For nearly 45 years, the Naxalites, also known as the “PEOPLE’S WAR GROUP (PWG) have been thriving to become the most successful revolution ever made in Indian history. Our government’s indifference towards the demands has made us pay a lot more than the usual speculation. The PWG have certain demands from the government, which are not entirely absurd. Some are righteous while others are highly outrageous. Here’s a list of the demands made by the PWG and according to the Frontline, the demands have been categorized under 10 different categories. They are as follows:
A. A democratic atmosphere should be created in the State. The government should respect people's right to fight for their democratic demands.
The government should not prevent agitations, peaceful demonstrations and meetings.
• According to me, India is a democratic country, where people have freedom of thoughts. So this demand should be accepted by our government.
Lift the ban on the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) P.W. and other organizations.
• The Communist Party of India is just another political group like any other. Lifting the ban on them is clearly one of the prudent steps. The government cannot simply disband them if they agree to stop the rebellion.
Scrap the system of rewards on workers of P.W., People's Guerilla Army and other mass organizations.
• Like I described before, our govt cannot ignore them completely! This demand should be accepted.
Scrap Grey Hounds, Special Security Forces, and the Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) and withdraw the Central paramilitary forces.
• The Grey Hounds and SIB are specially trained to tackle the Naxalite rebellion. I don’t know, whether it is discreet or not, but if the PWG keep their end of the deal to drop arms, maybe, the government can comply to their request. I don’t think this demand should be fulfilled to assert the safety of civilians.
Release all political prisoners.
• We can’t accept that! Some political prisoners are in fact labeled as “terrorists” and we can’t risk sinisters on the loose.
Scrap the system of giving acceleratory promotions and unofficial incentives to police officers who kill naxalites in fake encounters.
• Were the Naxalites out of their mind while making this demand? The police force takes all the necessary steps to control terrorism, be it internal or external. The govt will never accept such an exorbitant demand, because that would mean the end of vigilance and morals of the govt.
Scrap the informant network in villages. The government should end the practice of winning over P.W. workers and using them as covert agents.
• I think that its fair to accept this demand. The govt cannot meddle in the affairs of the tribal people and use them against their own community. That is a harsh thing to do.
Control `lumpen' gangs such as Green Tigers, Kranti Sena, Palnadu Tigers, Tirumala Tigers and Nayeem Gang.
• It’s very hard for me to believe that Govt is simply wasting the funds in creating private armies to fight the Naxalites. Accepting this demand is a more cautious way of dealing with the problem, as, the PWG can be persuaded to join our side instead of hunting them. Private armies can prove to be a weird complication later on.
Order a judicial probe into all fake encounters and punish the police officers responsible.
• My decision remains stoic towards this and as I have stated earlier – COULDNOT BE ACCEPTED.
Lift all cases registered against workers of mass organizations and other revolutionary parties.
• An arduous decision, perhaps! I don’t think that the government will ever bend to that. The threat seems moderate and it’ll probably take some time for the government to take the righteous decision whether to accept this demand. Thus, I am against the PWG in this criterion.
B. Implement reforms in the agricultural sector.
Implement land reforms. Handover to the occupants the endowment, government, and forest land and lands belonging to landlords already occupied by people.
• I am with the Naxalites on this one, because, I believe that the Zamindari system has caused a ton of problems for the impoverished. The poor should have the right to acclaim their own land and settle peacefully. TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE.
Implement the Land Ceiling Act.
• Land Ceiling act is a highly retrogressive act as it hinders urbanization. This act should never be implemented again, since, our economy is a burgeoning one and it relies mostly upon industrialization. We cannot go back to the Dark Age. COULDNOT BE ACCEPTED.
Complete all pending irrigation projects. Farmers should be given irrigation facilities and supplied adequate power.
• I don’t need to elaborate on this point, do I? The demand speaks for itself and govt cannot be so indifferent about this.
Waive all private loans taken by the farming community to stop suicides by farmers.
• Now, here comes a real one. Farmer suicide is a burning issue today and certainly the government isn’t doing anything to stop it. Waiving private loans is next to impossible, but, the govt can come up with a rural credit plan to stop the farmer suicide issue. HAS TO ACCEPT.
Prepare a permanent and integrated plan for tackling the drought situation.
• Hard to believe that our govt has waited 50 years to decide for this demand!
Scrap corporate agriculture.
• Agribusiness should not be curtailed. Rather than having adverse effects, it has some positive repercussions towards education, research and public policy. Scraping this would mean a huge blow to our economy. CAN’T BE ACCEPTED.
C. Implement policies of industrialisation and other schemes based on local resources in place of the liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation policies being followed now.
Withdraw all World Bank projects and schemes supported by imperialists.
• The govt cannot stop globalization in order to minimize an internal threat! SHOULDNOT BE ACCEPTED.
Stop the retrenchment of workers and the privatisation of public sector enterprises (PSEs)
• Privatisation has always exploited the poor and the underdeveloped, but, it has a major hand in contributing to the annual GDP. Public sectors have proved to be socially acceptable but has been inefficient in the development process. CANNOT BE ACCEPTED.
Protect small- and medium-scale industries from competition by multinational companies (MNCs) and revive cooperative and other PSEs.
• MNCs are the bridges to development and thus accepting this demand will be catastrophic. COULDNOT BE ACCEPTED.
Withdraw user charges on drinking water, education and health services.
• SHOULD BE ACCEPTED. No doubts conceded on this one.
Scrap all agreements with the World Bank, MNCs and other countries.
• I shan’t speak no more. NOT ACCEPTABLE.
D. Recognise the tribal people's rights on forest.
Announce autonomy for the tribal people.
• This seems more of a request than a demand. The tribals have their own way of living and we should let them be. SHOULD BE ACCEPTED.
Implement the "1/70 Act", which provides protection against the alienation of land held by tribal people in scheduled areas to non-tribal people. Stop settling of non-tribal people in areas inhabited by tribal people.
• This is a wise demand and it’s good too. Govt should alienate the forest area and let the tribals live in there. This could be helpful alternatively, as, the tribal people will help conserve the forests.
Initiate steps to develop and support tribal languages.
• We should definitely support the tribal languages and their ethnic culture. Preserving them would be a highly appreciated piece of work.
E. Form a separate Telangana State.
In my honest opinion, formation of a separate state for the Naxalites could prove highly improvident. The Naxalites must learn to live together in an integrated manner. SHOULDNOT BE ACCEPTED.
F. Formulate an integrated plan for the development of backward regions of North Coastal and Rayalasseema areas.
We should not delay to grant this demand. Isn’t this supposed to be one of the goals of the govt, development of backward areas?
G. Punish those who belittle the self-respect of Dalits. Take action against police officers and upper-caste members responsible for attacks on Dalits in Karamchedu, Tsundur, Neerukonda and Vempenta.
It is an awful thing to disrespect any member of any caste, be it the Dalits. But, taking action against the police officers is not a valid option. I think I had made my point earlier. SHOULD NOT BE ACCEPTED.
H. Equal property rights for women.
It’s a never-ending issue. Women have been demeaned and dominated, time after time. Each time this topic occurs, the govt does nothing but make hefty speeches to advocate equal rights for women. When will the govt man up and take some serious measures?
I. Recover money from the affluent who evade taxes.
This is not only the demand of the Naxalites alone, but the whole country itself. SHOULD BE ACCEPTED.
Out of the above demands nearly half of them are acceptable. Isn’t this enough for a start? Some demands seriously needs to be looked upon, whereas others can be sorted out later. It’s not that difficult as it sounds, but, it’s never too late for anything. Or, does our government likes to take inane decisions, like engaging in a war with the Naxalites and annihilating them? It’s time to let go of the stubborn attitude and start taking some holistic approach.
I hope that this article elucidates enough for the understanding of the increasingly menacing situation. You are welcome to differ in the comments section.