India was ones considered to be the land of peasants and snake charmers. The picture of India in the minds of the invaders and the Britishers was, a country which is rich in minerals and resources but lacks unity. But today the picture of India has completely changed. India is now one of the largest economies in the world holding 4th position in terms of armed forces. The year 1947 was a bloodshed but after 1947 India didn’t look back. Though there has been political instabilities and lot of internal disturbances still it has grown and has achieved this position, due to a better Constitution, people and economy.
It was the era of the green revolution and India had marked its economic presence in the world by the way of green revolution when in the corners of West Bengals city of Darjeeling an uprising was about to erupt and evolve. On 26th May, 1967 the main uprising of Naxalism happened in a village called Naxalbari in West Bengal. After which it has spread gradually in West Bengal and the neighbouring states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Orissa etc. The main cause of the rise of the Naxal movement was a revolt against the government and the land ceiling acts that were implemented and practiced at that time. The peasants were ignored predominantly by the government which lead to an uprising with armed rebellion during that time. The main ideology of the Naxals was to take over the government and establish their own government in the state because after years of neglect they lost every faith that they used to have on the political system of the country.
The Indian aboriginals, known as Adivasis, live these richly forested lands, which are wanted for development by businesses. The conflict between economic progress and aboriginal land rights continues to fuel the Naxalite’s activities. Their strongest bases are in the poorest areas of India. They are concentrated on the tribal belt such as West Bengal, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh where locals experience forced acquisition of their land for developmental projects. Arundhati Roy, a Naxalite sympathiser said that the tribal forestlands should be called a “Maoist Corridor”. Naxalites usually use the method of guerrilla warfare and attack the central forces and the state police forces, making them their targets and killing many. Naxalism is one of the main concerns of the government and a major bone of contention between the progressive development of the forest areas and backward areas which are the breeding grounds of Naxalism. Naxalism is mostly present in central, and eastern India, though as per the latest statistics it is also present in the areas of North East Maharashtra and is spreading its wings.
NAXALS INVOLVEMENT WITH CIVILIANS AND THEIR EXPANSION INTO URBAN AREAS
The Naxalite movement in India is not a thing that the movement is singly based on the strategies adopted by Naxals. Geography and locations also play a major role in the spread of Naxalism movement and their ideology. As mentioned above settlement plays an important role in the planning processes of Naxals, Naxals choose a location which is dense and a place where they cannot be easily identified. Hence, they mostly choose forests to hide out. But recently the Home Ministry has expressed utmost grief and high level investigation of the matter of Naxalism spreading into urban areas. The Naxals have a good reach out and one of the wings of the Naxals are the front organisations, which provides safe hide outs to the armed Naxals and also facilitate the procurement of arms and ammunitions for the Naxal groups in the cities and urban areas. The front organisations are the facilitators of the Naxal movement, they initiate action on various legal issues to slow down the enforcement management of the state. They are also skilful at dissemination of propaganda and deception to demonize the state and security forces. To fulfil the main motive and to spread the ideology of Naxalism the Naxals engage is ‘socio economic’ investigation. Currently, the Naxals are in a propaganda to change the current strategy and move in to the urban areas of the cities in India, to gain popularity, spread their ideology and to involve new cadres in their group from urban areas. Their strategy involves shifting the focus form the villages and rural areas to the great urban population. The new strategy includes the spread of the Naxal ideology amongst the working population. To achieve such results the Naxals have evolved the strategy to make a strong hold of Naxalism in the surrounding villages’ then move to the urban areas. The rural areas remain the core and the heart of Naxal spread and the rural areas remain a base for the Naxals whereas the urban areas become a secondary importance but a necessity for the Naxals spread of Naxalism.
The urban plan of the Maoist activity is defined in the political and the military strategy of the CPI (Maoist). As per the Maoists:
“..Being the centres of concentration of the industrial proletariat, urban areas play an important part within the political strategy of the new Democratic Revolution”
The Naxals main objective is to fight the security and the defence forces and to bring down the government’s regime as they have lost all the hopes on the government machinery over the past years, hence they are moving into cities to over throw such government, police and administration. The Naxals think that the strength of the security forces of India are in the cities and targeting the cities will automatically destroy the backbone of the government and the armed forces.
The Naxal movement can be analysed using three broad heads. The Naxals have a secondary object to move from the rural to urban areas to get:
- High Support in Urban Areas
- Radicalising Industrial Workers
- Radicalising youth of the country
- High Support in Urban Areas
Settling and carrying out activities from an urban town centre is always effective and fruit full for the humans. People move from rural areas to the urban areas in the search of job prospects and other luxuries, likewise Naxals also move from the rural camps to the urban areas to increase its foot hold there. Cities are a hub of development and industries where the life style is easy and procurement of materials is not a big deal. It’s also easy to procure materials from development of logistics and supplies for the spread of terror. Most of the high end deals of drugs and arms are done in urban cities being it a centre of exchange and a trade route. Hence, cities always fall in the hot spots of the Naxal movements due to the above-mentioned factors.
A city is a planned town and is well administered. A city or a town is the hub of industries and other administration offices which are directly controlled by the state and the government. Hence, if there is an attack on the city then there is a possibility that the state machinery and the administrative bodies are raptured. This is also the main causes of spread of Naxalism in the urban areas.
- Radicalising Industrial Workers
In the recent years there has been a clear indication that the Naxalites are trying to penetrate into the urban cities. Many arrests have been made in the recent past of prominent Naxal leaders in the towns of Surat, Jamshedpur, Asansol, Kolkata, Raipur etc.
There has also been reports indicating that Maoist arrests were done in cities of Haryana like the city of Kurukshetra and Sonepath etc. If we deeply analyse it, we come to shocking conclusion that where ever there has been a presence of Naxalites detected are all industrial hubs and industrial towns. Recently in our national capital Delhi, the Naxalites have infiltrated the Delhi Safai Karamchari Sanghathann. The state of Maharashtra from where India gets most of GDP contribution is also in the eyes of Naxals. The Maoists have encrypted various code names for different towns in Maharashtra to spread their wings in the cities in Maharashtra. Their main motive is to gain a substantive control over the deprived working class of people and use their deprivation and anger as a tool to spread the Naxalism ideology. Their immediate short term objective is to gain a substantive control over the trade unions in the cities and make them pro to the Naxal ideology, which is quiet easy when a working group is fighting against the industrial policies. At that time it will be quiet easy to radicalise them. City is a home of thousands of working people and hosts lot of industries, the Naxals always try to blend with the poor and the working class who are needy by coming in touch with them. This connection leads to radicalism and the working class revolts and create violence in the city.
During the spread operation and while executing a terrorist activity and making plans, Naxals have to be very cautious of the plans they make. A city is entirely different from a village and in a city there persists good law enforcement mechanisms and wings. Strict law enforcement and machinery is one of the bone of contention amongst the Naxal groups hampering their growth and spread because in a city there is a tactical disadvantage than what it is in the rural villages.
- Radicalising the Youth of the Country
The urban Naxalism movement has attracted many children and youth in the Naxal movements. Children and youth are the easy prey for terrorists. The children are not that forward thinkers that they can differentiate between a good and a bad act. The brain and the prefrontal cortex of a child isn’t developed that the child will understand the implications of what he or she is doing. Hence, they, in absence of proper guidance and care fall prey to the hands of the radicals. Their warm blood and teenage helps to bring and have a vigour to fight for the Naxalites. Cities are developed, then rural areas and consists high amount of graduates from schools and colleges. These students are exploited and are radicalised by the Naxal groups making them a bunch of anti-government assemblies. They constantly use the word, ‘kranti’ and ‘sangharsh’ to infuse heroism and courage in the young bloods.
In the IT Capital of India, i.e. Bengaluru where Naxal movements have been noticed too, by the security forces. As per the reports, the Karnataka Communal Harmony Group (KCHG), a group of intellectuals have been accused of a Maoist front in Karnataka and supporting Naxalism. Apparently, the movement in Karnataka is quiet sluggish but comparing the movement intra state between urban Karnataka and rural Karnataka, the Naxal movement in urban Karnataka is quiet high than the rural Karnataka.
Naxalites have been attempting to influence these sections of society covertly through their frontal organizations, by supporting the protests and demonstrations called by them against the ruling establishment. Uttar Pradesh has been a major hub of low wage workers and when there was an uprising in a sanitary factory for the pay hike of the labourers, it is reported that the Naxalites in Uttar Pradesh helped these workers to attain their rights when there was no one to listen to them. Such type of strategy is called intimidation, where the terror groups follow a tactic to intimidate the government and spread a notion that the government is weak and cannot uphold the wants of the people and in that wink they come in close contact with the civilians and radicalise them.
NAXALISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION
In a country, the people are the main assets who hep the country to move forward.
The Naxals had a vision that they will be able to over throw the government and get into power if they organise such terrorist acts. In villages, which is the main source of the Naxals for the recruitment are usually uneducated, has a lack of infrastructure, and lack of per capita income of the area. Hence, the Naxal gangs put money in front of them for a bait. In such situation, people who are given the money, do whatever the boss or the head of the group says. The Naxals have also decided currently to spread across to city and its limits. Cities usually have a good amount of people who are educated, well established and where the per capita income is also very high. There is a good number of English speaking educated Indians. If there is urbanisation in the cities and there is development. Then whom does the Naxalites target in the cities?
The focus of Naxalites in urban areas is to mobilize industrial workers, students, people from the lower strata of society, those who occupy lower positions in the government and private sectors and left leaning intellectuals and academics.
The current movements of the Naxals are towards the cities and are covering the parts and the outskirts of the cities with an intention to make their networks stronger and advances. Presence of Naxalism in cities will attract more of media attention and the attention of people. The Naxalite’s urban strategy, which is free of violence, is different from the strategies they follow in rural areas. However, it seems that in the medium to long run they are interested in replicating the strategies they follow in rural areas in the urban areas. This is evident from the fact that they had carried out a few attacks in the urban towns in Orissa and Bihar. For example, on 15th February 2008 over 400 Naxalites attacked Nayagarh and Daspalla towns in Orissa. 13 policemen and a civilian were killed. They targeted the district armoury, a police station and a police training school. In another incident, on March 2006, over 500 Naxalites attacked the Orissa State Armed Police camp at Udayagiri town in Orissa. Here, three policemen were killed. In this era of globalisation and technological prosperity, media has been a major role evolutions and revolutions. Media as a force multiplier can make a person a celebrity in a flick and can also bring that personality on roads. The perception of media is very high in this country and people think what the media says. Media can paint pictures too and create false assumptions which has a deepening impact in the minds of the people. Likewise, if the Naxalites attack the cities, it will be in a wide scale and that will for sure attract media and multiply the effect of the attack making the group known to the people.
Naxalism in India poses a wide scale threat today and if we do not agree by the terms of the Naxal groups or do not supress their movements, there is a possibility that major parts of the country and major cities will be under the control of the Naxals. Naxals can be a hidden or a sleeping ISIS of tomorrow. We know the power and the strength of the Naxals but we never know when their power multiplies and becomes double that shall pose a serious threat for the sovereignty and national security of India. If we don’t take measures now, we may face serious consequences ahead.
Moreover, if the Naxal activities in the cities spread amongst industrial workers and students, the state will have to implement and run proper sabotage mechanisms to deal with the industrial unrest and industrial movements. When the Naxal movement in the urban areas become strong the state will have to tackle with the urban terrorism. Urbanisation and expansion of towns and cities are a bait to terrorism and Naxalism, the more will be the development the higher infiltration by the Naxals in the cities would be seen in the near future. It is very high time that we put a stop to the urban terrorism by the Naxalites before it is too late for us to react in a proportionate manner.
 P.V. Ramana, ‘Maoist Movement in Delhi: Is the Police Prepared?’ dated May 3, 2010, also available at http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/MaoistsinDelhiIsthePolicePrepared_pvramana_030510.html last accessed on 09th March 2017.
 ‘Naxalites spread in Urban Areas’ dated September 26, also available at http://aninews.in/newsdetail2/story75727/naxals-spread-activities-in-urban-india.html last accessed on 10th March 2017.
 The Naxal Code dated September 4, 2007 also available at https://naxalresistance.wordpress.com/2007/09/04/the-naxal-code/ last accessed on 10th March 2017.
 Chetan Kumar, ‘Maoists lurking in Bangalore’, dated February 26th, 2013 also available at http://www.deccanherald.com/content/315166/maoists-lurking-bangalore.html last accessed on 10th March 2017.
 Abhishek Bhalla and Press Trust of India, ‘Naxal ‘ideologues’ are infiltrating India’s cities using human rights NGOs as ‘front organisations’, claims government’, November 15th 2013, also available at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2508101/Naxalite-ideologues-infiltrating-Indias-cities-using-human-rights-NGOs-organisations-claims-government.html last accessed on 11th March 2017.