Bharatiya Janata Party National Executive Meeting
12-13 June, 2010
Resolution on the expansion of Maoist activities
The geographical spread, the areas of influence of the Maoist activities in India and its intensity have both increased. Today, there is Maoist presence in almost 210 districts of the country. In 90 out of these 210 districts, the presence is effective. Maoism is a militarized movement. The object of the movement is to capture the Indian state through armed struggle. The Maoists believe that power will flow from the barrel of the gun. Their object is to establish an ideological dictatorship in place of a parliamentary democracy. In this ideological dictatorship, there is no place for political freedom, individual freedom, fundamental rights, free press, independent judiciary, free and fair elections or any form of entrepreneurship. The Maoists are already in the process of establishing a guerilla army. They want to take control of certain rural areas. Through these rural areas, they want to eventually encircle the cities. Some of these areas have become secluded islands of Maoist control. People in these areas of control are subjected to extortion. Businessmen, contractors, employees, teachers and farmers – all have to succumb to the extortionism of the Maoists. Cadres are being recruited on payment of a nominal monthly salary. Besides foreign arms, weapons are being seized from the armoury of the government. The Maoists have proclaimed, ‘the enemy’s (government) armoury is our armoury”. Killing and massacre of security forces and innocent civilians is taking place. The Maoist movement thrives on poverty. They have a vested interest in sustaining the poverty in these areas. They prevent any activity of the civilian administration to build road, schools, dispensaries or the Panchayat Bhavans. Even the existing buildings of the state, which are used by the people, are being destroyed. Recent attacks in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are aimed at both security forces and innocents civilians. A large corpus through extortionism is being collected each year. The Maoists have even resorted to opium and poppy cultivation to generate financial resources. Maoism thrives in the name of poverty. Its object is to eliminate democracy.
Maoists exploit poverty and backwardness in several tribal dominated areas of the country. The Maoists indoctrinate the innocent tribals and use them as a shield when they launch attacks against the security forces and the innocent civilians. It is ironical that effort of the civilian administration to enter these areas even for the purposes of the development is resisted by the Maoists.
The core support area of the Maoist movement comes from ideologically trained Maoists. These are not necessarily local inhabitants; a number of them being migrated from states like Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. These ideologically trained and motivated Maoists indoctrinate the next rank of their cadres. They have succeeded in developing a militarized wing of the Maoists, which is their guerilla army. The large mass of people supporting them, in fact, comprises non-ideological and exploited tribal people. There is also an emerging class of urban-based over-ground faces this underground movement, who masquerade as human right activists. They are the public communicators on behalf of the Maoist movement. In fact, these people are bringing a bad name to human rights itself. They rationalize the use of violence by the Maoists.
Today, a distinct Maoist corridor exists from the Nepal border right till Telengana. Their regular activities were pushed by the security forces within a state to operate on the boundaries of the various states.
Many in the political field have adopted as easier course by simply arguing that Maoism is a social reaction against poverty and lack of development. It is true that Maoism flourishes on account of poverty. It is equally true that development in the areas under Maoist control had been made difficult, if not impossible, by the Maoists themselves. They have a vested interest in perpetuating poverty in these secluded areas so that their own political activity can continue to grow. The tactics adopted by the Maoists have made it difficult for India’s intelligence agencies to infiltrate into their areas. The Maoists have avoided the use of electronic equipments for fear of being trapped. Their top leaders get lost in the crowd of people of urban India and remain unnoticed. Those in charge of their military operations operate from rural areas, where civilian control has been gradually eroded.
The UPA-I was a wasted opportunity in the battle against Maoists. The Home Ministry, under UPA-I, failed to realize the enormity of the problem and the possible solutions, and responses to it. The Home Ministry under UPA-II initially showed signs of understanding the extent and enormity of the Maoist problem, but the entire national impetus being built up has been lost on account of the politics of the UPA and the Congress itself. During the UPA-I, the Congress had political adjustments with the Maoists in Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand where electoral conveniences guided it accordingly. When states like Chhattisgarh started innovative programmes to tackle the Maoist menace, the Congress was opposed to it. During the UPA-II there were initial signs of coordination, building up between the states and the Centre. The national mood was strongly in favour of a coordinated strategy against the Maoists. Despite several setbacks, the national Opposition was in a mood to fully stand by the government against indiscriminate Maoist violence. However, differences within the UPA have started crippling the Central government’s approach towards the Maoists
The Congress leaders started openly questioning the approach of the Home Ministry and the government of India. In West Bengal, an UPA ally, the Trinamool Congress, openly started hobnobbing with the Maoists because of electoral and vote bank consideration. Differences in the Cabinet spilled over into the public. The Home Ministry wanted an ‘expanded mandate’ to fight the Maoists. The Cabinet was willing to give only a ‘limited mandate’. The Home Ministry favoured the use of air-power for surveillance; the Defence Minister was not cooperative.
Whereas the Maoists are expanding both their geographical reach and the intensity of their operations, the UPA’s effort is to bog down the fight against Maoists in a meaningless discussion on whether they should be a security response against Maoists or it should only be treated as a socio-economic problem. The Myopic UPA government does not realize that even to execute developmental activities in areas of the Maoist influence, it is extremely important that these secluded areas be taken back from the Maoist control and handed over to the civilian administration. Unless, civilian control is established in these areas, and these areas are freed from weapons, violence and landmines, there can be no meaningful development activities in these areas. It is a three-fold strategy against the Maoists, which is necessary. The militarized operations of the Maoists must be met with coordinated and strong security action. Where it is possible to execute development projects, the same must be done with utmost priority. Where it is not possible to execute development programmes, without dismantling the Maoist control, it is important to first wrest control of these areas and then execute the developmental programmes. There is also a need to carry on an ideological battle against the Maoists, and their movement, whose object is to dismantle and destroy India’s parliamentary democracy.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is of the clear opinion that India cannot afford to lose this battle against the Maoists. We have to strengthen the security situation in areas of Maoist influence. There is a need to coordinate between the Centre and the states. Law and order is a state subject but when law and order problem transgresses into a threat to India’s sovereignty and parliamentary democracy, the central government cannot shrug off its responsibility. The Nation cannot abandon its responsibility by the meaningless debates revolves around the Centre versus state or security versus development. The whole Nation needs to speak in one voice. India is prepared to speak in that one voice. However, there are two voices being heard from within the UPA. The Nation does not know, which of the two voices the Prime Minister supports.