Millennium Post

Red rebels in the making!

Just before the Yom Kippur war, the Israelis picked up intelligence regarding the movement of Egyptian troops but failed to analyse it correctly, prompting an article in an intelligence digest saying, ‘Eyes have they but they see not’.

Is India too going through such a period regarding the red threat both externally and internally? The news is full of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its internal politics, as also, the food security bill. The Maoist only makes news when a spectacular attack is made which are becoming regular features. The Ladakh stand-off and its repercussion have been tucked under the blanket. The Naga insurgency was actively supported by China Returned Gangs colloquially called CRG and some were rumoured to be as huge as five hundred during the height of the insurgency in old days. All countries fish in troubled waters, thus the longer India delays sorting out the internal red menace the more vulnerable India becomes to external meddling in her internal affairs.  

The nexus between China and Pakistan over large number of issues is known. The world has turned a Nelsons eye to nuclear proliferation and Pakistan has better missiles than India so much for the Missile Technology Control Regime. The collusion over the borders with Pakistan ceding the Indian territory to China is well known. The Chinese have scant respect for the lower riparian states thus the Brahmaputra river is theirs forever.  

The fact that Chinese troops are in Jammu and Kashmir and are inter acting with the ISI which ipso facto implies the militant as well will not be far fetched. The recent Chinese intrusion into Depsang plain has not been clearly explained nor the fact that the area inaccessible clearly, pointing out that this is another ripe fruit waiting to be plucked by the China Pak Army collusion. The method will fructify before our eyes, this campaigning season or else the Chinese would not have taken such a bold step.

The Chinese have string of pearls policy in the oceans, they flood the Indian market with goods, thus the only area that they have left is Maoism which is named after one of their leaders. The insurgency does have external support, it may be indigenous because of local conditions, but the Indian state is extremely vulnerable. and needs to sort out this menace quickly. The actions of the Maoist speak louder than their words, the ghastly act of killing in cold blood Congress leaders, and the bold act of looting a train in Bihar all show footprints not of frustration that the Indian political class wants us to believe but of renewed confidence.

This threat does not respect the Indian state and should not be treated with kid gloves. When such a big threat is eating away at the very essence of the Indian state, it is bound to have support from outside if not now than later. The international linkages of the Maoist need to be properly ascertained. Currently there is evidence of Maoists acquiring arms through Bangladesh, Myanmar and possibly Nepal. Naxal groups have passage between Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as also Bhutan. Naxal groups also use the sea passage to enter Sri Lanka. Those from Central and Eastern India enter Bangladesh and Myanmar via Assam.

The Naxal movement has changed over the years. The level of violence has increased so has the manner of violence. It is no longer confined to agrarian concerns but represents the Dalit and tribal identities and also supports ethnic and regional concerns. It supports the demand for a separate Telangana State in Andhra Pradesh and tries to represent the rights of Dalits in Bihar.

On the other hand the response of the state has been meek and now that the Congress leadership in Chhattisgarh has been wiped out they do not support the BJP in that state. This will only improve the ground situation for the Left Winged Extremist (LWE). The method of tackling LWE is well known. The Indian state has tackled Naga insurgency, Mizoram is successful story, Punjab is an excellent case study, the levels of violence are coming down in J&K. In fact insurgencies with foreign support are more difficult to tackle as the source of funding is outside, yet the Indian state has managed these.
The common features in most of the insurgencies were the Army less Punjab and outside support. One of the reasons that LWE is flourishing is lack of political will and leadership. Though the civilian leadership was clearly missing, the Army gave excellent leadership in all these insurgencies. They broke the back of the anti-national elements in golden temple and KPS Gill gave excellent leadership in Punjab. Thus lower leadership is important and has to be at the scene of action while the political leadership has to be part of the solution and not a problem.

The LWE is flourishing because of certain policies like Salwa Judum polarisation that took place. A clear three stage policy of security of citizen, governance of the area and political activity, translated it means, clear, hold, build, govern, is known. A good police station and viable infrastructure for government machinery is missing. Every one suspects the hand of the politician and the corporate czar to exploit the tribal.

Thus from grass root level to the highest level, leadership will have to rise, there must be political will to solve the problem not political will to exploit the problem for votes.  The security forces must display higher qualities of leadership and middle level of leadership must stay with the troops and take active part and be available for clearing the situation. Only then will the problem be solved at the earliest. The situation needs to be tackled or else more foreign countries may like to fish in troubled waters.    
The author is a retired brigadier

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