As a counselor, it has been my duty to help children understand the principles of a healthy democracy. I did this through role-plays.
Birth of Communism
The Communist Party of India is one of the eight oldest political parties of India. It has its established headquarters in New Delhi.
The party’s initial objective was directed at organizing a movement of militancy for gaining independence of the country.
This aim was against the Congress party’s peaceful agitation.
On 26 December 1925, the party’s first conference was held at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh in which about 500 people attended.
S.V. Ghate was elected the first General Secretary at the meeting. But foreigners helped to form many such Indian communist groups in other parts of the world.
Initially, it was a weak clandestine group that became legalized only in 1942. It gained real momentum after India became independent in 1947,
After independence, it supported the peasants and workers and fought for their rights.
They undertook revolts and strikes to achieve the due respect and stability of these downtrodden groups of society.
Formation of Naxalite Movement
In the cadres of the Communist Party of India, There were two distinct ideologies in place.
One ideology supported Soviet Communism. The second group followed the Chinese Communism preached by Mao Tse Tung.
Ideological differences cropped up between the two factions of communists after the Indo-Chinese war of 1962.
This led to a split in 1964 between the two groups that supported either the Soviets or the Chinese.
The Soviet communist group remained as the CPI. The other group named itself the Communist Party of India- Marxist; CPI-M.
From this latter group, the Naxalite faction was later born.
The Naxalite movement then took its roots in Naxalbari village on 25 May 1967. This movement was inspired by a revolt of the tribal workers.
These workers forcibly took over areas of the tea lands in the Naxalbari area of the Siliguri subdivision of West Bengal.
They attacked under the protection of local CPI-M leaders. This gave a fillip to the confidence of these tribal people.
The three main pioneers who founded this Naxalite movement were Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, and Jungle Santhal.
The three were comrades in arms revolutionaries. These three had become disillusioned with the modes of workings and activities of the CPI-M.
Thus, In 1969 they formed the Communist Party of India- Marxist Leninist; CPI-ML. This is how the Naxalite movement was initiated.
The term Naxalites or Maoists have been given to those tribals, landless, and oppressed laborers who took to a non-violent and later violent uprising against the state.
But this revolt didn’t occur overnight. It was due to years of their sufferings, since the times of British rule.
These people, especially in the Naxalbari village of Bengal, toiled extremely hard on their lands and grew crops. But were neither considered the owners of the lands nor of the produce.
The ultimate crops were snatched away by the landlords through their goons. They were given a pitiable share which wasn’t enough for them to even survive.
They were termed by the erstwhile British landlords, who never lived there for most of the year, as sharecroppers.
Later, before the British left, they sold these lands to the local, rich people who became the new landlords. The earlier trends continued even after independence.
Neither the ruling Congress nor the communist party did anything to improve their lot. They proved to be the truest proteges and disciples of their English masters and trainers.
The local police and administration sided with these rich landlords torturing, raping, and even killing them. All the British policies were followed in toto.
This led to the Naxalbari incident of 1967 and subsequent CPI-ML formation by its three stalwarts, Mazumdar, Sanyal, and Santhal.
The movement, at the start, was for giving the legal rights of all such lands to these peasants. But as time elapsed politicians, students, and mischievous elements entered the fray.
From being a simple agitation it was transformed into a violent, and destructive force aimed at the state in the name of the Chinese, and Russian agrarian labor struggle.
This movement exploded across boundaries to other states and countries into the Naxalite massacres that take place today.
The states and the central government have initiated several measures to ease and minimize this Naxalite menace.
But these steps have neither been in the right direction nor with the true willingness to find actual solutions.
They have adopted what can be said to being lopsided and half-hearted strategies.
They have in reality failed to implement strategies that looked into the political, social, and economic conditions of their lives.
These Naxalite-infested areas are situated in dense forests mostly of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chattishgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Bihar. ·
- These areas are very rich in forest and mineral resources that have been sources of their livelihood since time immemorial.
- But rich contractors and corporate sectors have an eye on these resources.
- These tribals feel cheated and exploited in their terrain. So they attack and seek extortions.
- So to ease Naxal oppression the government has taken a resort to locals to counter them.
- They have used these locals to fight the extremists. But both being tribals, confusion and fear increase for all. Innocent villagers suffer.
- Lack of confidence and trust regarding rehabilitation policies.
- Lack of coordination between center and states
These are some of the glaring lacunae in the government policies that need drastic changes.
In the post-2004, many erstwhile groups were merged into one by the revolutionary communist leaders into the CPI-M.
This was because most of the laborers were concentrated in urban areas. The literate members of the communist parties and the Naxalite supporters were also stationed in the cities.
These laborers could be garnered and roped into the Maoist groups for moral and financial support.
Not to mention the least, all the policies were framed for and against them here. So the urgency to be urbanized was of vital importance to the Naxalites.
The Naxalites have a permanent 14 member core committee. They also stay urban. It helps them monitor information of all the forces movements and anti-insurgency steps to be taken up.
They have informants who supply all related information. Thus these Naxalites can ruthlessly counter the security forces.
The available data reveals that the Naxalites have huge annual outlays. From these amounts sums to the tune of crores are spent on procuring arms and ammunition.
Call To Action
This Naxalite movement that was initiated by the three stalwarts has gone off-track from its original doctrine.
They disapproved of the violent measures that were taken up later and shunned it.
The agitation they had started for the improvement of the peasants and tribals had changed into a well-organized armed struggle.
But the literate class supporting this movement along with the ill-meaning politicians have hijacked the original agenda. They have initiated their agenda.
This is to help them win elections and stay in power and reckoning. In return, they dole out financial rewards and protection to them.
But they don’t heed to their welfare on achieving power. This has to be understood by the tribals and peasants.
These policies have to change for the betterment and improvement of these Maoists ' status and lives.
This can only be done by providing at least these minimum things:
- Provide them proper education and vocational training.
- Giving them a decent living atmosphere and all facilities.
- Protecting their rights to the forest resources and livelihood.
- Providing decent employment in the mining areas.
- Good roads, solar lighting, and protection from goons.
If the concerned state and central governments can’t give them the basics of a good life, then it’s a shame in the name of independence.
It means that the British rulers have gone but left their legitimate political heirs behind to crush and ruin these downtrodden, poor people.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Bharat Sharan
FlourishAnyway from USA on April 10, 2021:
How unfortunate that these poor people fought for Communism. It's a matter of being careful of what you ask for and who you trust. You present interesting information here.