Hindu nationalists oppose quota for tribal Christians

Hindu nationalists oppose quota for tribal Christians
Thursday, 29th January 2009. 12:39pm


By: Vishal Arora.

New Delhi: Hindu nationalists in India have launched a campaign to demand removal of affirmative action benefits for those tribal (aborigine) people who have converted to Christianity.
As part of its ‘intellectual’ campaign to rescue tribal ‘purity’ (of culture) from the influence of the Church, the Sangh Parivar (a family of organisations under the leadership of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, India’s most influential Hindu nationalist group) yesterday re-released a book to demand removal of tribal Christians from the Scheduled Tribes category in the Indian Constitution, reported The Hindustan Times.

Communities listed as Scheduled Tribes in the Constitution can avail from the 7.5 per cent seats reserved in government and public sector jobs and educational institutions for them. The tribal communities in India – whose members are originally not Hindus but belong to ethnic faiths – form around nine per cent of India’s population. According to estimates, around 20 per cent of India’s 24-million Christian community is from tribal backgrounds.

A tribal leader from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Karia Munda, re-released the book, ‘Bees Varsh Ki Kaali Raat’ (A Twenty-Year Black Night) that was originally launched in the late 1960s by Kartik Oraon, a politician from the BJP’s archrival party, the Congress. The book argues that “Christian converts walked away with quota benefits meant for tribals in the first 20 years of Independence (in 1947), despite having ‘abandoned’ tribal practices.”

“We are expecting wide political support on our demand, including from the Congress (party). This is a genuine demand of all tribals,” the daily quoted Harsh Chauhan, convenor of Janajati Suraksha Manch (Forum for Protection of Tribals), believed to be a Sangh Parivar outfit, as saying.

“The Manch says Kartik Oraon handed a memorandum signed by 235 Lok Sabha (House of the People) MPs (members of Parliament) to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asking for converts to Christianity and Islam to be removed from the benefits of ST (Scheduled Tribes) quota. The Sangh Parivar is keen to reinstate the demand all over again,” said the daily.

While a tribal person retains the right to the government’s affirmative action after converting to Christianity or Islam, when a Dalit (formerly known as ‘untouchables’) person coverts out of Hinduism to these religions, she or he loses all benefits. Hindu nationalists are also opposing Christians’ demand to allow job reservations for ‘Dalit Christians’ – the matter is pending before the Supreme Court of India.

2 Responses to “Hindu nationalists oppose quota for tribal Christians”

  1. 1 Dr Lalit Latta Joshua January 30, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Who is to Blame for Tribal Backwardness ?

    Dr Lalit Latta Joshua

    India has been home to tribals since time immemorial, and they are naturally considered the original inhabitants of India. Their rich history and culture have provided tribes such as Santhal, Munda, Bhil, Meena, Ho Gond and others a distinct identity at the national and international level. The tribal areas of Rajasthan have been home to many tribes such as Bhil, Meena, Bhil-Meena, Damor and Garasia since ancient times. The tribes of Rajasthan have a history full of splendour and valor, and are thus famous for it. The tribal kings established their own kingdoms across the Rajputana. For instance, Dungaria Bhil had Dungarpur, Bansia (Vishna) Bhil had Banswara. Kotia Bhil had Kota, Jetasi Bhil had Abu as their kingdoms, which now constitute districts along these names in modern Rajasthan. Besides, Maharana Pratap, the great Rajputana warrior, had a Bhil warrior as his commander-in-chief, who is still revered by one and all.

    However, the tribal people have been victim of social, economic and religious discrimination and exploitation notwithstanding their rich history. They have been deprived of education, have been socially looked down upon and rejected, have been made to serve as bonded labour: a fact that has been time and again accepted, officially and unofficially, by politicians, social workers and scholars alike. Jansatta, a Hindi daily, in a news report headlined, “Kendra Anusuchit Jaati-Janjaati ke Liye Vishesh Tantra aur Kanoon Banane ke Paksh Mein” (Centre in Favour of Framing a Special System and Law for Scheduled Castes and Tribes), quoted Union Social Welfare and Empowerment Minister Meera Kumar as saying that more than 16 crore people in India still suffer from the scourge of untouchability. According to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, the scheduled castes and tribes are discriminated against even after six decades of India’s independence and affirmative action is needed to change this. In a similar vein, Union Law Minister Hansraj Bharadwaj has maintained that the victims of excesses are paid only lip service. The law minister further said that the discrimination against scheduled castes and tribes should be stemmed at the grassroots level and unless we as a nation change our thinking, these excesses will continue.

    Usually, non-tribals are held responsible for the backwardness, excesses on and exploitation of tribals. There is some truth to this generalization. But then are the non-tribals only to be blamed for tribal backwardness? Actually, if anybody has to be blamed for tribal backwardness it has to be tribals only. The facts speak for themselves. Take for instance the tribal subplan area of Rajasthan. As the sarpanch, pradhan, district board chairman, all are in most of the cases tribals of this area, so are the MLA, MP and tribal minister who invariably belong to this area. This only shows that they are well represented in governing and legislative bodies, and with a population of about 35 lakh they are not few in numbers. Yet, the common tribal is still struggling to make both ends meet even after 59 years of Independence, and only the tribal politicians, leaders, officials and employees and the youth can be blamed for the backwardness of the tribal society as they together have failed to discharge their responsibility toward their own community. Here, we will explore all this one by one.

    1 Role of Tribal Politicians
    As we all know, tribals face social, economic and religious exploitation and excesses which brings the role of tribal politicians into question because they have failed to tackle these problems by mobilizing the community into a movement. The main reason of this failure on their part is the lack of leadership among the tribal community. In addition, after Independence the community panchayats have been usurped by party politics, which has become a bane of the tribal society. The party politics has divided the tribal society into various party ideologies. As a result, most of the tribal leaders, instead of making the tribal development and upliftment their objective, only fulfill their political ambitions. Most of the tribal leaders work to mobilize crowds for their party rallies. They seldom work toward solving the problems of the community. Consequently, even after a period of 59 years, there has been a lack of programmes and schemes to put a planned and special area like the “Adivasi Upyojana Kshetra” (Tribal Subplan Area) on the path of development for the overall development of the tribal community. Of the 150 most backward districts of the country covered under the Food For Work Programme, three districts of Udaipur, Dungarpur and Banswara fall in Rajasthan where the government has to undertake famine relief every year. This only shows that this area has remained still backward because of which many villages lack even basic amenities like drinking water and electricity, there is a lack of irrigation facilities, transport and communication facilities. The tribals of these areas may be found wandering in states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi to make ends meet. Most of the tribals are unable to benefit from government and non-government run employment schemes for the lack of information and rampant corruption.

    When some tribal politicians, rising above party politics, dare raise the issues concerning the development of tribals, they are accused of promoting casteism, and their party concerned retaliates by downsizing their political stature and putting checks on them. The threat of denial of tickets for the next elections is the most potent one that makes the tribal leaders helpless. Furthermore, there is no dearth of talented people among tribals, but they are being divided gradually along party lines and social groupings, and they are engaged in pulling down each other and fulfilling their political ambitions. This has only harmed the interests of the tribal society. It has been observed that the tribal leaders from southern Rajasthan have little grip over in the government administration. Lack of education, no influential positions in political parties, lack of awareness about constitutional provisions and rights, lack of information on development programmes and procedures of government departments are some of the reasons for this. The tribal leaders are worried only about their own future and work as yes man of their political masters, to the detriment of the larger interests of the tribal society.

    2. Role of Tribal Officials and Employees
    Tribals living in Rajasthan’s Adivasi Upyojana Area have very low representation in government administration in comparison to non-tribals. They have little representation in Rajasthan administrative services. For instance, out of 600 recruitments so far done for tribals in state RAS and RTS, only 15—that is 2.5 percent were recruited from southern Rajasthan, and only 3 tribals have made it to Rajasthan administrative services. The tribals of this region have never made it to the Indian Administrative Services even after 59 years of Independence. In other words, there are only a handful of tribal officials and employees from this region. And most among these work under pressure and fear, and they never participate in various activities conducted for the prevention of excesses and exploitation perpetrated on tribal society. Keeping in mind that they have raise their children, they think they would work for their community after they retire from job. This is how the tribal officials and employees have failed in discharging their duty toward their society. But when they smell an opportunity to become MLA and MP, they are seen running around for tickets, in other words, they want to become politicians but not social workers.

    These officials and employees have little interaction with their community members. Most of them have become city dwellers, and they never encourage their children to participate in social and religious activities of their community. In other words, they fail to discharge their responsibility toward their community. The tribal officials and employees posted in this area have to face immense pressure from their political masters and have to work under fear as they are transferred by the politicians to serve their party interests and personal ambitions. This fear keeps them from participating in social development activities. They are thus unable to bring awareness among their fellow tribesmen and set an example before the youth. They only bid their time while waiting to complete their service period. But when they retire it is too late as they are unable to contribute anything substantial toward their community.

    3. Role of Tribal Youth
    Owing to their poor economic condition, most of the tribals send their children to government schools and hostel. Needless to say the government educational institutions are ill-equipped to provide quality education to their wards. For instance, they don’t have qualified teachers in enough numbers, lack well-equipped science labs particularly in rural areas, have no playing grounds, libraries and reading rooms, lack furniture and classrooms. To top it all, students have to face caste discrimination in these institutions that reflects on the results of practical examinations of tribal students. Aware of all these pitfalls of government schools, when the poor tribal families try to get their children good education through missionary schools, some fanatic elements who have a sway upon the larger society dub this act as proselytization and create social and political pressure to deprive their children of education, although this is unconstitutional. How many tribal politicians, officials and social workers have turned their attention toward such occurrences? How many of them have ever bothered to visit the schools and hostels set up in rural tribal areas and tried to do something about the various problems that tribal students face their? How many students have they ever bothered to help and guide? But people venturing into this kind of endeavour are few, and such efforts still few and far between. Even those poor tribal students who try to overcome all difficulties in their studies focus only on getting a government job, and most of the time their efforts go in vain.

    4. Role of the Common Tribal
    Generally, it can be observed that ordinary tribal’s socio-economic condition is so pathetic that all his concerns and efforts focus on making both ends meet, so much so that he is unable to think of his own development let alone making any effort toward resolving the problems the community is beset with. He simply gives up, and hopes that some leader, some official or holy man will descend and deliver us from our pathetic socio-economic condition. The ordinary tribal has left his fate in the hands of government and God. If somebody perpetrates excesses on them and exploits them, they simply bow down before them. If any tribal youth or leader dare raise his voice against such excesses and exploitation, the ordinary tribals fail to throw their weight behind him, as they are in awe of the socio-economic status of the perpetrator. . And if some youth goes to jail for fighting for the dignity of the tribal community or dies for the cause of the tribals, he becomes a part of statistics as his fellow tribesmen, taking such event as something too ordinary to be remembered, forget such sacrifices after a few days. This is one of the biggest faults that lie with the tribal community itself. The Adivasi Upyojana Kshetra is predominantly tribal, people’s representatives are tribals and there are about 1500 NGO which claim to be working for tribal cause, yet the tribals have to suffer excesses and exploitation even after 59 years of Independence.

    The above analysis draws the attention toward important deficiencies of the tribal community which can be removed by the following suggestions:

    1. Tribal politicians, officials and employees may have taken advantage of reservations to improve the socio-economic status of their families. But most of them seldom discharge their duty toward the less fortunate fellow tribesmen. Such individuals should be entrusted with special responsibility of contributing toward the socio-economic development of their fellowmen living in poor rural tribal areas. They should be involved especially in educational, health and awareness programmes. And if they don’t fulfill their duty toward the community, they should not be allowed to enjoy the benefits of reservation.

    2. Owing to limited resources, the implementation of various schemes designed by the government for the uplift of tribals is an uphill task. As a result of this, the tribals dwelling in poor rural areas are deprived of quality education and health care, thus keeping the tribals backward compared to non-tribals. Various government and non-government studies show that various government schemes meant for the socio-economic development of tribals have failed to reach the intended beneficiaries for lack of adequate staff and resources. The government has now taken an initiative to implement such schemes by involving non-government agencies. But no positive results have emerged from such initiatives. We all know that the missionaries have played a crucial role in providing quality education and health care to the rural poor. It is evident from the socio-economic condition of the tribals of the Northeast, including Assam, Nagaland, Meghalya, Tripura, Manipur, etc., and Jharkhand, which is much better than that of other tribals. The tribals of these areas are contributing their might in a significant way in many countries. It would be advisable to handover tribal development programmes in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to the missionaries, so that the tribal communities of these states also become aware of their human rights and become an equal partners in the socio-economic development along with non-tribals. The no tribal will ever oppose the theory of merit. I also feel that till there is reservation available to them, there abilities will be questioned by the larger society as those who have availed themselves off the benefit of reservation have contributed little significant to the society and the country. It is therefore necessary to make those who are enjoying the fruits of reservation (1) to serve at least for the first five years, after they get a government job, serve in tribal areas and contribute to the welfare and development of the community, (2) adopt a tribal child to raise and educate him and (3) contribute a certain percentage of his earning to development work in tribal areas, such as digging of wells, construction of schools and community centres so that it helps the ordinary tribals lead a life of dignity. And they can say with pride, when time comes, that they are discharging their duty toward their community in return for the benefits of reservation that the government has provided them.

    3. Party politics has pushed the tribal panchayats to the brink of ruin. The traditional tribal panchayats have historically played a crucial role in tribal society. It is therefore necessary to revive and strengthen them, as in their absence it would be difficult for the tribal community to reclaim its pride and rightful place in the society. It is apparent from experience that party politics is not going to resolve the problems that the tribal community is besieged with because had the decisions inspired by party politics been beneficial, the tribals would have never been living in pathetic condition even after 59 years of Independence. If any tribal receives lathis in the movements and rallies, held for tribal dignity and resolution of tribal society’s socio-economic problems, is jailed and takes bullets, such person should be revered by the community. We should raise monuments in the honour of such martyrs of the tribal cause, so that they become a role model and source of inspiration, as is the practice in Jharkhand.

    The community panchayats can also promote community participation in rural development work, so that we don’t have to depend on government alone for our socio-economic development. Every villager should be encouraged to contribute to mobilize resources and remove various deficiencies besetting development work. Villagers should also be encouraged to set up self-help groups so that a positive change is harnessed in their economic condition.

    4. The tribal community is depicted in a wrong light in many films, papers and magazines. So it is pertinent for us to expose such tribals and non-tribals, organizations and groups, who are hurting the tribal interests and defaming the community, and give them a befitting reply. Many fundamentalist organizations are working overtime to create a deep wedge in tribal community, making tribals their own enemies. If such dangerous tendency is not checked, the time is not too far when we will have strife on our hands in which tribals will kill taibals.

    We can on the basis of above say that it will be erroneous to hold non-tribals solely responsible for the backwardness of the tribals of southern Rajasthan. If the tribal community has to suffer excesses and exploitation, and has remained a laggard in development, then tribal politicians, official, employees are as much to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs. It is because these people have use their tribal identity to reap the benefits by becoming politician (MPs, MLAs, district board chairmen, pradhans), government officials and employees. But when it comes to discharging their duty toward their own community they have largely failed. Tribal society will have to suffer excesses and exploitation till every tribal fight for his rights and discharges his duty toward the community.

    Although the government time and again claims to have spent crores of rupees on the development of southern Rajasthan, the reality on the ground is opposite, as there has been too little development to support such claims. This has led to growing socio-economic and political dissent among tribals of this area. Keeping in view this discontent, some individuals have taken laudable initiative. The foremost among them is Satguru Shri Mohanji Sharma who has been working for the socio-economic uplift of the tribals of southern Rajasthan for the past 15 years. He is guiding the tribal students by spreading awareness among them to help them learn to live with dignity. He is, in fact, in his own way uniting the tribals of this area. There are some politicians who rising above their party lines and ideologies are contributing a lot to the development of tribals. Prominent among them are Tribal Minister Nand Lal Meena, MP Mahaveer Bhagora, Former MP Mahendrajeet Malavia and Tara Chand Bhagora, MLAs Jeetmal Khont and Raghuveer Meena. There efforts are worth a thousand plaudits.

    The dissention widespread among the tribals of this area is now leading to a demand for a separate tribal state, which is being raised by some tribal youth. Supporting this demand are thousands of educated tribal youth and victims of excesses and exploitation. Those tribal politicians who were used and then dumped by their political parties are also throwing their weight behind this movement. It also appears that the non-tribal people of the area who are trying to bring the tribals in the mainstream of development are also supporting this demand, directly or indirectly. All this portends well.


    * Senior Research Officer, Institute Of Applied Manpower Research ( Planning Commission, Govt. of India ) Plot No. 25, Sector A-7, Institutional Area, Narela, Delhi-110040.

    The views expressed in this paper are of the author and not of the institute in which he is employed.

  2. 2 Dr Lalit Latta Joshua January 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Naxalite Movement in Tribal Areas of India: Causes and Suggestions

    Dr. Lalit Latta Joshua*

    India’s population has a diverse religion, culture, and creed. Among them, the tribal
    people have a separate identity place that is recognized due to their unique culture. As per
    Census, 2001, around 8 crore 43 lakh tribals live in India, which is 8.2 per cent of India’s
    total population. Among them, most of the tribals are living in remote rural areas
    ( hills / forests ) 91.7 per cent and remaining 8.3 per cent lives in urban areas. Out
    of the total tribal population of India, around 68 per cent live mainly in the seven
    states, viz.; 14.5 per cent in Madhya Pradesh, 10.2 per cent in Maharashtra, 9.7 per cent
    in Orissa, 8.9 per cent in Gujarat, 8.4 per cent in Rajasthan and Jharkhand, and 7.8 per
    cent in Chhattisgarh. The social and economic conditions of the tribals have always been
    pathetic due to their living mainly in remote rural areas and even after 63 years of India’s
    independence, the Indian tribal people are still deprived of the basic necessities such as
    food, clothing, healthcare, irrigation, education, employment etc.
    Apart from this, it has also been found that tribals living in different parts of the country
    are often subjected to exploitation and humiliation in the name of religion, region, and
    race. As a result of this, since independence the discontent among the tribals have
    increased slowly and gradually, and by the end of the 2010 this has taken the shape of a
    severe trouble called “Naxalism” that poses a big threat to the country’s development
    initiatives. Thus, Naxalite movement is significantly active in the 72 districts of nine
    different states i.e. 3 districts in Madhya Pradesh, 4 in Maharashtra, 16 in Andhra
    Pradesh, 3 in West Bengal, 13 in Jharkhand, 9 in Orissa, 8 in Chhattisgarh, 13 in
    Bihar, and 3 districts in Uttar Pradesh. Therefore, this problem needs to be solved
    urgently; otherwise there is a possibility of instability in the country and consequently
    there may be loss of lives and property.
    Prime Reasons behind the Spread of Naxalite Movement
    Time to time many academics, social scientists, administrators and politicians have
    pointed towards the following social, economic and political factors as responsible for the
    naxals uprising.

    1. Negligence in Implementation of Development Plans

    Generally, most of the tribal people live in remote areas, hills and forests; and because of
    the remoteness and difficulties in reaching these areas, development of the people living
    here has been near nothing. Various programmes, such as Mahatma Gandhi National
    Rural Employment Guarantee Schemes (MNREGA), National Rural Health Mission,
    Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Public Distribution System (PDS) etc.
    formulated by the Government, are being implemented for the upliftment of the
    underprivileged people of the country. But unfortunately, even after 63 years of India’s
    independence, the tribal population of India has still not been benefited much from these
    development programmes. Also, in order to spread education among the tribals, the
    Government of India has implemented various programmes such as Sarva Shiksha
    Abhiyan (SSA), Mid-day Meal etc., but according to the Selected Educational Statistics,
    2006-07, the drop-out rate among the tribal students is 33.09 per cent at primary
    education level and it becomes 78.07 per cent at the stage of Class X. The percentages
    of Class X drop-outs among the tribal students in tribal populated states are: 98.99
    per cent in Bihar (including Jharkhand0, 84.04 per cent in West Bengal, 85.04 per
    cent in Madhya Pradesh, 84.52 per cent in Orissa, 81.92 per cent in Andhra
    Pradesh, 77.71 per cent in Rajasthan, 75.28 per cent in Maharashtra, 72.68 per cent
    in Gujarat. These statistics show a very slow rate of the development process. And,
    apart from this, as Shri Gulam Navi Ajad, the Central Minister for Health and Welfare
    put it in the Upper house of the Parliament, that in India more than 60 crore people
    defecate in open places. As per Census, 2001, 58 per cent people in India do not have
    electricity. The situation is even worse in remote rural areas and tribal populated areas.
    This phenomenon clearly points towards the sheer negligence at the level of
    implementation of various development plans articulated by the Government of India for
    the improvement of these areas. Because of these, even today, the common tribal people
    have to struggle hard to fulfill their basic necessities, and as a result of this, they have no
    other option but to support the Naxalite movement.

    2. Absence of a Good Governance

    The main reason behind the growing spread of naxalism in the country is the increasing
    awareness among the tribals about their social and economic deprivations. In other
    words, in the absence of good governance, no development is taking place so far as this
    socio-economically underdeveloped segment of the society is concerned; whereas, every
    year, crores of rupees are being spent for implementing the schemes and programmes
    meant for the development of these people. But the poor are becoming poorer and rich
    richer. It has also been noticed that the poor innocent tribals have been tortured and many
    a times killed on the basis of false allegations on them that they are involved in Naxalite
    Movement. Not only this, the women living in these areas have been subjected to torture
    and exploitation and in some places, but also, cases of rape and physical assaults against
    women have also been recorded. Thus, the poor people living in these areas have been
    overtly deprived of their constitutional rights of a decent living. As per the report The
    Drivers and Dynamics of Illicit Financial Flow: India, 1948-2008, submitted by the
    ‘Global Financiers’ Integrity’, a group of experts on economic affaires of Washington,
    since independence India has lost around Rs. 20 lac-crore on account of corruption,
    crime and tax evasion which is a matter of shame for the country. Due to all this,
    almost having lost all faith in the present Administrative and Political system of the
    country, the poor tribal people support the Naxalites whom they view as Robin Hood (the
    historic hero who became the saviour of poor and downtrodden of the society), and are
    engaged in punishing the corrupt personnel, who are responsible for the tyranny and
    exploitation of the tribals, and land mafias.

    3. Lack of Social Responsibility among the Benefited

    For the development of a society or a country, a strong sense of social responsibility
    along with education plays a very important and significant role without which growth
    and development of any society or country is not possible. Unlike the developed
    countries of the world ( United State, Japan, United Kingdom, Chinna etc.), a lack of
    the sense of social responsibility in practical life has been observed among the Indians.
    Generally, the educated tribal youths, Officers, Political Leaders who have become rich
    by reaping the benefits of the various developmental schemes and programmes, hold
    responsible posts in government or private sector or are mass representatives, come and
    settle in towns and cities, and remain confined in their familial and social comfort instead
    of showing the development path to their fellow tribal brethren. Thus, they fail to
    shoulder their responsibility towards the society. Apart from this, the non-tribal personnel
    consider it a punishment posting if they are transferred in tribal-populated remote rural
    areas. Due to fear of Naxals they do not show any interest in completing their
    responsibilities and somehow pass their posting period in the naxal-influenced areas. As a
    result, we can conclude that there is a dearth of responsible people who can bring the
    tribal youths to the right path of development through which a remarkable change may be
    brought in the society

    4. Lack of Employment

    Most tribals live in remote rural areas, hills and forest areas. Earlier, they used to depend
    on forest produces and products for their livelihood, but after the accession of forests by
    the Indian government, due to lack of employment tribals are facing difficulties in
    earning their livings. As per the 11th five-year plan (phase 1), 47.30 per cent of tribals in
    rural areas and 33.30 per cent tribals in urban areas were living below the poverty line
    during the year 2004-05. Apart from this, it has also been found that 81.56 per cent
    among the tribals living in India are farmers or work as agricultural labourers. Various
    studies reveal that 76 per cent of the people in India manage their livings in less than
    Rs. 20 per day. Thus, different welfare schemes run by the government for ensuring
    employment to its people could not be effective due to
    (a) lack of awareness among
    them, (b) widespread corruption and (c) interference of middlemen. In order to get
    rid of the humiliation and exploitation, and due to lack of employment; a few tribal
    youths are joining hands with the naxals to end the misery of their daily life and ensure
    social justice to their fellow people. Studies reveal that the naxals include the youths in
    their group, give them education and help them in getting out of their humiliation and
    exploitation on the one hand and provide them employment and earnings. The tribal
    youths engaged in the naxalite movement consider this as a fight for self-respect and they
    feel that instead of dying of hunger and poverty, it would be far better to fight against
    tyranny and exploitation and bring justice for the society.

    Suggestions for curbing the Naxalite Movement

    The problem of naxalism is spread in 72 districts of nine states in the country, where
    majority of population are downtrodden and tribals. The internal security of the country is
    under threat due to naxal movement. In order to counter this problem, time to time many
    academics, social scientists, administrators and political leaders have suggested for some
    remedial measures among which the following merit mention.

    1. Requirement of Good Governance

    Time to time, the government of India keeps formulating various programmes and
    schemes for socio-economic development of the poor, downtrodden and the people who
    are subjected to exploitation in the society; and gets these programmes and schemes
    implemented through its various concerned ministries. But several research studies reveal
    that these programmes and schemes are in most cases not being implemented in its right
    spirit. According to Shri Gadar, the revolutionary poet who supported Naxalism,
    “Naxalism has been born due to the failure of democracy and people have resorted
    to violence against the governance”. And, according to senior police official, Shri
    Prakash Singh, “Slowly and gradually, the power has been shifted to the hands of
    corrupt people, and criminals have taken an upper hand in the society, as a result of
    which people’s expectations with the democratic governance has been shattered.
    Therefore, there is a need for a transparent administration for the government of India, in
    which honest and sincere officials and staff should be encouraged to serve the country, so
    that in such a clean administrative system; each poor, downtrodden and exploited people
    of India may fulfill their basic needs and live their life peacefully with self-respect.

    2. Need for a Change in the Work process of Police

    The main duty of the police is to provide security to the citizens of the country. But in the
    naxal dominated areas, many security personnel are engaged in torturing the tribals
    accusing them they are supporters of the naxals. Not only this, complaints have also been
    received that in some areas women are being physically abused by the security staff.
    Thus, due to the ill-treatment of the innocent tribals by the police and other security
    forces, Naxalite movement is getting strengthened and being gradually spread to more
    and more tribal populated areas. Therefore, security forces should behave with the people
    living in the Naxal-influenced areas politely and sympathetically, so that they may be
    taken into confidence and thus the spread of the movement may be curbed slowly and

    3. Need for Infrastructure for getting Employment

    Tribals are mainly settled at remote rural areas, hills and forests where the infrastructural
    facilities provided by the government for employment, such as electricity, roads and
    transport facilities, healthcare, irrigation facilities, educational institutes are not available,
    due to which the tribals cannot manage to get employment in these areas. Also, it has
    been observed that the poor tribal people cannot afford to go to urban areas for seeking
    employment and they do not find employment at remote rural areas. The government of
    India has implemented NREGA for providing 100 days of work to one adult member of
    each household, but that is insufficient. This provision may further be extended to 365
    days of work to one member of each household and industries may be set up in the tribal
    populated areas so that the tribals get more employment without being migrated to cities
    and towns.

    4. Invoking the Sense of Social Responsibility among People

    No society and no country can achieve socio-economic development if there is a lack of
    sense of social responsibility among its people. In India several industrialists like Tata,
    Birla, Ambani, Sahara etc. are bearing their social responsibility and contributing their
    share towards the socio-economic upliftment of the poor, downtrodden and exploited lots
    of the country, which is a praiseworthy step. Thus, the persons from poor, downtrodden
    and tribal community who have benefitted from the various developmental schemes and
    programmes of the government and have become higher officials, industrialists or
    political leaders in their own life should give their valuable cooperation for the socioeconomic
    development of the poor and exploited section of the population, so that these
    tribal poor may be brought to the mainstream of the development process. If each person
    of this country bear his/her responsibility towards the society, then automatically peace
    and prosperity will prevail in this country.

    5. Need for Encouragement of the Persons employed in the Naxaldominated

    Generally, it has been found that in the Naxal-dominated and trbal populated areas there
    are lack of infrastructural facilities, and apart from this, there always remains a threat on
    life and property of the persons employed there. Often, it has been noticed that the
    officers posted in these areas face much difficulties in implementing the various
    development schemes because few Naxalites groups demand for money from these
    officials and even kill them if their demands are not fulfilled. Therefore, the persons
    employed here should be provided financial incentives and security cover, so that they
    can perform their duty fearlessly and with utmost sincerity. Only then, the poor,
    downtrodden and the tribals will be able to reap the benefit of the different schemes and
    programmes run by the government.
    Therefore, from the above mentioned study, it may be concluded that the Naxalite
    uprising is a battle against the corrupt officials, political leaders and middlemen in the
    present government, but the battle is being fought in an unconstitutional manner by the
    naxals. The advent and spread of Naxalite movement can be controlled if there is good
    governance, improved employment opportunities and a sense of social responsibility
    among the benefited from the various governmental development schemes and

    * Senior Research Officer, Institute Of Applied Manpower Research ( Planning Commission,
    Govt. of India ) Plot No. 25, Sector A-7, Institutional Area, Narela, Delhi-110040.

    The views expressed in this paper are of the author and not of the institute in which he is

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