Rajkumar Rao’s movie ‘Newton’ has been sent to the Oscars. The issue the movie talks about is Naxalism. How much do we really know about the Maoists?
Post the horrific Sukma attack in Chattisgarh, the acts of the Maoists are growing by the day. When Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister he had said that the Maoist-Naxalite Insurgency was the single biggest threat to the internal security of India.
But do you know who they are and what do they want? Here are ten things that will give you a lot of knowledge:
1. Maoists are followers of Mao Zedong’s ideology. Mao Zedong was a Chinese communist revolutionary and founder of People’s Republic Of China. His Marxist-Leninst theories are collectively called as Maoism. Maoists have a far-left ideology. The term Naxal is derived from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the movement first began.
2. The Maoists belong to Communist Part Of India (Maoist) which was formed after the merger of Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) People’s War (People’s War Group), and the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) in 2004. In 2014, the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Naxalbari merged into the CPI (Maoist).
3. The conflict has it’s roots in the failure of implementation of the 5th and 6th Schedules of the Indian constitution. These schedules dealt with giving autonomy to the tribals to use the land’s resources. The first uprising was in 1967, led by Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal, and Jangal Santhal over land dispute.
4. The aim of the Maoists-Naxalites is to overthrow the government of India by involving common people into violent war. They believe in the use of extreme violence to achieve their goals. They want a people’s government and complete overthrow of the current government. They also claim to be fighting for the rights of the tribals.
5. They believe that the government is run by ‘imperialists’ and follow Mao Zedong’s concept of ‘people’s war’.
6. They are active in the states of in the states of Chattisgharh, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and West Bengal.
7. As per various sources the funding that the Maoists receive comes from extortions of various kinds, abductions and illegal collection of money in areas where the government has no reach, or weak reach. They are also known to resort to opium farming and illegal mining to generate money.
8. As of 2009, the General Secretary of CPI was Muppala Lakshmana Rao, known as ‘Ganapathy’.
9. The armed wing of the Naxalite–Maoists is called the PLGA (Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army) has over 8000 cadres. Not just men but women and children too fight battles with arms.
10. According to the BBC, more than 6,000 people have died during the rebels’ 20-year fight between 1990 and 2010. Al Jazeera put the death toll at more than 10,000 between 1980 and 2011. The conflict has displaced atleast half a lakh people from their lands.
The history of Maoists-Naxalites is long and detailed.
Recently, after the Sukma attack, the government has ordered to target the leaders of these groups and eliminate them to demoralise the Maoists.