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SYNOPSIS [22nd DECEMBER,2020] Day 62: IASbaba’s TLP (Phase 2): UPSC Mains Answer Writing (General Studies)
1.Is lack of development the real cause for the spread of left wing extremism (LWE)? Critically comment.
Approach – It expects you to write about LWE and critically analyse whether lack of development is the real cause for spread of left wing extremism.
Left-wing extremism, also known by various other names such as Naxalism and Maoism, is a form of armed insurgency against the State motivated by leftist ideologies. LWE organizations are the groups that try to bring change through violent revolution. They are against democratic institutions and use violence to subvert the democratic processes at ground level.These groups prevent the developmental processes in the least developed regions of the country & try to misguide the people by keeping them ignorant of current happenings.
Lack of development the real cause for spread of left wing extremism –
- Issues arising out of mal-governance or non-governance: Dissatisfaction with improper and often mal-governance created anger among the suffering population. The Naxalites exploit the situation for their own political gain by giving the affected persons some semblance of relief or response. Thereby they tend to legitimise in the eyes of the masses their own legal or even illegal activities.
- Social oppression: The fight against the social oppression that the Dalits and the lower among the OBCs have been regularly subjected to is perhaps the most significant among the issues used by the Naxalite movement. Apart from the concrete issues undertaken by the Naxalites against social oppression, the fact that the cadre and also most of local leaders of the Naxalite organisations consist of poor villagers of castes looked upon as lowly has endowed the oppressed with much strength.
- Livelihood: The Minimum Wages Act remains an act on paper in much of rural India. Agricultural labour is governed by the Act but the minimum wage rates under the Act are not implemented, except where the prosperity of the farmers and the demand for labour makes it unavoidable. By giving fair minimum wage with dispute settlement of people’s court they expand there social influence.
- Displacement and forced evictions: Internal displacement caused by irrigation / mining / industrial projects, resulting in landlessness and hunger, is a major cause of distress among the poor, especially the adivasis. The law and administration provides less succour to displaced people, and in fact often treats them with hostility since such internally displaced forest-dwellers tend to settle down again in some forest region, which is prohibited by the law. The Naxalite movement has come to the aid of such victims of enforced migration in the teeth of the law.
- Land related factors: Naxalite movement has succeeded in helping the landless to occupy a substantial extent of government land whether for homesteads or for cultivation. In the case of forest land, occupation by the adivasis with the encouragement and assistance of the Naxalites, has taken place on an extensive scale in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, Orissa and Jharkhand. In fact much of it is not fresh occupation but reassertion of traditional usufructory rights declared by the law to be illegal.
Development of LWE Affected Areas with few schemes being implemented by the government for LWE affected areas are:
- Special Central Assistance (SCA)- for filling critical gaps in public infrastructure and services of emergent nature.
- Road Connectivity Project- for construction of 5,412 km roads.
- Skill Development- for construction of 47 ITIs (01 ITI per district) and 68 Skill Development Centers (02 SDCs per district) by 2018-19.
- Education Initiatives- for building new KendriyaVidyalayas (KVs) &JawaharNavodayaVidyalayas (JNVs) where they are not present. It is also planned to open more schools under the Eklavya model.
- Installation of Mobile Towers- for endless telecom connectivity.
- Financial inclusion- for ensuring the presence of banking facilities within 5 km to all citizens residing in LWE affected areas.
Not onlydevelopment but other issues can help in reducing the spread of LWE:
- Creating conditions for political engagement, bringing locals into the politicalmainstream as partners and decision-makers. Political parties have an important role here – they must conduct local membership drives and provide opportunities to local leadership in state politics.
- Political engagement also requires that tribals have more secure property rights and a greater say in local decisions, especially those relating to their land and livelihoods.
- A number of recent legislations have made a start – Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act (PESA) and the Forest Right Act for example.
Security level intervention:
- Two things will further strengthen the state’s security response, which includeFirst, we need greater representation of local people in the police andparamilitary forces; this is essential to bridge the trust deficit.
- Second, we need a better understanding of local social and tribal networks andneed to make the local tribal leadership our allies.
- To fill the critical infrastructure gaps that are not covered under existinggovernment schemes, the Centre created the Special Infrastructure Scheme. These include requirements of mobility for the police and security forces by upgrading existing roads and rail tracks in inaccessible areas, and providing secure camping grounds and helipads at strategic locations in remote and interior areas.
- The current government has launched other initiatives, amongst them the SAMADHAN which was announced by the minister of Home Affairs in May 2017. The acronym stands for the following: S – Smart Leadership, A – Aggressive Strategy, M – Motivation and Training, A – Actionable Intelligence, D -Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and KRAs (Key Result Areas), H- Harnessing Technology, A – Action plan for each theatre and N- No access to Financing.
Respect for rule of law:
- Governmental agencies must not be allowed to transgress law even in dealing with critical situations caused by insurgency or terrorism.
- If an extraordinary situation cannot be dealt with by the existing laws, new laws may be enacted so that law enforcement agencies are not provoked or tempted to resort to extra-legal or illegal methods. Police and all other governmental forces must adhere to some basic codes of conduct.
Effective implementation of protective legislation:
- It is necessary to build up an impregnable protective shield of the State, against multi-faceted exploitation of these communities. This should be done by effective implementation of the existing constitutional provisions, protection of civil rights and SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act laws and programmes in place for this purpose.
2nd ARC recommendations to overcome red corridor challenges:
- For effective implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act, 2006, multidisciplinary Oversight Committees may be constituted to ensure that the implementation does not adversely affect the local ecosystems.
- Special efforts are needed to monitor the implementation of constitutional and statutory safeguards, development schemes and land reforms initiatives for containing discontent among sections vulnerable to violent left extremism.
- Performance of the States in amending their Panchayati Raj Acts(PESA) and implementing these provisions may be monitored and incentivised by the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
- Special anti-extortion and anti-money laundering cell should be established by the State police/State Government. To break the nexus between illegal mining/forest contractors and transporters and extremists which provides the financial support for the extremist movement.
Though the number of incidents of LWE violence has come down in the recent past, continued efforts and focus are needed in eliminating such groups. States also need to adopt a focused time-bound approach to completely eliminate LWE groups and ensure all-round development of the affected regions.For the holistic last-mile development of “New India”, it is necessary to get rid of the menace of such radicalized groups, & the synergized efforts of the Centre and the States are crucial in achieving the same.
2.What is the difference between extremism and fundamentalism? Explain. Examine the threat perception associated with these terms.
Approach – It expects students to write about extremism and fundamentalism and there difference. Also examine the threat perfection related to both.
The rise of fundamentalism and extremism, in diverse forms, represent major threats to human rights worldwide and are growing challenges that must be faced with urgency, using a human rights approach.
Fundamentalism and extremism:
- The term ‘fundamentalism’ today names a religio-political perspective found in most if not all major religions in the contemporary world. At the present time it is associated with various expressions of religious extremism and, most worryingly, with religiously-motivated terrorism.
- A fundamentalist is someone who believes in a specific interpretation of their holy text and strictly adheres to its tenets. A fundamentalist will believe that their bible represents the absolute truth in terms of matters moral as well as literal historical accuracy. Many fundamentalists are characterised as intolerant of those with views in opposition of their own or those with secular beliefs.
- An extremist is someone who takes their religious beliefs to a fanatical level causing them to act in ways that are not understood by the general public. An extremist may believe in using force, fear, or violence as means to bring about religious change. An extremist may take action in order to indoctrinate their beliefs that play on fear. Often religious extremism is seen in opposition to a person, people, or government that is acting against the fundamental beliefs of a religion. Especially in the Middle East, religious extremism can be closely tied to extreme nationalism.
India has moved to the seventh position from the previous years eighth in the annual Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2019. The countries ahead of it are Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan and Somalia.
Threat perception associated with extremism and fundamentalism:
- Political Tension: Extremism has impacted domestic political structures in India in a negative way. It has lead to political instabilities across the nation. Political class trying to interfere in religious laws, codes, etc. All these acts, not only hurting feelings of particular people but also converting them into more orthodox. For example Shah Bano case.
- Social tension: Religious fundamentalism growth decreases tolerance level in society which result in communal clashes in many parts of the country and affects internal security. This hatred among religions can be taken as advantage by the external terrorist organisations. This can increase vulnerability for terrorist activities in the country. This will destabilise social fabric which will lead to displacements, and migration.
- Demographic loss: Extremism has misguided the youth of the region on the basis of false ideologies for destructive activities by brainwashing them. This has not only endanger demography but also lead to loss of demographic dividend in the region.
- Education: Lack of quality education leading to blindly follow rules and regulations and beliefs propounded by religious leaders. For example madrasa.
- Monolithic view: Monolith world views, their limiting of the enjoyment of women’s human rights and restriction of the sexual and reproductive rights of all, and the desire to quash cultural opposition to their own agenda, including through stifling freedom of artistic expression and curtailing scientific freedom.
- Social media threat: Misinformation and disinformation spread in the media is becoming a serious social challenge. It is leading to the poisonous atmosphere on the web and causing riots and lynching on the road. In the age of the internet (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter,) it is a serious problem as rumours, morphed images, click-baits, motivated stories, unverified information, planted stories for various interests spread easily among 35 crore internet users in India.
Internal and external security are interlinked and cannot be viewed in isolation, especially considering the digital psycho-extremism emerging from a source which is hard to identify. They are destroying the nation’s valuable human resource which needs to be checked at the earliest by initiating effective measures, not only at the level of securities but by effective participation of our leadership and society. In order to survive as a developing nation, preventing erosion of human resource, staying unaffected by negativity of those threatening internal security and participation of the society are also essential.
3. What are India’s most severe challenges emanating from external state actors? Examine. What has been India’s response to those? Discuss.
It is strairtforward question where it expects students to write about – in first part write various challenges posed by external state actors for the Indian internal security – in second part write about measures taken by India to address the challenge.
India has been facing challenges on the front of internal security since independence from various state and non-state actors. Politico-social and economic sphere of sovereign state has been controlled by the popular elected government. But peace and security can be disturbed by some external and non-state actor, through various means and ways.
Challenges posed by external state actors for the Indian internal security:
- Insurgency: North-East suffers from violent movements based upon ethnic identities leading to clashes. China is alleged to support such acts e.g. ULFA members of Assam was given shelter by China.
- Terrorism: Pakistan has been a major exporter of terrorism to India. Non-state actors like terrorist groups (eg Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad) are a continuous threat.
- Naxalism: Left wing extremism affects states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
- Drug smuggling: Inter and Intra state trafficking takes place, through golden crescent and golden triangle routes. Drug from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran has affected Punjab.
- Human-trafficking: while child and women trafficking takes place via Bangladesh and Nepal.
- Counterfeit currency: Especially from Pakistan. It corrodes economy from inside, by facilitating black money and money laundering activities as well as funding terrorism, which itself creates a demand for fake currency, thereby creating a positive feedback loop.
- Communalism: Propagandas are run and funded by enemy country and other non-state actors to destabilize India by damaging the socio-religious fabric and ensure riots.
- Cyber Security: Recent cyber-attacks by Legion, ATM skimming are examples. Pakistani hackers often hack government websites.
Measures taken by India to address the challenge:
- Actively pursuing the agenda of comprehensive convention against terrorism to bring all the state actors on the same page in fight against terrorism.
- Using bilateral and multilateral forums like BRICS, SCO, G20, BIMSTEC to build an alliance against terrorism.
- Strengthening of the borders by the implementation of recommendations of Madhukar Gupta committee report and formation of the border protection grids along the eastern front.
- Isolating Pakistan and adopting the technique of name and shame to force Pakistan to act against the non-state actors operating from its soil.
Both state and non-state factors from outside have created problems in our internal security framework. Hence while it is imperative to guard our borders and strengthen our diplomacy, on the other hand, we need to check the various non-state actors who come in hidden forms.
4. How does external funding of illegal organisations create internal security threats in India? Examine.
It expects students to write about – in first part write about different internal security threats created by external funding of illegal organisations – in second part write about steps taken by government.
India is one of the worst affected countries by terrorism. Terrorist attacks on country both at border or interior of country has been funded by sympathizers and external state actors. Recent revelations by David Hadley made it clear that master minds of 26/11 is LeTgets funding.Terrorist funding does not only has impact on Indian law and order issue but also it has profound impact on economic and social front.
External funding is the main source of resources for all the major internal security issues of India:
- Economic terrorism: The country has to contend with Economic terrorism. Pakistan has been flooding the country with counterfeit currency with a view to subverting its economy and funding terrorist activities in different parts of the country. It is estimated that Pakistan pumped in 16 billion worth of FICN into India in 2010, a figure that rose to 20 billion in 2011 and 25 billion in 2012.
- Organised crime: Organised crimes in India especially in metro cities such as Mumbai and Delhi are rising due to flourishing external funding to illegal organisations. Such organised criminals also fund for radicalisation of youth and terrorist attacks.
- Religious or ideological extremism: External funding is greatest source of financial help to extremists. Financial incentives lure unemployed youth towards antinational activities in the name of particular religion or ideology.
- Cybercrime: Crypto-currency and unrecorded cash transaction in e-commerce are also emerging means to supply resources to hostile elements in the country.
- Armed violence: Armed violence which was hitherto legacy of Maoists or insurgencies is now taking a new form throughout India especially in the form of right wing extremism. Recently there has been reports of seizure of illegal weapons and public firing by individuals. External funding is easy source of illegal arms trade in India.
- External funding can be used as a tool of resource mobilisation by insurgent groups, militants and Naxals who are threatening peace and security of India.
- External funding is used to fund separatist activities in Kashmir and insurgent groups in north east.
- External funding is used to fund NGOs and other civil society groups to propagate an agenda which are detrimental to the interests of the society.
Government has taken various steps to combat external funding of illegal organisations in the country, which inter alia, include: –
- Strengthening the provisions in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 to combat terror financing by criminalizing the production or smuggling or circulation of high quality counterfeit Indian currency as a terrorist act and enlarge the scope of proceeds of terrorism to include any property intended to be used for terrorism.
- An advisory on terror financing has been issued in April 2018 to States/ Union Territories. Guidelines have also been issued in March, 2019 to States/ Union Territories for investigation of cases of high quality counterfeit Indian currency notes.
- Training programmes are regularly conducted for the State Police personnel on issues relating to combating terrorist financing.
- Intelligence and security agencies of Centre and States work in tandem to keep a close watch on the elements involved in terror funding activities and take action as per law.
Better coordination between countries for data sharing and for information exchange can help to minimize the effect and a well-planned strategy can curb such menace.
5. What is the current status of threats of secessionism in the Northeast? Discuss.
As the directive here is discuss, it is necessary to cover various angles of the issue and arrive at a conclusion accordingly. In the introduction you can start by explaining the relationship of secessionist movement and turmoil in the North-east region. In the first half of main body part explain kinds of secessionist movements in the Northeast region. In the next half explain current status of secessionism in the North-east. A constructive way forward to address the issue will fetch more marks.
Northeast India is the eastern-most region of India. It is connected to East India via a narrow corridor (Siliguri corridor) squeezed between independent nations of Bhutan and Bangladesh. Secessionist movements in North east India have gained significance over the time. However, with moderate local support and high voter participation in the democratic elections, secessionist movements future is debatable on the table of containing the insurgency in North-east India.
Conflicts in the region can be broadly grouped under the following categories:
- National conflicts: Involving concept of a distinct ‘homeland’ as a separate nation and pursuit of the realization of that goal by use of various methods both violent as well as non violent. For instance, ULFA demand for sovereign Asom, NSCN for Greater Nagaland.
- Ethnic conflicts: Involving assertion of numerically smaller and less dominant tribal groups against the political and cultural hold of the dominant tribal group. In Assam this also takes the form of tension between local and migrant communities.
- Sub-regional conflicts: Involving movements which ask for recognition of sub-regional aspirations and often come in direct conflict with the State Governments or even the autonomous Councils. For instance, United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) in Assam.
Current status of threats of secessionism in the Northeast:
- A cursory look at the demographic mosaic of northeastern India would show that this region is home to a curious amalgam of cross-cutting societies. What compounds the problem of this plurality is the fact that the tendency for ethno-political assertion is high among almost all the groups.
- This is primarily because the political boundaries in most cases do not coincide with the existing social boundaries. The northeastern units of the Indian federation, in spite of several political permutations and combinations have not been able to cater to the demands of all the ethnic categories clamouring for recognition of their distinctive identity.
- The militant organization United Liberation Front of Assam demands a separate country for the indigenous people of Assam. The Government of India had banned the ULFA in 1990 and has officially labelled it as a terrorist group.
- The United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS) demands a sovereign nation for the Karbi people. It was formed in March 1999 with the merger of two militant outfits in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district, the Karbi National Volunteers (KNV) and Karbi People’s Front (KPF).
- The United People’s Democratic Solidarity signed a cease-fire agreement for one year with the Union Government on 23 May 2002. However, this led to a split in the UPDS with one faction deciding to continue with its subversive activities while the other commenced negotiations with the Government.
- The Nagalim is a proposed independent country for the Naga people. In the 1950s, the Naga National Council led a violent unsuccessful insurgency against the Government of India, demanding a separate country for the Nagas.
- The secessionist violence decreased considerably after the formation of the Naga-majority Nagaland state, and more militants surrendered after the Shillong Accord of 1975. 2014 General Elections of India recorded a voter turnout of more than 87% in Nagaland, which was the highest in India.
- The National Liberation Front of Tripura (or NLFT) is a Tripuri nationalist organisation which seeks for Tripura to secede from India and establish an independent Tripuri state.
- It has actively participated in the Tripura Rebellion. The NLFT manifesto says that they want to expand what they describe as the Kingdom of God and Christ in Tripura.
- The Tripura National Volunteers (also known as the Tribal National Volunteers or Tripura National Volunteer Force) was founded in 1978 with assistance from the Mizo National Front. The group has significantly reduced terror activities and recently 88 cadres of NLFT surrendered to the Indian Government.
- Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Tripura had been witnessing conflict since 1950-60 period, but since 1990, the intensity of conflicts started to decrease. Now the only state where prominent insurgency exist is Manipur. But in this region several armed factions operate. Some groups call for a separate state, others for regional autonomy while some extreme groups demand complete independence.
The ceasefire agreements and peace negotiations have resulted in reducing the violence levels and given the civil societies of the region space to talk. Besides following approach needs to be adopted to reduce the secessionist tendencies in North-east India.
- It is important to understand the culture and psyche of the people of North East while framing policy alternatives.
- Security situation in the region has improved considerably in Assam and Meghalaya in particular facilitating conducive atmosphere for investment and development. The Northeast Industrial Policy initiated by the Government of India further contributed in encouraging investment and industries in the region.
- The North East Council (NEC) and the Ministry for the Development of the North East Region (DoNER) have become fund disbursing agencies instead of strategic planning agencies. At present approximately Rs. 11,000 crore is lying idle with the Ministry of DoNER.
- When development comes to a region then it becomes a panacea for the secessonist movement. For instance, the Khalistan movement in Punjab was active in the 1980s and the 1990s, but is now largely subdued within India.
- Integrated and bottoms up approaches are required for integration of the North east in the Look East Policy which will immensely yield benefits in terms of development. The North East should formulate plans as to how it can engage with the ASEAN. Better coordination of efforts by all the Northeastern states should be ensured.
Although varying in their demands and methods, there is a common thread running through the secessionist movement in north-east, that is of identity and development. Implementing sixth schedule provisions in these areas will help them to preserve their identity and culture while giving them greater autonomy. Economic development of the area in a calibrated manner would ensure sustainable development which will help to penetrate the modern values of democracy at the grass-root level.