TWO GUNS OF THE NATION- ONE VICTIM IN BETWEEN, THE MAOIST CONFLICT IN THE COUNTRY AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent

-Mahatma Gandhi

Author: Kavya Dave

A B S T R A C T

Violence has always been a part of human civilization. Every part of this world faces violence in one or the other way. Focusing on the condition in India, it has witnessed violence in form of communal riots, ethnic violence, or the left-wing extremism actions a.k.a the Naxalite movement. This blog sheds contextual light on the country’s most debatable topic i.e., the question of internal security of India due to the Naxalbari people. This blog highlights the reasons why these people have turned themselves into the rebel against the nation. Further, this blog also explores the different approaches that the state has taken for solving this issue. The primary topic that has been argued here is about the innocent people who are been victimized in this war type situation between the leftist and the nation. The main issue that has been raised here is regarding the human rights violations that takes birth along with these conflicts. India being the signatory to various Human rights treaty cannot ignore the fact that there are many people in our country who still can’t enjoy their basic rights and the rights that are been conferred to every citizen under the constitution of India. 

KEYWORDS- Naxal conflict in India, Article 21 of the constitution, Article 14 of the constitution, international covenant on Economic, social, and cultural rights, international covenant on civil and political rights.

I N T R O D U C T I O N

The privilege that some people have in their lives is truly a blessing. What they don’t realize is that the same privilege is an unknown subject for a class of people. The same is the scenario in our country. Some citizens sleep peacefully with the sense of security on the other hand, there are some people who fear every second of their life. No one deserves to live under the fear of life. Unfortunately, some Indian citizens are the victims of this insecurity. This is the most debatable yet an unsolved issue in the country. As stated by the former prime minister of India Mr. Manmohan Singh “ Naxalism is the biggest internal security challenge” without controlling this left-wing extremism the country’s growth will always hinder. The concept of Maoism is a communal idea developed by Mao Tse Tung, it is a doctrine that talks about capturing the state power through armed insurgency.  In India, the concept of Maoism has molded itself in form of Naxalism.  In 1967, poor farmers raided the paddy granaries of jotedars at Naxalbari, situated at the tri-junction of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The main motive behind doing so was to ask for equality which was not given to them by the local bodies. They believe that the power to rule shall not lie in the hands of government. It was never imagined that this movement will spread in the country with such a speed. Today, 104 districts in 13 states are being affected by this movement.

Naxals traning camp in Andhra Pradesh. With 2017 marking the 50th anniversary of the Naxalite movement, security forces stationed in the so-called Red Corridor have sounded the alarm that recent attacks on security forces could signal the start of a resurgence of anti-State activity by the armed insurgents(P.Anil kumar)

In picture: Naxal Training camp in Andhra Pradesh. Picture Credits: https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/even-50-years-after-it-began-maoism-is-alive-and-kicking-here-s-why/story-8NmACCKmNKgOxRvicpqhkO.html 

In this blog the term Naxalite is being used interchangeably with the terms like Maoism and left-wing extremism. The author believes that the word extremists shall be used rather than the term terrorists for this class of people. 

  • T H E O R I G I N:

This all started in 1967 when Charu Majmudar’s brainchild concept of Marxist movement in India was implemented. He was the main person behind this idea. He believed that the poor peasants were oppressed by the government. Hence, he decided to start this movement and use violence as a tool. As a result, the peasants raised there bows and arrows against the landowners who were not solving the farmers concerns in Naxalbari. Metaphorically speaking, the bows and arrows were the aggressive and unresolved question marks that these people raised. These people were rebel for the benefit of poor and marginalized tribes of our country. In 2019, Naxalites extended their killing plan. They started to kill the people who were involved in the mining and development project in the areas were the livelihood of the local tribesmen was in question. The motive behind this was to protect the local tribes, but over the period their violence has turned into a mass human rights violation. Today states like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, are witnessing the active yet almost untraceable involvement of Naxalites.

The Naxal movement burst to life 50 years ago on this day. A revolutionary remembers May 24, 1967

The roots of the Naxal movement- From left to right- Kanu Sanyal, Jangal Santhal, Charu Mazumdar. Picture credits: Scroll.in https://scroll.in/article/838441/the-naxal-movement-burst-to-life-50-years-ago-on-this-day-a-revolutionary-remembers-may-24-1967

Fresh development plan for naxal-affected districts

NAXAL AFFECTED AREAS. CREDITS: DOWNTOEARTH https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/fresh-development-plan-for-naxalaffected-districts-34003 

Around 163 security personnel and 463 civilians were killed by the Naxals in the year 2018. The total killings in Stats were:

2004466
2005524
2006521
2007460
2008490
2009591
2010720
2011469
2012301
2013282
2014222
2015168
2016218
2018463
2019150
2020140

This are just the numbers of total civilians that were killed. The stats of security personnel are also equivalent to these numbers. Naxalism has taken over approx. 12,000 lives of the innocent people as well as the security guards of our country.  Isn’t this the biggest threat for our country?

  • T H E  H U M A N  R I G H T  V I O L A T I O N:

The Naxal areas and the violence have disturbed every aspect of human life. These are the areas which are situated in the forest region of the country. There are scheduled tribes and Scheduled cast people living there, in such scenario when the Naxals are against the government, no development can take place in such areas. There is no security of food, water, and livelihood in such parts. Hence, the rights that are being conferred by the constitution are also being violated. Our constitution provides equal protection of law and equality before law. This means that under article 14 every citizen is to be protected and is to be given the benefit of law and order, regardless to their caste, color, sex etc. When the other parts of the country are touching the heights of the development, the area covered by the Naxals are not even aware about these rights. Furthermore, Naxalites don’t allow the children to go to school because that would make them aware about the right things and they may turn their sides. Thus, this violates the right to education of every child in that area. 

In case of India, the people of these parts were victimized of deaths from both the sides. Naxalites were already hindering their lives, but this turned into a nightmare. The act of Salwa Judam a.k.a the cleansing hunt, villagers were forced to take weapons and kill the Naxalites by the opposition party in Chhattisgarh. If they denied this anti-Maoists movement, then they were killed, Women were raped, children were tortured. Thus, this was again a mass human violation by the state power itself. Finally in the case of Nandini Sundar and Ors. Vs. The State of Chhattisgarh, the apex court of the country showed utmost disappointment and sympathy towards the innocent victims who were forced to join this salwa judam activity. The Supreme court put ban on this in the year 2011. When the people were already living in the threat of Naxalites, Salwa Judam was an ass-on to that. In the answer to this, the Naxalites killed the CPRF personnel by bombing and attacking, this resulted into the killings of many Adivasis also. 

  • T H E C O N C L U S I O N

When we talk about this rebellion, there are two sides of the same coin. On one side, Naxalites are hindering the right to education of every child in that area, the rights that are being conferred to the SCs and STs by the constitution, are been hindered by the constructors and developers. The fifth schedule of our constitution confers protection to SCs and STs driven areas, but in past few years there are many MNCs that have started illegal projects in such areas which ultimately questions the livelihood of these people. As they are illiterate, they don’t know the exact forum to approach and they turn towards Naxalites who brain wash them. The results of these are not good. 

Naxalism started with the agenda of fighting for the poor, but it has turned into the concept of capturing the state power and violating the rights of the poor and illiterate. Arundhati Roy highlighted the condition of the schools in the Chhattisgarh, “children ought to be in a school run wild. In the lovely forest villages, the concrete school buildings have either been blown up and lie in a heap, or they’re full of policemen. This means that the development of our nation, our future generation is in question. We are equally responsible for violating their rights. When we talk about a developed country, we mean that a sense of security should be there. Every citizen should feel safe in the hands of the government. The contrary is seen in this case. 

In modern times, the United Nations defined human rights as universal, inalienable, indivisible, independent and interrelated. India, being the signatory of conventions like:  international covenant on Economic, social, and cultural rights, international covenant on civil and political rights, has the responsibility to protect the citizen without any discrimination. Furthermore, when we talk about basic human rights there shall be no obligation instead, there shall be a realization of the responsibility. 

 This blog author concludes that people turn into rebel when they sense insecurity. The survival of Naxalism from 1965- till today is the proof that people do not feel safe in the hands of our governance. Naxalites believe that our governance system is biased. We term Dalits as untouchable and we give privileges as per the caste system. Caste system is the roots of all problems in our country. When such people feel helpless, they devote their life towards violence and turn into rebels. India shall consider this problem as a serious one and not just and law and order problem. Because, violence spreads like fire and burns everything that comes in its way. Co-operation is required between the state and central government to put an end to this. We will be independent in true way when people like Naxalites will surrender themselves. 

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