Maoist menace in West Bengal and the US Policy.
In the last 15 years, the Maoists operating in backward districts of West Bengal, namely Bankura, West Midnapore and Purulia had attacked the policies of the ruling Left Front Government in West Bengal. In 2010 they showed protests against US President Barack Obama’s India visit.
They called 24 hours bandh in West Midnapore on 7th November, 2010. The bandh was successful in Salboni, Jhargram and Goaltore of West Midnapore District, the Khatra Sub-division of Bankura district and the Bandwan and Balrampur sub-divisions of Purulia district. CPI (M) party members Rashbehari Mahato, Sheikh Wahad Ali, Sandhya Rani Mahato were killed by the Maoists.
Now as far as the hostility of the Maoists against the West Bengal Government is concerned, the reasons are known. All the three districts Purulia, West Midnapore and Bankura are very backward. Agriculturally these districts are no match to Bankura, Birbhum, Nadia, etc., which are fertile and the farmers earn from good produce. All these districts are underdeveloped in respect of industrial growth as well. So employment level is also very low. Poor drinking water, backward roads, lack of amenities had made the rural people and hilly tribes in these regions hostile.
As far as protests against President Obama are concerned, the major allegation is for the reason of not helping India against terrorist attacks from Pakistan and other neighboring countries. They also feel that USA wants an enemy and aggression to secure its own interest. After war against Iraq and Afghanistan, US now consider Iran as its enemy.
They also allege the following. India is supposed to fulfill four essential conditions. Firstly, India should join the NPT. Secondly India should help USA in upholding Human Rights around the world. Thirdly India should help US in promoting democracy all across the world. Fourthly India should cooperate with USA to fight against terrorist movements across the world.
There were other allegations like US failing to provide justice to victims of Bhopal Gas Tragedy. Also US want India to open up the markets in the education sector, retail sector and defense sector.
As far as the Maoists are concerned they are not concerned about the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Under that treaty India along with Pakistan and Israel should unilaterally disarm and join the treaty as Non-nuclear Weapon States (NNWS).
But they are concerned about India cooperating with USA in upholding human rights all across the world. Maoists allege that Americans never respected the human rights of innocent Iraqis, Afghans, etc. So protecting human rights is a sign of hypocrisy in India.
But the Indian Central Government and State Governments can get moral support and monetary support from USA to combat Maoism within the country. In state of West Bengal, combined forces are still operating in the troubled districts having high Maoist concentration. So Central Government’s stand in rationalizing its policy with USA’s aid can always go against the interests of Maoists.
If USA helps and the effort of the combined forces help in reducing down Maoist movements in different parts of the country including West Bengal, it will be a blessing for the people. The native people of the troubled districts of West Bengal and naxal-dominated regions of the country are now getting fed up.
It did not get sorted out by dialogues, so domination by force is the only solution. US can help in training Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to face guerilla warfare in the forest areas and tribal areas in India. Similarly US Air Force can help Indian paramilitary and police forces in developing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. (AEVs).
US had a diverse experience of guerilla welfare in Afghanistan, so Indian CRPF and police forces can get trained to face the Maoist oppression in the related areas.
In conclusion it can be said that India can take US aid in combating both terrorism and Maoist movements. It does not matter whether the Maoists stage protests against US President’s visit in India. Indian government can require assistance from US and help the State Governments including West Bengal in combating Maoists.