- Question for UPSC Mains-GS3 on LWE
- Introduction: Define / Origin of LWE
- Conclusion: Appriciate Govt’s Approch!
- Afterthoughts/ Pitfalls / Mistakes
Question for UPSC Mains-GS3 on LWE
Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is showing a downward trend, but still affects many parts of the country. Briefly explain the Government of India’s approach to counter the challenges posed by LWE. (10 marks, 150 words, asked in UPSC Mains-GS3-2018)
वामपंथी उग्रवाद में अधोमुखी प्रवृती दिखाई दे रही है परंतु अभी भी देश के अनेक भाग इससे प्रभावित है। वामपंथी उग्रवाद द्वारा प्रस्तुत चुनौतियों का विरोध करने के लिए भारत सरकार के दृष्टिकोण को संक्षेप में स्पष्ट कीजिए।
Relevance to Syllabus of UPSC GSM3: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
Instructions for Answer Writing Practice
- Just like Cycling and Kungfu, Answer writing can’t be mastered by ‘watching’ but ‘doing’.
- So, first read the LWE topic from any “Internal security book” of your choice from Mcgrawhill or Pearson.
- Then write answer on an unruled A4 sized paper with 1″ inch margin on each side. And compare with points given below.
Introduction: Define / Origin of LWE
- (Define) Left Wing Extremism (LWE) — is the term officially used to describe Maoist insurgency in selected states of Central and Eastern India. OR
- (Origin) The LWE movement has its roots in the Naxalbari area W.Bengal in the late 60s. These Maoists insurgents started running a parallel system of administration in parts of central and Eastern India. They kill civilians, destroy public buildings and extract ransom from businessmen.
- In the recent years, however, LWE movement is showing decline, because of the shift in the approch of the successive Governments:
From the graph it’s evident that Maoist decline started post-2010. So, instead of saying “Modi Government did this and that”, better to use the phrase “Successive Governments initiated xyz”
Body-1: Govt. approch on Security Front
- Government would try to bring the insurgents on negotiation table, and offer ceasefire.
- But the insurgents would misuse the ceasefire to mobilize more weapons and troops.
- Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) would conduct “Area domination exercises”, But when insurgents feel strong presence of CRPF, they would simply vanish, and the moment CRPF retreated, they’d come back in the area.
- Government changed the strategy. Instead of offering ceasefire or conducting area domination exercises, it focused on (surgical) strikes based on hard intelligence.
- As a result, many of the key leaders have been arrested or eliminated, and the armed insurgent camps have been decimated.
- Government’s surrender schemes for Maoists is also dwindling their manpower.
- Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) to construct fortified police stations.
- 2016’s demonetization drive also affected the LWE-funding.
[Although experts divided over the real level of impact, but that’s not the question asked here.]
Further, in 2017, May: Home Ministry launched ‘SAMADHAN’ doctrine. It involves:
- Controlling arms supply to Maoist usiing GPS trackers and Unique Identification number (UID) for Gelatin sticks and explosives manufacturers.
- Each CRPF battalion deployed in the Maoist hotbed is given atleast one UAV.
- More helicopter support for operations, including private helicopter services.
- Joint Task Forces along inter-State boundaries, better inter-state coordination and intelligence sharing.
- Stricter implementation of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to choke funding to LWE groups.
Body-2: Govt approch on Development front
Governance deficit and lack of employment opportunity pushes the youngsters to join LWE movement. Previously, the schemes meant for LWE regions were either fragmented or lacked involvement of the local gram sabha or didnot allow for customization at grasroot level. However, in recent years, there has been change in the approch:
- 2014: Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana for holistic development of the tribal people by targetting their education, employment, healthcare, infrastructure and connectivity.
- 2015: Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act was amended to setup District Mineral Foundation (DMF). Through this fund, all mining districts receive portion of the mining royalties. The money is spend on the development activities decided by the local people. [Then you can blow the pipudi of Bottom-Up, Decentralized approch]
- Civic Action Plan: Each CRPF company given Rs.3 lakh for holding medical camps, sanitation drives, sports meets, distribution of study material to children, minor repairs of school building, road, bridges to build confidence among the locals.
- Media Action Plan: each district given Rs.7 lakh to advertise Government schemes.
- Union Government organizing extensive training and capacity building programs for of the state service officials for implementation of Forest Rights act and PESA Act.
- Additional Central Assistance’ (ACA) for LWE affected districts for creating public infrastructures and services such as school, hospital, road and rail connectivity, mobile connectivity, and electricity network.
- Schemes employment, skill development, ITI construction etc. have special funds earmarked for LWE with Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
Department of Telecom’s Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to improve mobile tower connectivity in LWE areas.This is old scheme
- Union Government implemented the 14th Finance Commission report. Although it removed the special category status (enjoyed by certain LWE-affected states) but, it also increased the revenue distribution to states. As a result, LWE State Governments have more funds at their disposal to carry out tailor-made developmental schemes as per their requirements.
Conclusion: Appriciate Govt’s Approch!
- As a result of the aforementioned initiatives on the security and development fronts, the number of violent incidents from LWE insurgency has declined in the present decade.
- Union Home Ministry has removed many districts from LWE-Affected-List, and the Home minister has aptly pointed out that Maoist insurgency in the country had entered its “last leg”.
Afterthoughts/ Pitfalls / Mistakes
- Above content is 660 words, but you can compress it within 150 words limit. Afterall, you are not required to memorize these years, numbers and exhaustive list of schemes. It’s only for educational purpose.
- Question reads “…but (LWE) still affects many parts of the country.” That doesn’t mean you’ve to give a ‘critical examination’ of why Government policies have FAILED to end the LWE?
- You’re not asked to explain or diagnose why Maoism are present in tribal districts, how they make money, how they carry out violence, how they recruit people etc.
- You’re asked about “Government’s APPROCH” and not “Government’s Initiatives” So, don’t give a long list generic flagship schemes such as MNREGA, DD Gram Jyoti, PM Awas Yojana.
- Not asked to mention Constitutional and legal mechanisms for protection and welfare of the tribals. Those things are already present, the question is “what has government done?” so, you’ve to rephrase accordingly.
- You are asked about “What Government has done?”, not “what should be done in future?”. So don’t give a long list of suggestions either in the body or in the conclusion.
- Quoting too much from 2nd ARC is poor, because while their observations and suggestions are valid but they were submitted mostly in 2008-09, whereas question is about “what has Government done in (present) times.”
- And lastly, you’re not asked to explain how Maoist cadres’ internal infighting, caste, gender & education based divisions also leading to rift in leadership, hence their influence is declining.