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Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Nov 2018 11:45:20

THE surrender of as many as 62 Naxals in Naraipnpur (Chhattisgarh) marks an important milestone in the journey towards defeat of Naxalism or Maoism in the country. It also signals the success of increasing pressure the Government has been bringing to bear upon the Ultra-Left Extremists (ULE) over the past some time in a systematic manner. Despite the fact that the Naxals also carried out a few successful attacks on security forces here and there, signs are available everywhere that the Naxalite movement is in a rapid reversal mode, so much so that internal security experts now expect a complete defeat of Naxalism in a foreseeable future. 

That the surrender of such a big number of Naxals -- 51 armed ones, and 11 other members of the outlawed outfit -- at the time of Diwali also is a happy coincidence as in Indian parlance this festival means celebration of victory of good over evil, and of a good harvest. The surrender of 62 Naxals, in a way, indicates a good harvest. The 62 Naxals who surrendered before the Police were fed up of senseless violence and a hollow Naxalite ideology as well as a lot of harassment by top Naxal cadres. They also felt happy about the broad-minded Surrender Policy of the Government, as per which they would be able to start a new life of stability and security.

In the past some time, leaders of the Government have been asserting that the Naxals are on the run. A lot of geographical area of the country also has been ticked off by the Government as out of Naxal dominance. It is because of this continued success of the Government and an increasing sense of defeat that the Naxals have effected a change of leadership. A younger leader has taken over the leadership as the septuagenarian Ganapathy has been made to step down.

This change at the helm had been on the cards, but the Naxalite think-tank hastened it in a hope of countering the Government pressure with younger blood.
In the light of this change, some Naxalite retaliation may be expected in some time to come. Yet, experts feel that such a retaliation may not mean much to the ground reality that the Naxalite movement is on a sharp and rapid decline. The Naxal top brass may try to hit back harder, and indulge in social, physical and mental torture of young generations of tribals with a view to forcing them to join the movement. But these are their old tricks that are quite predictable. The Government has not missed the reality that the Naxalite leadership has run out of new ideas. In such a situation, the success of the retaliation may be limited.

One of the best ideas the Naxals had produced was to push Naxalite philosophy in areas of deprived people in urban areas. To some extent, the idea seemed to succeed. But as time wore on, the futility of what came to be described as urban Naxalism also came to fore. In the current social tumult, the chaotic idealism of Naxal movement did not make much impact on urban youth, however deprived they may have been. That is the reason why urban Naxalism, too, seems to have become less effective in the past some time.

The most critical factor to bring about this reversal of Naxalism is the change in political approach. When the country had a Government some of whose leaders sympathised with Naxalites, the movement had demonstrated enough strength. In the past four years, however, things have changed and the Government’s no-nonsense approach to issues of internal security started the decline of Naxalite movement. The past four years saw a slow but sure decline in numbers of political sympathisers of the Naxals. Those who tried a piggy-back ride to power on Naxalite shoulders also learned rather quickly that they were following a dangerous path. Yet, a complete defeat of Naxalism may take some more time. Still, we can see the beginning of the end.