Naxalism Rising and Killing Journalists - A critical Analysis - Seeker's Thoughts

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Friday, 2 November 2018

Naxalism Rising and Killing Journalists - A critical Analysis

Naxalism – The Rise - Feudal states and oppression of land workers, and farmers in pre – independence era led to the rise of Naxalism. Even after India got its independent, Naxalism affected – West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra where tribal and workers were oppressed or ignored by government officials and big businesses. 

Since 1930, the insurgent moments grew and became a major threat to democratic structure of the world. 


Killing Journalists

On Oct 30, 2018, a journalist named as Achyutananda Sahu was killed by Maoists along with Policemen. Not only that the Maoists in Chhattisgarh area have issued the warning - that reporters should not travel with policemen in interior regions. 

The Communist Party of India (Maoists) has reportedly taken responsibility for killing journalist as well. 

Reports 

A report released by the Human Rights Law Network in 2018, mentioned about the cases of journalists attacked by both Maoists and Security forces both.
India has consistently ranked low in the World Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders, where India ranked 136th among 180 countries. 
According to the committee to Protect Journalists, 48 journalists were killed in India between 1992 to 2018. 
Geneva Convention 
The need to protect journalists reporting in war time is laid out in Geneva Convention 1949. It is a set of standards for conducting warfare including the treatment of journalists accompanying military forces. 
If Journalists are engaged in professional reporting during armed conflicts, they should be considered civilians and they can not be targeted by military forces. 

The present

The Home Ministry of India in August 2018 claimed that the challenge of the Naxalism in the country is on its last leg.  According to the South Asian Terrorism Portal, 122 Maoists have been killed across the country in the first six months of 2018. This is the highest number in the last eight years. Moist violence has been slowing down in trend.
Some development work taken by the government- Construction of roads, mobile towers, setting of banks, post offices, Kendriya Vidhyala etc. and most significant achievement has been in poverty reduction.
The study published in Brookings Blog says that by 2022 less 3 percent Indian will be poor. And that extreme poverty could be eliminated.

 Is it end of Naxalism?
No, in historical overview, the moment has been very long. There were two occasions when government of India thought that the Naxal moment has been end and disintegrated. “The Operation Speechlechase from 1 July to august 15 1971 followed by the arrest and subsequent death of Charu majumdar. The new group was formed in Andhra Pradesh as a result and spread across other states.
Naxal violence was at peak in 1991. The moment again was hit hard. However, it rose again.
In the third phase, it happened in Dec 2, 2000, and People’s guerilla army was set up even after Naxals have been hit hard, the comeback. So due to these historical events, it is understood that may be today the government holds upper hand, but these Naxals may rise again.
What is wrong?
Since the beginning of Naxal movement, the Naxals were treated as a mere law and order problem and standard repetitive strategy of mounting a massive police response after each Naxal attack.
There has been news in Media like security forces have been burning villages and sexually assaulting children. There has been destruction of schools, hospitals and people in affected areas have no access to clean water etc.
The government’s strategy to curb the violence has not been working because, Naxal hit areas remain deprived of various services.
The few developmental programs such as training and placement of tribal youth and skill development centers are also not able to reduce to spread of Naxalism.
 A way ahead- To being rebels to the negotiation by creating holistic approach may help. Reintegration of them is needed in the society, and socio economic conditions should also improve for them.
Colombia peace deal can be used as a lesion where Colombian government negotiated a peace deal with Revolutionary armed forced of Colombia-People’s Army, and ended almost 5 decade old war.
-          Rural Population's increased participation in rural area can help
-          Social inequality, weak administration remains the primary reason for Naxalism.
-          The discontentment among youth has helped in Naxal Organizations to recruit.
-          The lack of proper electoral representation of the tribal and under privileged people led to Sid enfranchisement of people with government