How deep is 'Maoism' in India?

 The loss of a soldier in the hands of Pakistan or China sparked a frenzy of revenge across India.

 The loss of 22 soldiers in Chhattisgarh, however, was covered by the country's media in a low voice, shamefully. Politicians have also stopped mourning this 'tragic' incident.

Almost no one in India is interested in finding out why the 'Maoist problem' is not coming to an end, despite years of searching and eliminating armed protesters in impoverished areas with huge military capabilities. 

Because the result of such an investigation is very embarrassing for India which is relatively ahead economically. Politicians do not want to take that responsibility.

A huge disaster at the hands of a small guerrilla group

The tradition of so-called Maoist attacks in Maharashtra, Telangana and the Chhattisgarh region bordering Andhra Pradesh is quite old. The latest attack took place on April 3 in the southernmost district of Sukma.

 Many state forces have been involved in joint operations. About 1,600 state troops were involved in the operation. 

It is indeed a military puzzle to have such a large force crash into the hands of a relatively small guerrilla group with ordinary armed weak bodies.

Not only were 22 soldiers killed, but at least twice as many were wounded. Some have even been abducted. The casualties of the Maoists are not less. 

A significant number of arms of the government were also lost in this operation. For good reason, Home Minister Amit Shah left the election campaign in Assam and fled to Chhattisgarh. 

An autopsy is currently underway on the defeat of Indian forces in the 'conflict' on April 3.

The causes behind the increase of damage in March-April

State forces regularly kill Maoists in different parts of India. Little is known about the details of these ruthless campaigns.

 No one is interested in investigating who are the Maoists and who are the agitated poor people of the jungle area. 

These do not go with nationalism as a product now. However, when a large number of state soldiers died, there was an uproar. 

The day before the April 3 incident, five commandos were killed in a mine blast in the neighbouring Narayanpur district. 

These media outlets did not cover the news due to the festive mode of the election in five states of the country. As if these soldiers died on the border of Pakistan or China, it would be an outcry.

The Maoists rarely come out of their bases and carry out operations. The type of their ambush is mostly defensive and to discourage state forces from entering jungle areas.

There have been seven incidents in India so far in which more than 15 soldiers have been killed by the Maoists in a single ambush. In 2010, seventy-six soldiers were killed in a three-hour clash. 

That happened in Chhattisgarh too and in April. Before the monsoon in March-April, the Indian forces launched a major operation in the Bastar region and the number of casualties increased.

The Maoists rarely come out of their bases and carry out operations. The type of their ambush is mostly defensive and to discourage state forces from entering jungle areas.

 Their defensive ambush has also declined in recent years. This is mainly due to the extensive campaigns of various state agencies.

 In recent years, India has been increasing military investment to curb political and armed activities in poor areas. 

The fact that these investments and campaigns are not usually discussed is that the so-called Maoists and the soldiers who have come to fight against them are both parts of the same poor population.

The spread of Maoism is not a military problem

The tradition of armed transformational politics in India is very old. The Naxalbari movement in West Bengal gave it special impetus. 

Even though the fire of 54 years ago has stopped now, this style of politics is continuing in many areas including Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Andhra. 

Especially in various indigenous poor areas. After West Bengal, until 1970, the influence of this politics was on Andhra Pradesh.

 Then its heat was transferred across the Godagari river in Andhra to the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.

In addition to these regional pockets, Maoist politics has ideological influence in the form of unarmed intellectuals among the urban middle class. 

The influence of such ideology can be seen among the youth at the university level. Which is commonly referred to as 'Urban Maoism' by the Indian media. 

But there is also the extreme misuse of the word 'urban Maoism'. There are also countless examples of those who speak out against social inequality.

Politicians want to portray the Maoist problem as a military problem. But it is rooted in poverty and the corporate aggression to seize mineral and natural resources in tribal areas. 

Constitutional democratic politics is missing in most of the affected areas. Mainstream politicians are so preoccupied with money-mixing politics that their attention to the dangers of the lower strata of society is negligible. 

That emptiness draws the poor people to armed activities. The more people are protesting, the more militarily they are being answered by increasing the number of soldiers in those areas and spreading the intelligence network. 

Despite all this, many militarily talented young people from the agrarian society and the tribals have been advancing their protest armed activities in some areas for some time. 

The name of such a young man is now the number one target of the Indian military. He is Mandvi Hidma. Instead of looking for socio-economic reasons for the April 3 disaster in Chhattisgarh, everyone is targeting this Madvi Hidma at the moment.

The bounty of Rs 45 lakh on Hidma is not the end of this armed activity

Reports of the April 3 attack in various newspapers put the maximum number of ambushing Maoists at 200 to 400.  

The media is blaming Madvi Hidma for their "success" against the opposition which is at least 6-7 times larger in number

Made Hidma is a battalion commander in the Dandakaranya area of ​​the Maoist Communist Party. That being said, this middle-aged man is very skilled in military tactics.

 In March 2016, 25 Indian soldiers were killed in Sukma. Hilma's skill is now being talked about for that ambush too. The only thing that works is the effect of the movie in finding a 'villain' named Hidma. 

The fact is the government does not have a definite picture of Hidma. However, it is believed that if Hidma is caught, the backbone of the real Maoists will be bent. Rs 45 lakh has been earmarked for this search episode. 

But in reality, the Maoist problem in Chhattisgarh, Telangana or Andhra Pradesh is not the product of a single individual's thrilling revolution. It's the main addition with a serious socio-economic condition.

 These old-fashioned guns don't think they're going to defeat the Indian Army. This is the only option they have in front of them to protect their livelihood and self-esteem.

A huge amount of people's tax money is being spent to suppress Maoism

India has taken the suppression of Maoism as a war. This war has been going on for a long time. Roads are being built on a large scale in the affected areas for the operation of the state forces.

 The number of camps is also increasing. But the latest bloodshed in Chhattisgarh signals a resurgence of Maoist armed conflict in India. For the last 2-3 years, the military authorities have been indicating that they have almost suppressed the armed activities of the poor.

 As witnesses, they presented the data. While 267 soldiers were killed by the Maoists in 2010, the number was 44 in 2020. In the meantime, many Maoists have been seen in the media to 'surrender'.

The social workers of Chhattisgarh have a different opinion in answering the question as to why there is such a huge 'surrender' and so much armed activity. 

Surrender ceremonies are often organized to bring in local civilians to show administrative success. Some were unnecessarily put on the 'suspicious' list and asked to surrender.

 They then had to wear a 'return home' T-shirt written in the indigenous language. Some money is also given. 

Such a shirt made at the initiative of the administration or such surrender has nothing to do with real armed activity.

Many who surrendered in Bastar were never involved in armed activities. As a result, there is no opportunity to increase or decrease their armed activities with money. 

As soon as they surrendered, they began to be viewed with suspicion locally. It leads to mutual distrust in the old society. This is how the administration wants to control those villages.

 Some surrendered helplessly and acted as informers for the police. Some people choose this life to survive the torture. Another such group was once formed to support the secret police force called 'Salwa Judum'. 

Although Salwa Judum means 'peace march', it only involved the bloodshed of the indigenous people.

To deal with the socio-economic problems in a military manner, there is a terrible complication in the life of the marginalized poor areas. The innumerable expenses are the huge amount of people's taxes.

Meanwhile, the 'Sukma disaster' makes it clear that the situation is under control, the government's long-standing claim is not entirely true. 

The Maoists are quite strong in military tactics and metho support. After the April 3 incident, they again called for a discussion on the land, water and livelihood issues of the forest people. 

They are also calling for an end to military operations in those areas before such talks. The statement indicated that the April 3 incident was not offensive by the Maoists.

However, the government is not stopping the campaign for now. India sees the armed opposition as its "major security threat". 

After the Sukma disaster, the Indian government is going to launch a new campaign in Chhattisgarh. 

A large area of ​​Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra is currently under siege to find Hidma. Until the monsoon season, there will be a lot of misery for the local civilians.

Then maybe the Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh will come down temporarily. But as long as the basic socio-economic solution to the problem is not given, such armed activities of the poor people will continue in various forms.

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