Is policing a solution to the internal problems like naxalism??

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Friend, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Friend

    Friend Regular Member

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    Defending this huge democracy goes long way than defending just it borders. I would like to start a thread hoping to get some opinions regarding 'curbing' of the internal problems like naxalism, ULFA, etc.

    Are these problems here to stay? Will India ever able to solve the issues?

    Can strong policing curb these mutiny?

    Should RA&W start focussing on these disbanding these outfits?

    Should the Indian government dialogue with them? To what extent?

    Also if possible please elaborate the situations and opinions in your region
     
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  3. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Naxalism is a symptom which has been caused by the deep rooted rot in our society in the form of social injustice which has also transcended into an extremely corrupt polity and bureaucracy or better known as the system which gets worked by and for the interests of the elites of our country. Today India constitutes mainly of 200-300million people who get better addressed to as the middle class who either live in the urban centers or in the better off rural centers, beyond that the real rot starts from where bharat starts and a huge 800-900million people form a part of this structure also referred to as the marginalized section from where the social ills have taken a mammoth shape by the name of naxalism, but only instigated by a handful people, and the larger appeal remains rather limited for now.

    This huge majority of people have little or no food to eat, and as per world standards they are under nourished with majority of them termed as malnourished to extreme proportions with almost all facing abject poverty with no or extremely scarce access to basic human needs like health, sanitation, water, justice, shelter, education, etc and remain a section of society which is exploited on every nook and corner. The government for them is as good as non existent for there is hardly anyone ready to listen to their grievances let alone those being addressed to. A simple word like human rights is a unheard concept which is routinely violated, and they hardly anyone raise their voice with almost everyone dieing a silent death.

    A few who do, have either aliened themselves to a violent communist ideology of the far left which has today taken to thug proportions by their thug practices of further exploiting these poor that you and I know as naxals or have sought shelter under various NGOs and this part of the voice gets heard through the so-called intellectuals but behind them also hide the naxals in certain cases.

    The functioning of police constitutes a huge part of the whole problem and it is because of the brutality of this force that a pholan devi gets born, who at least had the will in her to take on the state machinery, a machinery which was supposed to protect her but ended up exploiting and raping her not once but on numerous occasions, how she survived that ordeal only she knew best, but that is not a story of just one pholan devi but in some form or the other with a vast majority of our populace.

    Police reforms, is just one facet to the whole problem which needs to be taken on an urgent basis but for now the central government and the state governments have taken little to no interest for if done then that will make the force independent and not prone to the dictates of our political class and that clashes with the attempt on the part of politicians to exert power through the police and so the reform remains in a limbo. Land grab is a routine in the name of development with no or little compensation with owners who then become migrants facing uncertain futures staring their face, so what is required is a just compensation policy that gets adhered to very strictly. People have no land to cultivate in a country where huge pieces of land remain unused, which can be understood from the fact that in India a near 70% of the population inhabits 30% of the land and the rest 30% in 70% but without any land ownership, and then to cultivate that land, where is the water, so there in no one solution to this massive problem but what needs to be done is social engineering across the board at a massive scale or our dream of making it right to the top in the coming years will just remain a dream with our weaknesses being exploited by the outsiders.

    Having given a picture of the things as they stand today, it is hearting to see that we today have initiated a lot of social security programs which have to an extent scored a success but still remain mired by large scale corruption which can be gauged from a report that sites for every rupee spent a near 50paise gets siphoned off (mind you this has improved for the better from the days of rajiv Gandhi who himself was quoted as saying during this tenure that the effective money used was as less as 20paise of each rupee invested) and this is an evil which hurts us the most. Programs like NREGA, rural housing, right to information, right to education, etc have and will help but then we don’t need to get selective in our approach and come up with half hearted measures as is happening in the right to food act where the government has dropped the supreme court ruling of providing 35kgs of either rice or wheat per month for the families living below poverty line to a mere 25kgs, or by distributing this food to only 28% of the populace when a huge 80% go under nourished.

    The real sad thing is that for most in India, politics is nothing more than a business to enhance their personal gains. The ray of hope here is PC, one of those very rare honest people in our polity. He is determined to root out naxalism and is not shying away from using force which is a must and the best part, this person has the will to walk the talk and being a reasonable person that he is, he will surely not miss out on the social engineering aspect for he knows if that is not done then after a brief lull this menace will come back to haunt us again.
     
  4. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    TR, great analysis. Few nitpicks:

    Naxalism is not simply a symptom of deeper rot but complication of it. Naxalism when it was born was definitely triggered directly due to the poor living conditions of the masses, but over the years it has turned itself into a menace. And Naxals today take extort money from business ventures, ally with local politicians and run a parallel govt which is equally corrupt(if not more) as our offical system. We need to differentiate between the social problems and the naxal menace. Naxal menace of today will not vanish even if we solve our social problems to a great extent, of course the support from the masses will wane away. Naxals today, simply use the excuse of poverty to fight the Indian state and without doubt they are supported by foreign hands. It was hinted by none other than our Home Minister Chidamabaram. Naxals are not robinhoods anymore. They are using the poverty as an excuse to spread their propaganda. These maoists/naxals are today, are the first obstacle in the path to development of the tribals/poor whose cause they claim to be fighting for. Any infrastructure development programme started by the Indian state in these areas are targetted by these naxals because they fear that if the poor/tribals do develop their support will wane away.

    The Govt needs a two-pronged approach of violent retribution to maoists/naxals/their sympathisers and development/infrastucture building/land reforms for the poor and needy. But development is not possible without neutralising the maoists, because they have become one of the biggest hurdles to this path. Also the development, will not defeat the maoists, they will have to be defeated with arms and laws.

    Lastly, blaming the police is not completely justified. The cops have been fighting armed terrorists. These terrorists have mass support due to their false propaganda and political support at grass root levels. The cops, naturally, are caught in between and do the best that they can. Cops need a better training, better equipment and greater support from the political level. The masses are already alienating from the maoists, so that is another good thing. The police reforms are certainly important, but police reforms without modernasing the institution, so that it can take on the modern menace of terrorism/naxalism, is not going to be beneficial in the long run.


    Here are a few interesting news bit about the maoists:

    Koda gave Maoists 30% of the Loot

    Maoists annually extort Rs.2,000 crore in India

    Maoists’ Attacks on Infrastructure

    The 'Business' of Maoist Movement in India

    A video Link:

    Revealed: Maoists extort crores to fund the cause
     
  5. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Johnee,

    i agree with you on most accounts but my main intent was to look at the rot which makes a thing like naxalism happen in the first place and why it has a strong following. development by way of social engineering with local solutions to local problems and use of force are the only two ways of out doing it, but if we use only force and not address the large issue of social injustice then that could result in this movement growing huge, think of it, today the country is visibly shaken when a handful of them, a few thousand, have taken the country to ransom, so what will the country do if this were to grow to a few lacks, and in that case let alone the marginalized section even the lower ranks of the state administration will join the ranks and this could become a huge-huge headache to counter and probably an incurable menace.

    what i don’t agree with you is on the police being portrayed as some sort of saints when they are not thanks to political nexus that exists, and in these infested areas even when such movements had not taken place, they were extremely brutal with little to no regards for basic human values, and it is a fact it is them who mostly violate such rights when they should have been the guardians in the first place. we need a serious tonic of police reforms or else it wont take long to change the fabric of our country, and that would certainly not be for the good, just as you said these naxals are more barbaric, and that would lead to an anarchic rule.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Maoist fight for their ideology.They just use poor gullible people to promote their own agenda and ideology which is to replace Indian democratic ideologue h their own autocratic communist Maoism.If that is not the case then maoist wont be blowing away schools hospitals and railway line which were made for the people itself.Maoist can be classified as terrorists as jehadist are.both want to impose their ideology through violence.And regarding this thread" is policing a solution to the internal problems like naxalism??"...in some part yes better policing necessary but then for the other part govt. has to address the root cause the.... poverty,so that gullible people dont fall prey to any autocratic ideology.As said carrots and sticks go together.
     
  7. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    TR,
    with regard to your first para, I understand and agree with your POV completely. I am from AP, and there was once a time, when the maoists were at their peak. But with strong political leadership and good police techniques(which included winning the support of the local tribals/poor by being sympathetic towards them) as given tremendous results. Maoists were utterly defeated in AP and their influence neutralised quickly.

    The same model will have to be applied at the national level as well. But once the maoists are cleared of an area, it needs to be followed up with development/infrastructure/land reforms. Also, I am more optimistic with regard to this situation. I think Naxals' support base is waning, earlier they were perceived as the champions of the poor by majority of the country(including the middle classes). That perception is changing.

    I'll reply to the second para later. Its time for another round of load shedding at our place.... :)
     
  8. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    aptly put, naxals are our taliban, but in case of pakistan the civil society have taken a stand against them but in our case they are shielded by the same civil society.
     
  9. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    Agreed. I am not contesting the need for police reforms. But also look at a normal police and his envirnoment. A policeman is also a human being and is prone to the pulls and pressures. So, the questions that we need to ask is, " are the honest, hard-working and brave police officers rewarded for their work?","are the corrupt, insincere, inefficient and lethargic officers punished?", " does our system give immunity to police officers from the pressures from political class, so that the officers can do their job without fear of backlash from politicians?"

    Police in our system are used as a tool by our politicians. The officers are trasffered at will and promoted or demoted at will. Obviously, this system produces bad cops. Instead, we must have a fair, transparent and powerful system that helps the good cops in performing their jobs and punishing the bad cops. At the same time, the training, equipment and the political support would be needed by the police to fight lots of law and order problems in India including Naxalism. Police reforms must include all these issues. Otherwise, it would not work.

    Police reforms must also see to it that the public are protected from the cops who abuse their power. Thus, the reforms must be aimed at two objectives:
    1)Helping Police fight the criminals better regardless of the criminal's background or supporters(including politicians).
    2)Helping the Public from being abused by the bad cops.
     
  10. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    Johnee,

    Completely agree with you there and you have raised some very valid questions to which there is just one answer and that is NO!

    And it all boils down to the political nexus that the police force is confronted with, but even after that there remain certain honest policemen but then rather than being appreciated for the good they have done, they get punishment postings, and this nexus is very difficult to break because law and order being a state subject that will require a political will at a large section of polity and that is very difficult to come by and even if they do take the initiative, I don’t see the reforms moving beyond certain half baked measures for namesake.

    Mate, can you share with us as to how was the success scored by AP in the fight against the naxals. Please try and cover all the aspects. Thanks.
     
  11. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    TR,

    Agree with you. I always think that every thing in India finally boils down to the drawbacks of politicians/political system. That needs to be corrected. The first step to correcting it would be Electoral reforms and then political reforms. Then, judicial and police reforms will follow. But instead a reverse process is being initiated, which of course is no surprise because politicians will try to hold on to this system, as long as they can.


    TR, I think the subject of AP's success over naxals/maoists is vast and complex. I am not sure I am competent enough to deal with it, also it needs a considerable time to compile....

    So, I will only enumerate certain salient features(as I have observed):

    1)Political leadership at the highest level being interested in the neutralising of the naxals. CBN(Chandra Babu Naidu) was keenly interested in eliminating the naxals from AP and therefore extended his support to the efforts to neutralise the maoists by the police. Then YSR regime after a brief 'tryst with peace overtures' also followed a similar approach.

    2)Police formed dedicated Squad to deal with the maoists. They were called Greyhounds. Many locals were incorporated into the police to deal with the naxals. Locals were also used as spies. Thus, Police won the sympathy of masses and weaned away the support base of Naxals. Also, by using the same locals against the naxals by incorporating them into the policing proved very effective.

    3)Naxal supporters were also hunted down by the CBN and to a lesser degree by the YSR. During CBN regime, Naxal supporters went underground and could not do much to spread their propaganda.

    4)Naxals' image of being a robinhoods was tarnished. The middle-class and media, largely did not sympathise with maoists.

    These factors chiefly led to the loss of Naxals in AP. IMHO, Naxals are not as good a fighting force as they are touted to be. They have been winning and expanding chiefly because of the systemic problems in India rather than anything else. Once the police, politicians and public got their act together, the naxals were quickly and effectively marginalised. And the surprising thing was that it merely took 4-5yrs. AP was once considered to be one of the major victims of Naxal Menace requiring a long drawn out battle. All the top leadership of the maoists are from AP, that shows how much hold the maoists had in AP and how important AP was to them. Yet, it took very little time to neutralise them.

    That gives me hope that if a state like AP which was heavily infested with maoists, then this model can definitely be implemented nationwide in all the naxal infested states. But the first thing needed would be the political will at the national and state level. For so many years, political will at the national level was lacking. Finally, the political leadership has finally decided to take on the naxals. Now, they should force the state level politicians to cooperate. That would be the first step.

    The next step would be to create dedicated police teams to deal exclusively with Naxals which are trained and equipped to deal with them. Perhaps, they could be given training by the officers of Greyhounds in the tactics used against the Maoists in the AP. Also, the locals need to be given jobs in the police and incorporated into fighting the naxals. The locals know the places better and would give a tough fight to the naxals in their home turf.

    Lastly, the naxal sympathisers need to be pursued legally. Their propaganda cannot be tolerated because they are directly supporting those whose ultimate aim is to throw out Indian State. This must not be tolerated. The naxals depend on these influential sympathisers to get them out of sticky situations. The 'offer for talks' is generally a very successful ploy in that direction. These must be defeated by the Govt by simply going after the sympathisers and giving a message out that the naxal propaganda will not be tolerated.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  12. Friend

    Friend Regular Member

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    TR and johnee,

    I must say both of you have done a wonderful discussion and helped to justify the thread. This has surely given us a lot of food for thought. Thank you for that.

    "Helping Police fight the criminals better regardless of the criminal's background or supporters(including politicians)."

    Johnee, how do you propose to do that, do you mean that police should be centralized, like the armed forces or something else? But, dont you think that would not be successful as the central governance would be difficult and police needs to accomodate with the locality.

    Next, Johnee, you speak about 'bad cops'. I was really wondering how would you get rid of them? Bad cops are the blend of poor pay conditions of the police and the 'immorality'. Improving the pay conditions might work out for the cops down the ladder. But those up in the ladder, for them the problem is 'immorality'.

    Lets plunge deep into the core of the problems and come up with something good.
     
  13. Friend

    Friend Regular Member

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    Dear ajtr,

    You are absolutely true about use of the "poor gullible people" by the Maoists. But, sadly, classifying them as terrorists will not solve the issue. One has every right to justify or oppose an ideology. The problem is that if a fraction of people in the society do feel cofortable to follow that ideology there is surely some problem with the system.

    I dont think that maoists are a bunch of donkeys whom you can deal with carrots and sticks. We should treat them as fellow men who are victims of the tussle between Democratic and Communist godmen.
     

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