways. First, the Naxalites have managed to spread their tentacles to large parts of the country. Second, their mobility and firepower have increased exponentially. Third, their ability to engage government forces has gone up. And finally, while the recognition that it is not enough to treat this merely as a law and order problem has hit home in the government, legal and constitutional provisions are making it difficult to translate policy into action on the ground.
Other factor about this security challenge; it is often stated that development is a panacea for the problem. This is true to some extent, and perhaps some decades ago it would have been prudent to look in that direction. And then again, while this may be true even today, in terms of land reforms the essential fact remains that the Naxalites are today a far more potent force, though perhaps not unified in command and control, but definitely by ideology and purpose. This itself should be a cause of concern for the Indian state.