23 December, 2011

Insurgencies – Trajectories in 2012

2011 happened to be a singularly remarkable year insofar as insurgencies and terrorism were concerned. 

The month of May marked the death of Osama bin Laden – a pinnacle of glory for counterterrorism and counterinsurgency (COIN).  At the other end, the insurgents in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and other parts of the world felt the touch of the nadir; at least psychologically, if not materially and operationally.

In this backdrop, it seems verily pre-ordained that non-state actors are likely to lose steam in the New Year. However, it is pertinent to quote in this regard, the predictions of the National Intelligence Council of USA:

“The relative power of non-state actors is likely to have an upward trend by 2025.”

Hence, terrorism will likely continue, as per the prediction, but its appeal could lessen if economic growth emerges and consequent youth unemployment is reduced. As the resources on the earth would deplete, the surface of the globe shall be replete with acts of anarchism and disruption. Mundane problems will transcend to the realm of the transnational. 

When a bubbling youth will be unable to accommodate himself within the structures of socio-economic and political framework of Pakistan; then the fertile plains of Punjab will continue to help germinate Islamist terror network.

It may be said that 2012 would certainly provide a range of technologies and scientific knowledge to the insurgents and terrorist networks. Under economic duress, conditions shall be ripe for radicalism and possible recruitment of youths into terrorist groups. 

South and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa will remain as the potential areas of unrest. At the micro-level, fragility of the newly founded democracies of Libya and Kyrgyzstan would be tested. Even not so weak states would be pushed a bit. The likes of Chechnya and Dagestan will continue to trouble the Russians, albeit sporadically. 

Such a nuisance may spin a web of transnational tie-ups in the campaign of COIN: the cold-war protagonists, along-with China - with its perturbation in Xinjiang and Tibet, may join hands in combating terror. At least in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf a plethora of counter-insurgents shall be seen to team up against the adventurism of the Somali pirates.  

Nonetheless, the Af-Pak theatre may see only the American soldiers languishing; with their compatriots from other nation-states slowly evacuating as the basic reason for their camaraderie is no more. But the Russian interest will remain in Afghanistan - partly for historical reasons and partly, for the geopolitical. 

It may not be frippery to predict that irregular warfare would rule the roost in 2012.  In the process, urban areas would possibly be targeted more. Insurgencies are likely to be fuelled by various elements; viz. ideology, social, economic and political oppression, internally displaced peoples etc. 

Communist insurgents in Philippines and India would stick to their faith in protracted people’s war. Peace talks may wane as those were mere facades erected by the communist insurgents to prolong their existence. 

Dormant insurgencies, viz. in Sri Lanka, may shoot up if the Winning Hearts and Minds (WHAM) component of the COIN operations are not suitably put into practice. 

Conflict resolution methodology would bank upon the dual techniques of pro-people COIN as well as targeted killings and incarcerations. Procedural law will keep on being implemented while the substantive part may be missing in the magistracy of the counterinsurgents.

The Maoist movement in India – government apathy, tribal insurrection or ideological dogmatism?

The following is an interview given by me to Ms Vironica Fernandes, a post-graduate student of Media and Films at New York, USA in November 2011. She will be using this in her thesis & her film on Naxalites. The text is to appear in the coming issue of the WILL magazine. 

Q1. Kindly layout the history of the Maoist movement in India briefly

ANS: The Maoist insurrection shot into prominence in India in the form of the Naxal uprising in a remote village of Naxalbari in the Darjeeling district of the eastern Indian province of West Bengal. It was way back in 1967, when a sharecropper called Bigul kisan attempted to take hold of his land with a court order. He was thwarted by the goons of the zamindar. Thus, he and his fellow farmers retaliated with spears and other indigenous weapons.

The movement that followed was called Naxal rebellion. It was spearheaded by the intellectuals based in Calcutta. The initial phase of the movement faded away in a matter of 4 years with the incarceration & killing of its top leadership.

It disintegrated further with ideological schisms. However, in the 1980s, the mantle of leadership was transferred to the intellectuals of Andhra. Kondapally Seetharamaiah took hold of the leadership. By then, the Naxals had 2 major factions:

a.   Maoist Communist Centre (active in Bihar-Jharkhand)
b.   People’s War group (active in Andhra)

In 2004, the 2 factions re-united and formed the Communist Party of India (Maoist). After the re-union, the impact due to the rebels has gone up by leaps and bounds. Presently, they are active in almost 1/4th of the Indian landmass.

Q3. How did you come about being an active voice to this movement? Explain to us your involvement/participation to give a voice to this movement?

ANS: I would define myself to be an ‘external’ viewer of this movement. I analyse, theorise and then strategize regarding this movement. I do not lend any ‘voice’ to this movement. I try to develop analytical tools to understand the reason behind this insurgency. I attempt to postulate the various modes of counterinsurgency and compare the Maoist insurrection in India with insurgencies in other parts of the world; specifically the communist upheaval in Phillipines.

To understand the plight of the tribal people of India run in parallel to the above study.

Q4. How exactly in one word would you term the current Maoist situation in India?

AND: Always difficult to describe the situation in one word. But if that’s the case, then let it be: “Grave”; at least as far as rural India is concerned.

Q5. What exactly is the current situation in the maoists areas? And can you give us some clarity on the spread of the Maoists in the country.

ANS: In the Maoist strongholds, they run their ‘own’ form of government: called the ‘Janathana Sarkar’. They call their areas as Liberated Zones. The interior districts of Chhattisgarh, parts of Jharkhand, Bihar, western part of West Bengal, eastern Maharashtra, Andhra-Orissa border are mostly ‘dominated’ by the Maoists.

In these areas, there goes on a constant struggle between the Maoist guerrillas and the police & para-military. And caught in the crossfire are the hapless tribals

As far as spread of the guerrillas is concerned, I guess I have spelt that out in Q2. To re-iterate, out of 604 districts in India, about 150 are Maoist-affected.

Q6. Is there a political structure that the Maoists follow? What is their hierarchy? What is their belief and ideologies if any that follow?

ANS: Yes. They believe in setting up a proletariat-led communist society. 

They have adopted the doctrines of Karl Marx and the warfare tactics (guerrilla warfare) of Mao Zedong.

They believe in a vanguard party; having a strictly regimented structure with a General Secretary at the helm of affairs. Presently, it is Ganapthy, their general secy.

They want to dismantle the bourgeoisie–led democracy in India. They attempt to defeat the Indian state through guerilla warfare. Now they are in the stage of strategic defence. After that, they would go to the stage of strategic stalemate, before finally going into strategic offense.

Q7. The tribal villagers today feel torn between the police and maoists? How did this come about?

ANS: The Maoist movement, as I said previously, had started off in urban areas, specifically in Kolkata. Thereafter, the comrades desired to branch out in the rural areas. But that didn’t work due to mismanagement and wrong reading of the doctrinal principles of guerrilla warfare.

After 1980, the Naxal movement regained its strength. But this time it was from Andhra Pradesh. Now, they targeted the tribal zones of India in Central India and Andhra-Orissa border regions.

Once the movement gathered momentum in the Adivasi heartlands, it was natural that the tribals shall be the pawns for both the maoist guerrillas and the police.

Q8. The Maoist movement began for the people then how did it happen that the villagers also feel threatened by the moats in addition to the police?

ANS: See, it’s difficult to give a black-and-white answer to this qs. The leaders of the movement still claim that it is for the people, of the people and by the people. The people are to the guerrillas as water is to the fish.

So, never will the Maoist rebels want to be alienated from the masses.

What, however, happens is in a war zone, some villagers would necessarily be caught in the crossfire; willingly or unwillingly.

Nevertheless, is it state repression or naxal menace, which acts as a  greater threat to the ordinary Adivasi, remains a matter of debate and research.

Q9. Have the movement today become less about the people?

ANS: Again, as I just said, opinions would vary. In fact, the Naxalites of the 1960s and 70s would vouch that the movement has become bloody and less pro-people. But the present Maoists are reluctant to accept that thesis.

Q10. What are your views on how the police are currently handling the situation out in these areas?

ANS: The police are involved in counterinsurgency/counter-terrorism operations. They normally try not to antagonize the rural populace. But the history of police forces in India is abysmal. Endemic corruption and political interference has marred the credibility of police forces in India.

Q11. Do you think the government and the police are justified in their actions? Or do you think the maoists are justified in their actions?

ANS: Again, we need to appreciate that this is a civil war. And in a war, atrocities are committed by both parties. However, that does not exonerate either party.

Q12. How does one expect the adivasis and the tribals in these regions to survive and fight the heavily armed government and the maoists?

ANS: Now, we need to understand that there are always NOT three parties to this war. I mean: not always the division of the war zone into Adivasis, Maoists and Security forces.

A clear-cut division is not always discernible. But those Adivasis who want to remain free of the fight against the state, join the state as either ‘informers’ or pump up the fight against the Maoists as militia in  the form of Salwa Judum (in Chhattisgarh). Very recenty, Supreme Court of India has banned the Salwa Judum militia.

Q13. How do the Maoists fund themselves for their operations and equipments? Do they have external links and support?

ANS: Their main sources of funding are:

a. internal revenue collection from the Adivasis and the backward classes in the zones which have been ‘liberated’ from the Indian govt.

b. extortion from the MNCs which try to set up businesses in the liberated zones.

c. They also steal the equipments and ammunitions from the police, after an ambush/raid is successful.

There are always possibilities/allegations that the Indian Maoists may have external links/support; e.g from Nepal, China, Phillipines and even cross-border terrorists in Pakistan. However, no substantial proof have been posited as of yet.

In fact, WikiLeaks dismisses such link-ups; though even that assertion is NOT beyond doubt.

Q14. What have been the various government approaches to tackle the maoists over the past few years?  And how have the maoists and the people reacted to it?

ANS: Indian govt’s approach has been two-pronged:
a.   Development      &          b. police-cum-paramilitary operations.

The Maoists have reacted sharply; continuing with their guerrilla war. The people have either joined the Maoists or the govt. or remained neutral.
A tribal militia called Salwa Judum was also set up to tackle the civil war. It has been banned by the Supreme Court.

Q15. What and how do you foresee the future for this movement?

ANS: As per my analysis, the Maoist movement would continue to flourish in the tribal/backward regions till governance could be restored there.

Since this is a low-intensity conflict, it shall continue for quite a number of years to come. Another 10 - 15 years of sustained fight could probably see the movement splurge into the Indian cities.

Till that happens, the Indian Maoists would be in no formidable position to challenge the might of the Indian state.

Q16. Are peace talks even possible today?

ANS: Peace talks took place in Andhra Pradesh in 2004. Didn’t work out. Even of late (2011, 14th November’s news); the Maoists have spurned the offer of negotiations from the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
More thought on this could be gained from here:

Q17. The rich will continue to exploit the masses and the government will continue to support them. Where and how do you see this headed?

ANS: Well, this is true in many cases, but not always and outrightly. India basically suffers from the malaise of corruption. Democratic movements have shot up to counter such mal-administration. Naxal ideology could be seen as one of the forms of protestations.

For a heterogeneous country like India, disparities are bound to exist and no magic-wand seem to emerge in the foreseeable future

Q18. The feeling is that, if there is anything else that the Indian government does not want the world to know about besides Kashmir is the Maoists movement. Comment?

ANS: Well, why only the Maoist movement, no democratic polity would like to expose its weaknesses. And India always has maintained the position of not interfering in other country’s internal problems and hence expects the same from others.

Q19. What according to you are the main problems and the solution to this long violent struggle?

ANS: As I have already said, there are no magic solutions. Problems have been already discussed, I presume.

However, the govt. ought to proceed with its winning hearts and minds counter-insurgency programme coupled with the targeted killings/incarcerations of the top Maoist leaders. That could provide dividends in the long run.

Q20. The middle class across the country seem to be ignorant about this issue and even if they are aware they seem to just brush this aside as another atrocity which they do not want to hear of (given that the media only feeds them information in bits and pieces so that they are not able to get a complete picture and hence kept in the dark)? Why do you think the middle class behave in this manner? What can be done to make them aware and question the information that is fed to them by the government and the media?

ANS: It’s a wrong assumption that the media news is mostly fed by the Indian state. Rather, the middle class is open to news from all sections.

However, it would be callow to expect the burgeoning Indian middle class to venture out of their confines of comfort in the cities and nourish the Adivasis. 

Till, as I said, the insurgency hits the cities in a big manner, the middle class won’t be shaken from their comfort zones.

19 December, 2011

Maoists, North-East and China

Uddipan Mukherjee

Centre for Land Warfare Studies


When Mohammad Kora was paid an amount of Rs 20 to carry a parcel, he hardly had inkling that it would turn out to be his nemesis. A poor rickshaw-puller by profession, Kora discovered the article to be an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in the hardest way.

The spot where the incendiary exploded on November 30, 2011, was about 50 metres away from City Convention Centre and the Manipur Film Development Corporation’s newly constructed auditorium which have been prepared for inauguration by Dr Manmohan Singh on December 03. In the process, the Sangai festival in Imphal received a jolt. Kora was attempting to plant the IED, albeit unknowingly, near the gate of the exhibition. But the IED burst in an untimely fashion.

Before breathing his last, Kora divulged to the police that the IED was given to him by a member of the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), a party which was formally proclaimed on April 13, 1980 under the leadership of Y Ibohanbi. During its formative years, the KCP under the leadership of Ibohanbi and Ibopishak had decided to follow the communist ideology. But with the passage of time and the death of the two leaders, the outfit split into many factions. Police sources in Imphal indicated the existence of about dozen of them.

Exploring the Maoist - North-East Alliance
Since the eighties, the KCP has been waging a bloody struggle for a sovereign Manipur. In 2009, a faction of the outfit has embraced Maoist ideology to carry on its armed movement like the ultra-left wing guerrillas in other parts of India. In a signed document, W. Malemnganba Meitei, spokesperson of the newly-floated maoist wing of KCP said, “Our immediate aim is to carry on a new democratic revolution in Manipur to establish a communist society through armed revolutionary war. We will carry out the Protracted People’s War by joining hands with other Maoist revolutionary parties.”

However, such hobnobbing with the Maoists is not new for insurgent groups of Manipur. According to The Workers Dreadnought, in the early 1970′s during  the Bangladesh Liberation War, a number of Manipuri activists and leaders, ended up in prison; especially in Tripura, where they came into contact with Naxalite prisoners who also were being arrested at the time. This had a profound influence on the Manipuri groups as a number of key leaders were released from prison in the mid 1970′s with a new ideology, Mao Zedong’s thought and the military strategy of Protracted People’s War.


Interestingly, though a branch of KCP professes the ideology of Maoism, on November 30, it was a dastardly act of blatant terrorism. And quite expectedly, it didn’t find the major Maoist party in India by its side.
However, if one goes somewhat back in time; in November 2010, the KCP had shown solidarity for the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in their 24-hour All India Bandh. On November 03, 2010, Malemnganba Meitei, the Secretary for Publicity and Propaganda of the KCP (Maoists) came out with a declaration which read thus:

“Kangleipak Communist Party will extend unconditional support to the 24 hours All India Bandh on 8th November called by our fraternal group Communist Party of India (Maoist) but it can not be effected in Manipur because Manipur is going to celebrate Ningol Chakouba on the same day, a traditional largest festival of Manipuri Society. So KCP apologize for that reason.”

The rest of the text was the usual vitriolic stuff heaped against the Indian Union as the bourgeoisie political structure. Nevertheless, one statement demands attention. Though the KCP openheartedly extended its support for the CPI-M, they clearly fell short of implementing that support on the ground. And the rationale put forth in defence was the celebration of a social festival involving the Meities of Manipur. Hence, it was clear that the KCP was still guided by ethnic moorings and were yet to be completely driven by the secular doctrinaire of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist philosophy as their comrades in CPI-M.

The explosion of the IED a year later carried exactly the same signature of ethnicity as the KCP was basically protesting against the Manipur blockade by the Nagas and the Kukis. The issue was largely a local one. However, that doesn’t rule out any tactical collusion between the Maoist parties; more so on the part of the CPI-M.

Ratnadip Choudhury writes at Tehelka.com that CPI-M was attempting to spread the idea of a Strategic United Front (SUF) of all rebel outfits operating in the restive North-East. Tehelka claims to have accessed secret letters between the Maoists and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) leadership. These reveal how the nexus between CPI-M and PLA was formed and this scheme was the brainchild of the recently eliminated CPI-M politburo member Kishenji aka Koteswar Rao.

In fact, such a revelation was reported on November 25, 2011 in The Telegraph. It said that the Manipur-based PLA and the CPI-M convened a meeting at Champai in the comparatively peaceful state of Mizoram on July 15, 2010. This information was extracted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). NIA also came to know that similar meetings between the two proscribed outfits had taken place in Kolkata, Guwahati and Rourkela.

Furthermore, on a more alarming note, it has been discovered that the PLA had imparted arms training to the CPI-M cadres at the Saranda forests of Jharkhand between September 11 to November 20, 2010. The Telegraph further alleged that the CPI-M had paid money to the PLA for procuring Chinese made arms and communication devices.

Moreover, there are reports of plans of conducting joint training camps of CPI-M and the PLA in Myanmar. And through this channel, their expansive connections with ULFA can hardly be ruled out. To add fuel, the CPI-M had already signed a joint declaration with the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), the political wing of the PLA, in October 2008.

Amitabh Bhattasali for the BBC on November 23, 2011 quotes an officer Iftiqar Hussein, who administers five sensitive districts of Upper Assam. Hussein told BBC: “"The Maoist guerrillas are getting food and shelter in the area. There were several cases of arms-snatching. Even extortion letters were sent to some rich people.”  Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has repeatedly expressed his feelings on this issue. He seems to be of the firm opinion that anti-dam movements have a Maoist hand behind them. Moreover, there were reports of Maoists trying to spread their ideological base in Assam through the tea plantation workers.

To understand the gravity of the matter, a December 12, 2011 news in The Telegraph states that Assam police have urged Dispur to create the post of Superintendent of Police (operations) in Upper Assam to co-ordinate offensives against Maoists which have been trying to gain a foothold in the area.
Analyst Ajit Singh for The Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi goes deep into the subject of alliance between North-Eastern outfits and the Maoists. He cites an official source “ISI and PLA are in touch and supplying Maoists with arms. They are supposedly using China as the alternative route." However, STRATFOR’s analysts Fred Burton and Ben West indicate to the contrary.

The China Factor

The China factor has been corroborated by Tehelka.com: “The PLA was given a contract of procuring Chinese-made rocket-propelled grenades, automatic rifles and high-end wireless sets.” Tehelka was also informed by an insider from the anti-talk faction of United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) that Kishenji was in touch with ULFA army chief Paresh Baruah, who led him to Anthony Shimray, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah) or NSCN(IM)’s chief arms procurer.

In this regard, it is noteworthy to quote then home secretary G K Pillai’s statement: “Chinese are big smugglers... suppliers of small arms. I am sure that the Maoists also get them.” (Times of India, Nov 9, 2009)

Furthermore, a December 07, 2011 report in The Sangai Express, a Manipur-based daily re-iterates the above. It states that insurgent groups in North-East are procuring arms in China and South-East Asian nations before smuggling those into India through Myanmar and Bangladesh. And Yunan province in China seems to be the breeding ground for such activities; Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran had said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

According to intelligence sources, Paresh Barua flew to Kunming in China’s Yunan province from Dhaka and had meetings with Chinese military intelligence brass. The PLA had urged the Chinese to help the Maoists and an “assurance” from the Chinese was sent through the PLA.


Even Mao Zedong’s China was apprehensive in explicitly acknowledging a helping hand towards then Naxalites of the late 1960s. Though Kanu Sanyal and others had gone to China to learn the basic tenets of guerrilla warfare and Naxal cadres had their [in]famous slogan: “China’s Chairman is our Chairman”; Mao never openly encouraged an ideology-based proxy-war in India. In the 21st century, with a booming trade between India and China, it hardly appears logical that the Chinese foreign policy establishment would support the cause of the Maoists like the ISI does in Kashmir. At worst, China would abet the insurgent outfits by selling small arms, which again suits their business interests at large.

Dr Pushpita Das at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses opines that overall, 2011 has been a good year for India’s internal security. However, she warns that “to ensure 2012 also turns out to be a quiet and secure year, New Delhi not only has to consolidate the gains made in 2011 but also undertake new initiatives.”

At the other end, India’s task is cut out. On December 03, 2011, Prime Minister Dr Singh and United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi addressed the previously planned public function at Kangla in Imphal. The dignitaries were provided tight security and no untoward incident occurred. But if this expanding net of terror in the North-East is not nipped in the bud, then it is easy to comprehend the futuristic implications of such a scenario.

16 December, 2011

Gandhi Peace Award and Adivasi Consciousness

By Uddipan Mukherjee

This evening’s meeting went well…
I did not have a good hearing, 
the acoustics were not brilliant 
and, on top of that, I am unable 
to decipher many Indian accents. 
There were some very 
strong opinions expressed. 
There will be a report posted 
on our website fairly soon.

—John Rowley, 

co-ordinator of Special events and projects of 
The Gandhi Foundation (November 10, 2011)

The ‘acoustics’ were confidently shrill, if not sounding cacophonous 

sometime back. However, Rowley was quite optimistic and polite in 
his approach while dealing with the postponement of an award, 
which generated more debate than eulogy.

The Gandhi Foundation is an organisation based in London. 

It does not even need to boast about the presence of mentors 
of the stature of Lord Bhiku Parekh and Lord Richard Attenborough, 
amongst others. Every year, the Foundation painstakingly scripts a 
peace award in the name of one of the messiahs of tranquility—Gandhi.

The year 2011 was no exception. November 9 was scheduled to 

host the bestowal of the recognition at the Human Rights 
Action Centre, London, amidst the august presence of Lord Parekh 
and sublime applause of the ‘au courant’ audience.

However, it couldn’t be worked out in that manner. Right from 

the outset, the award faced vehement criticism from certain 
quarters in India. Prominent among them was the 
Jharkhand Human Rights Movement (JHRM) based at Ranchi. 
As if a lone crusader in the fight of the ‘unheard’ Adivasis, as if to 
un-tarnish the allegation of a ‘lack of consciousness’ of his Adivasi 
brethren, and most visibly to negate the imposition of external 
elites on the Adivasi fabric, Gladson Dundung on behalf of the 
JHRM took up the cudgels to counter the noble composition of the 
London-based foundation.

The initial wordings of the Award [probably not willfully] contained a faux pas: “…the Gandhi Peace Award 2011 is being conferred to the tribal people of India, on behalf of whom, Dr Binayak Sen and Mr Bulu Imam would receive the honour…” The tribal groups strongly retorted: “It is extremely painful to know that the foundation has decided to award Binayak Sen and Bulu Imam on behalf of Adivasis of India……we would not like them to receive the award on behalf of Adivasis of India”. They appealed to uphold the dignity of Adivasisby changing either the wording or bestowing the award on someone else.

The foundation then made the first retreat. It re-worded the award script.

Thereafter, the top story on the home page of the organisation’s website read thus, “Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award 2011 will be presented to Dr. Binayak Sen and Bulu Imam”. The mention of the ‘tribal people of India’ was missing.

Nevertheless, even such a re-posturing couldn’t satisfy the India-based organisations like JHRM and others. A flurry of e-mails and letters was exchanged. Arguments posited, debated and permeated through the cyberspace. A pastiche of opinions overwhelmed the clime of intelligible argumentative contestations.

Instead of indulging in prolixity, cogent articulation needs to be put forward regarding the matter in contention. First, this author felt privileged to be part of the cyberspace-debate raised by Gladson Dungdung et al. and intellectually defended by Anand Patwardhan et al. (if causality could be ordered in that manner). Gladson is known through his writings and his ‘ground-level’ materials are useful for strategising and theorising regarding the Maoist movement in India.

Definitely, an ‘arm-chair theorist’ with a laptop, pen and loads of research paper all around is visibly different from Gladson, who doesn’t stroll, rather toil in the woods, collate data and then write, however, with elan and exuberance. Theorists are based within the confines of urbane-laxity, whereas Gladson had battled it out in the jungles of Jharkhand and still probably, battles.
At the other end, most of us know Dr Sen through the media. Our opinion about him, his family and other activists spread around the Naxal heartland is shaped up from the news articles, both in the national and international circuits. Mr Bulu Imam, on the other hand, may be accepted to be a less familiar name in the rights-circuit.

Dr Sen is yet to be totally absolved of the charges of sedition. And an award for him at the international arena could have engendered a mess for the Indian judicature. Sen, however, voluntarily relinquished the award. Imam, on the other hand, was probably pragmatic enough not to let off the prized

Here, the question is of an ‘award’. And the safe presumption could be that intellectuals were coerced into this debate more so because the ‘award’ was being given by a phoren organisation, and because the Father of the Nation’s name was associated with it. However, after Mr. Obama received the Nobel, do we really need to be serious regarding awards? At least, about awards which may not have objective analysis encrypted on them?

As far as the award for Dr Sen and Mr Imam is concerned, it surely was a decision taken by a coterie of sociologists, anthropologists and activists. It does not reflect the ‘will’ of the autochthonousAdivasis. Nevertheless, such a process is inherent in any award, ranging from the insignificant to the highest. Thus, the conferment does not elevate Dr Sen and Mr Imam as “messiahs” of the Adivasis.

Furthermore, even if the Adivasis had ‘voted’ Sen and Imam for this award, the duo wouldn’t have become their “messiahs” for a simple reason: the Adivasis have not bartered away their ‘consciousness’ to any external elite. The subaltern may be ‘unheard’ and ‘unheeded’, but it is always hard to ‘unravel’ and ‘understand’ him (her).

Political philosopher George Lukacs believed that the element of ‘revolutionary consciousness’ was required in the proletariat. That would grant them the necessary wherewithal to de-codify their status as an ‘object’. Once they fathom that they are being treated as ‘objects’ in a capitalist structure, they can turn themselves into ‘subjects’ and hence become ‘agents of change’. And in no way, this process could be aided and abetted by any external elite—either the rights activists or the Left-wing ultras.

Ranajit Guha, an acclaimed Indian historian, backs this argument of Lukacs with literary strength. He maintains that peasants and tribals do possess ‘consciousness’ and if they rebel, they do so on their own and not under the influence of any external elite. Lukacs and Guha thus sternly refute the Leninist dogma that consciousness needs to be pumped into the proletariat through a set of ‘enlightened’ individuals.

An Ulgulan in the tribal heartland goes on as an undercurrent in the socio-economic and political strata of the country. It may be ‘interpreted’ by the powerful, authoritative elite as an intricate set of matrices of insurgency and its reactionary counterpart—the counterinsurgency. It needs to be discussed why Sen and Imam did not lodge a protest to the Gandhi Foundation themselves as far as the original ‘award script’ was concerned.

Gladson and others may defocus on the actors receiving the award; rather stress on the contentious issues and keep on working for the Adivasis, let them rejuvenate and let them come up as the real heroes. There are innumerable unsung heroes amongst the Adivasis. In any movement, unsung heroes and heroines remain. We need to appreciate that it’s not only those protagonists on whom the camera flashes are the real ones. ‘Reality’ always needs a critical analysis.

08 December, 2011

India’s Approach to Counterinsurgency and the Naxalite Problem

Oct 31, 2011

Since its independence in 1947, India has fought dozens of campaigns against four distinct and independent insurgencies on its soil—in Punjab, Kashmir, the Northeast, and the Maoist insurgents of central India—as well as one foreign campaign in Sri Lanka. While India has accumulated a wealth of counterinsurgency (COIN) experience that has varied in terms of terrain, insurgent goals, force structure(s), foreign involvement, and outcomes, most COIN scholars have focused on Western foreign incumbent experiences to the neglect of India and other indigenous incumbents.[1] Nevertheless, as both Iraq and Afghanistan move toward assuming greater responsibility for their internal security amidst continued insurgent activity, India’s COIN strategies can offer important lessons for these states and others that resemble its highly federalized political system, developing economy, and still evolving democracy.
One analyst has argued that India has “one of the world’s most successful records in fighting insurgencies,” noting that “it has not yet lost a counterinsurgency campaign within the country.”[2] This claim, however, is puzzling given the current struggles of the Indian government to curb a raging Maoist insurgency. Today, while the insurgencies of the Northeast and Kashmir are largely contained, if not under control, and the Punjab insurgency soundly defeated, India has been earnestly testing different COIN strategies to combat a growing Maoist threat throughout its center and east known generally as the Naxalite insurgency. Since resurging in the last decade, the Naxalite uprising has been described by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as “a great national security threat” and the “biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.”[3] This article will briefly describe some of the lessons of success and failure that can be drawn from India’s decades of COIN experience and their application in the current fight against the Naxalite insurgency.
India’s Alternative Approach to COIN
Generally speaking, the Indian take on COIN appears to depart from the approach advocated by Western doctrine that promotes a population-centric strategy to win “hearts and minds.”[4] Despite Indian official doctrine formally espousing this concept[5] and some contentions that India has always seen COIN as a “political rather than military problem,”[6] a closer look reveals that the Indian approach may be better characterized as a strategy of attrition[7] with the deployment of “raw state coercion”[8] and “enemy-centric” campaigns[9] to suffocate an insurgency through a “saturation of forces.”[10] At times it may involve the co-optation of elites to “buy-out” and contain an insurgency.[11] When the military has been deployed, it operates under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which includes “the power of the security forces to make preventative arrests, search premises without warrant, and shoot and kill civilians.”[12]
In each major counterinsurgency campaign, the Indian state developed a number of innovative tactics and organizational capacities that yielded some success along with some negative fallout. During the Punjab campaign, India militarized the police and reversed their role with the military to harness local knowledge and legitimacy and lead kinetic operations.[13] As a result, the police structure remained highly militarized, bloated, inefficient, and incapable of investigative police work more than a decade later.[14] In Kashmir, the creation of a dedicated COIN force—the Rashtriya Rifles, integrating an army ethos into a paramilitary force especially equipped and trained to conduct counterinsurgency—achieved some success, but it ultimately had to be fully manned by army personnel and faced a number of operational and coordination problems with other forces.[15]
The co-optation and transformation of insurgents into local assets was a tactic employed both in Punjab (called “CATs,” for Covert Apprehension Technique) and Kashmir (ikhwanis).[16] Turning insurgents was sometimes achieved through money[17] as well as abduction and torture,[18] but these tactics eventually led to new problems, such as increased criminal activity and corrupted security forces, for the respective governments.[19] Moreover, the highly kinetic approach of both campaigns entailed tremendous brutality, torture, disappearances, “encounter killings,” and mass graves that created a litany of human rights investigations and public disaffection, and today continues to fuel simmering resentment and potentially violence.[20]
A slight variant of this approach—the buyout and political incorporation of insurgents—has enabled India to keep a lid on a whole host of insurgent separatist movements in the seven states of India’s eastern extremity, India’s Northeast, since 1956.[21] Yet while eliminating the prospect of separatism, it has perversely created spirals of insecurity, splinter groups (there are more than 100 distinct armed groups in the Northeast), and a dysfunctional insurgent political economy of violence, development aid, and interminable militia politics.[22]
Overall, the Indian strategy of coercion, co-optation, and containment has achieved moderate success in mitigating the threat to the state, and this is being applied today against the re-emergent Naxalite insurgency.
The Naxalite Insurgency
The Naxalites first emerged in 1967 in the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal and spread throughout the central states of Bihar, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh until it was violently suppressed by state and paramilitary forces by 1972. This militant left-wing movement fractured into more than 40 distinct groups, which began to remobilize, consolidate and become more active in the 1980s and 1990s, particularly in the state of Andhra Pradesh.[23] Since 2004, with the merger of the two largest factions—the Peoples War Group and the Maoist Communist Center—to form the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-M), violence has climbed dramatically, with 2,200 incidents and 1,200 killed in 2010 alone.[24]
It is estimated that Naxals have a presence in one-third of districts in India,[25] but with the strongest foothold in parts of seven states—West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. The difference today is that this region also happens to sit atop tremendous iron ore, coal, and aluminum deposits as well as irrigation and hydroelectric potential.[26]
While some parts of the left-wing movement in India are willing to partly or fully embrace parliamentary politics to address issues of class, inequality, and distribution, the hardcore Naxalites remain unwilling to countenance democratic politics and seek the violent overthrow of the state through a variety of tactics.[27] Although conventional accounts describe them as motivated by the broad economic deprivation and absence of the state in much of rural central India,[28] a more specific reason is resentment at the local exploitative power configurations—whether feudal landlords, land-expropriating state governments, or extractive corporations—that continue to dominate and suppress the lower castes and aboriginal tribes that reside in these areas and constitute the Naxalite support base.[29] The Naxalites, however, are a protean movement that has expertly exploited a variety of caste, ethnic, or sectarian cleavages in India.[30]
Unlike some of the ethno-sectarian insurgencies of recent years, the Naxalite insurgency—posturing itself as a “people’s war”—comports more with classic COIN theory that was built on notions of competitive state building to address economic and governance deficiencies.[31] In step with their historical experience, however, the Indian state has generally favored a more kinetic approach to counterinsurgency over winning “hearts and minds.”[32]
There appears to be an explicit awareness that the Western COIN model may not be the right fit for India. One Indian military analyst and practitioner praised the Andhra Pradesh approach for its “enemy-centric” character, an anathema in current Western COIN discourse.[33] Another well-regarded Indian analyst defended a kinetic focus and derided the hearts and minds “myth” by recalling that even Sir Gerald Templar regarded it as “that nauseating phrase I think I invented.”[34] Moreover, a well-known defense journalist wrote that a population-centric approach “has proved to be flawed.”[35]
Indian State Response to the Naxalites
State Strategies
Given India’s federalist structure, the onus for responding to the rising Naxalite threat has fallen upon individual states, although with substantial federal support during the past five years.[36] The hardest hit states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh—where roughly half of Naxalite activity is concentrated and continues to escalate—have raced to scale up the manpower of their state and local police forces, while being supplemented with about 40 battalions of central paramilitary forces.[37] Meanwhile, states such as Bihar and West Bengal have also seen a rise in violence in recent years as their police manpower has declined or held steady. The composition of police is another variable that may adversely affect outcomes. The police forces of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Orissa are composed of a much higher percentage of paramilitary forces (as opposed to civil police) relative to the Indian average, potentially rendering them less locally knowledgeable or legitimate.[38]
Central and state governments have been criticized for their paramilitary forces’ shortfalls in size, antiquated organizational structure and age profile, inadequate training (for instance, only firing 20 rounds per year), and most importantly the absence of coordination or a coherent strategy.[39]
The Limits of Indian Responses
True to its past history, the Indian central and state governments’ COIN responses have been heavily kinetic, disregarding local public perceptions. One Indian commentator wrote, “exceeding Maoist rebels they accuse of brutality, the police, paramilitary and Salwa Judum recruits continue to freely kill unarmed men and women. It has wrecked any short- to medium-term hope of winning tribals and forest dwellers back to the fold of the state.”[40] With the launch of additional major sweep operations and expansion of commando units, collateral damage of civilians caught in the crossfire and through retribution is expected to rise.[41] Violence, whether premeditated or spontaneous, “can be completely indiscriminate, leading to the burning of the homes of innocents and their torture, maiming, rape, and death.”[42]
While there have been centralized efforts to coordinate the use of force and economic development, these have largely faltered due to poor coordination, misutilization, and co-optation by local elites and corporations.[43] The Indian government has repeatedly set up unified commands to better coordinate the use of central paramilitary forces, state armed (paramilitary) police, and state local or civil police, but these have been riddled with problems and at times hindered local innovation.[44] A major attempt was launched with Operation Green Hunt in late 2009, a massive search-and-destroy operation meant to clear out the Naxalite strongholds in the forests of central India. The fissures of this unified command, however, were exposed when a company of central paramilitary forces short on local police support and intelligence were ambushed and more than 80 killed after being tracked for three days by Naxalite insurgents.[45]
The two states that appear to be relatively successful at reducing insurgent activity or keeping it at bay are Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Maharashtra seems to have had a relatively higher police to population ratio at the beginning of the decade, potentially buffering it from the spillover of Naxalite insurgency from neighboring areas. While Andhra Pradesh’s manpower ratio rose somewhat over the past decade, its success in dramatically reducing Naxalite activity in its territory is generally attributed by Indian analysts to a rather different strategy of raising a special commando force known as the Greyhounds.[46]
The Greyhound Force
The Greyhound force, an elite anti-Maoist commando unit, was raised beginning in 1987 from within the Andhra Pradesh police to conduct small unit counterguerrilla offensives against Naxalite insurgents.[47] Roundly believed to have been tremendously successful, the Andhra Pradesh police have drawn inspiration from the infamous Selous Scouts of Rhodesia to prosecute the equivalent of a “bush war” against the Naxalites.[48]
The 2,000-strong Greyhound force is better paid and equipped than federal or state paramilitary forces with state of the art weapons and technology, better trained in jungle warfare, and moves in nimbler, highly capable units to target, track, and destroy insurgent networks by modeling guerrilla tactics.[49] The Greyhounds are also well supported by the entire state police force.[50] Two companies of Greyhounds would be deployed at a joint operational base with two platoons of local home guards for intelligence and logistical support.[51] Between 2005 and 2008, they have been credited with bringing down the Maoist cadre in Andhra Pradesh from 1,200 to 500 and Naxalite activity in the state this decade has dropped from a peak of roughly 600 attacks in 2003 to around 100 in 2010.[52] Their success was attributed to signals intelligence exploitation, careful operational planning, jungle survival training, night operations, and decapitation of Maoist leadership.[53]
The Greyhound model is perceived to be so successful that many states are starting to develop their own small unit commando police battalions. While the Indian central government continues to pour central paramilitary forces into the region (now on the order of about 70 battalions), it is also raising 10 Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and deploying them alongside state and federal units.[54] Yet one should be leery of the triumphant claims made of Andhra Pradesh as well as the potential to model the Greyhound success.
First, there is reason to believe that the Greyhounds did not defeat the Maoist insurgents outright but merely displaced them to neighboring states. This corresponds with data that shows Naxalite activity skyrocketed in neighboring Chhattisgarh as it declined in Andhra Pradesh.[55] Second, intelligence officers and other analysts believe gains in Andhra Pradesh are unsustainable and the state remains highly vulnerable to Maoist activity.[56] This fear was validated by a recent Times of India-IMMRB survey of five northern districts of Andhra Pradesh recently cleared of Maoist insurgents where the majority of those surveyed still sympathized with Naxalite motives, methods, and results, and viewed actions by state forces such as encounter killings as suspect and unjustified. Meanwhile, a plurality believed nothing had improved and exploitation had increased since their departure.[57] Even if the Naxalite presence and violence has been structurally reduced, the survey revealed that the strategy has certainly not relied upon winning hearts and minds to achieve this end.
Finally, even if the Greyhound approach was actually successful, the background conditions required to achieve operational effectiveness are currently absent or underdeveloped in the rest of the country. Andhra Pradesh began raising the Greyhounds in 1987 but did not achieve marked success until almost two decades later. Despite the state having a relatively efficient policing system, both the Greyhound commandos and the state police and security force serving as the logistical and intelligence “tail” took substantial time to mature.[58] New police inductees served first in the Greyhound support unit for about four years before rotating to the district level where they might continue to support operations.[59] This gradually built up inter-organizational familiarity and cooperation within the state, and the substantial network of well-trained local police—features noticeably absent in the rest of Naxal-affected India—were able to funnel high quality intelligence for Greyhound targeting.[60]
Three points are worth noting about Indian counterinsurgency strategy. First, rather than abiding by a singular formula, strategies have varied over time and space depending on the context and nature of the insurgency. Second, India has routinely departed from the traditional “hearts and minds” or population-centric COIN for a highly kinetic and coercive enemy-centric COIN. Third, Indian successes are never “clean” and always involve uncomfortable tradeoffs, whether by way of criminal activity, organizational dysfunction and corruption, or further insurgency. These should all be expected as India faces down the Naxalite insurgency over what might be a full decade or more.[61]
This third point is in part related to India’s democratic character. The mobilization capacity of insurgents creates perverse interests by political parties to harness these assets for their own ends.[62] In fact, for much of the earlier part of this decade, most Naxal-affected states “abdicated their authority over vast regions, as long as the semblance of normalcy could be maintained and the electoral interests of the dominant political party could be taken care of.”[63]
Moreover, Indian counterinsurgency has been and will likely continue to look both brutal and incomplete (by Western standards) because the incumbent is unwilling to countenance the types of institutional overhauls needed to fully quell insurgent impulses. If the fundamental conflict is not over the distribution of resources that can be mended with economic development, but rather the distribution of power controlled by the state and elite cadres, then the disease is the system.[64] The cure then may deeply threaten not only India’s growth engine that has relied upon land appropriation and displacement for industrialization and mining, but also the power, composition, and identity of the Indian state stretching from the local level up to the state and national governments.
Sameer Lalwani is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Fieldwork for this research was partly supported by the Tobin Project.
[1] Indigenous incumbent is meant to distinguish states fighting insurgency on their own soil from foreign incumbents. One notable exception is a recent volume edited by Sumit Ganguly and David Fidler, India and Counterinsurgency: Lessons Learned (New York: Routledge, 2009).
[2] Rajesh Rajagopalan, “Force and Compromise: India’s Counterinsurgency Grand Strategy,” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 30:1 (2007).
[3] Manmohan Singh, “PM’s Speech at the Chief Minister’s Meet on Naxalism,” April 13, 2006; Manmohan Singh, “PM’s Valedictory Address at the Seminar on the Occasion of Golden Jubilee of National Defence College,” October 22, 2010.
[4] For instance, see David J. Kilcullen, Counterinsurgency (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); John Nagl, David Petraeus, James Amos, U.S. Army Field Manual No. 3-24 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007); Stephen Biddle, “The New U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual as Political Science and Political Praxis,” Perspectives on Politics 6:2 (2008).
[5] Lawrence Cline, “The Insurgency Environment in Northeast India,” Small Wars and Insurgencies 17:2 (2006).
[6] Rajagopalan, “Force and Compromise: India’s Counterinsurgency Grand Strategy.”
[7] Prem Mahadevan, “The Gill Doctrine: A Model for 21st Century Counterterrorism?” Faultlines 19 (2008); K.P.S. Gill, “Endgame in Punjab: 1988-1993,” Faultlines 1 (1999); Namrata Goswami, “India’s Counter-insurgency Experience: The ‘Trust and Nurture’ Strategy,” Small Wars and Insurgencies 20:1 (2009).
[8] Paul Staniland, “Counterinsurgency is a Bloody, Costly Business,” Foreign Policy, November 24, 2009.
[9] Deepak Aneel Boyini, “Explaining Success and Failure: Counterinsurgency in Malaya and India,” unpublished masters thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, December 2010.
[10] Anit Mukherjee,  “India’s Experiences with Insurgency and Counterinsurgency,” in Sumit Ganguly ed.,  Handbook of Asian Security Studies (London: Routledge, 2010).
[11] Anit Mukherjee, “Lessons from Another Insurgency,” New York Times, May 4, 2006.
[12] Sanjib Baruah, Postfrontier Blues: Toward a New Policy Framework for Northeast India (Washington, D.C.: East-West Center, 2007).
[13] Mahadevan, “The Gill Doctrine: A Model for 21st Century Counterterrorism?”; C. Christine Fair, “Lessons from India’s Experience in the Punjab, 1978-93,” in Sumit Ganguly and David P. Fidler eds., India and Counterinsurgency: Lessons Learned (New York: Routledge, 2009).
[14] On subsequent police failures, see Arvind Verma and Srinagesh Gavirneni, “Measuring Police Efficiency in India: An Application of Data Envelopment Analysis,” Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management 29:1 (2006); H.S. Sidhu and S.S. Bains, “Public Expenditure on Police Services in India: With Special Reference to Punjab,” The Indian Police Journal 55:1 (2008); Pramod Kumar, Community Policing Programme in Punjab: A Guide (Chandigarh, India: Institute for Development and Communication, 2011).
[15]  Rajesh Rajagopalan, “Innovations in Counterinsurgency: The Indian Army’s Rashtriya Rifles,” Contemporary South Asia 31:1 (2004); Moeed Yusuf and Anit Mukherjee, “Counterinsurgency in Pakistan: Learning from India,” AEI National Security Outlook, September 2007.
[16] Fair; Mukherjee, “Lessons from Another Insurgency.”
[17] Ibid.; Prem Mahadevan, “Counter Terrorism in the Indian Punjab: Assessing the ‘Cat’ System,” Faultlines 18 (2007).
[18] Joyce Pettigrew, “Parents and Their Children in Situations of Terror: Disappearances and Special Police Activity in Punjab,” in Jeffrey A. Sluka ed., Death Squad: The Anthropology of State Terror (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000).
[19] Sidhu and Bains; Mukherjee, “Lessons from Another Insurgency.”
[20] On Punjab human rights violations, see Romesh Silva, Jasmine Marwaha, and Jeff Kligner, “Violent Deaths and Enforced Disappearances During Counterinsurgency in Punjab, India: A Preliminary Quantitative Analysis,” A Joint Report by Benetech’s Human Rights Data Analysis Group & Ensaaf, Inc., January 2009. On Kashmir mass graves, see Lydia Polgreen, “Mass Graves Hold Thousands, Kashmir Inquiry Finds,” New York Times, August 22, 2011.
[21] Cline.
[22] Baruah.
[23] P.V. Ramana, “India’s Maoist Insurgency: Evolution, Current Trends, and Responses,” in Michael Kugelman ed.,  India’s Contemporary Security Challenges (Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2011); Jennifer L. Oetken, “Counterinsurgency Against Naxalites in India,” in Sumit Ganguly and David P. Fidler eds., India and Counterinsurgency: Lessons Learned (New York: Routledge, 2009).
[24] These figures are from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Annual Reports, Government of India.
[25] Rahul Bedi estimates that Naxals have a presence in 20 of India’s 29 states, or 223 of 603 administrative districts, roughly one-third of the country. See Rahul Bedi, “State Told to Disband Militia Fighting Maoist Guerillas,” New Zealand Herald, July 13, 2011.
[26] J.K. Achuthan, “Tackling Maoists: The Andhra Paradigm,” Indian Defence Review 25:2 (2010).
[27] Naxalite insurgents have targeted “class enemies” (sometimes through beheadings), police and security forces, infrastructure such as police stations, schools, local government buildings, roads, power lines, railways, and economic targets like mining and energy infrastructure. They have been able to carry out these activities through the acquisition as well as indigenous production of a wide variety of weapons including automatic firearms, rocket launchers, and a whole host of mines for which they use to conduct IED attacks and small unit ambushes. See Ramana; Achuthan; Sudeep Chakravarti, “No End in Sight,” Seminar 605 (2010). The Naxalites are also reported to provide public goods to local residents such as security, swift justice in “people’s courts,” education, irrigation, community kitchens, medical units, and minimum wage enforcement in part through extortion and taxation of local government offices, contractors, businessmen, and industrialists. See Bedi; Oetken; Chakravarti; Pratul Ahuja and Rajat Ganguly, “The Fire Within: Naxalite Insurgency Violence in India,” Small Wars and Insurgencies 18:2 (2007).
[28] For example, the Ministry of Home Affairs Annual Report from 2006-07 states, “Naxalites typically operate in a vacuum created by inadequacy of administrative and political institutions, espouse local demands and take advantage of the prevalent disaffection, perceived injustice among the underprivileged and remote segments of population.” Also see “India’s Naxalites: A Spectre Haunting India,” Economist, August 17, 2006; Vani K. Borooah, “Deprivation, Violence, and Conflict: An Analysis of Naxalite Activity in the Districts of India,” International Journal of Conflict and Violence 2:2 (2008).
[29] Nandani Sundar, “At War With Oneself: Constructing Naxalism as India’s Biggest Security Threat,” in Michael Kugelman, India’s Contemporary Security Challenges (Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2011); Manoj Mate and Adnan Naseemullah, “State Security and Elite Capture: The Implementation of Antiterrorist Legislation in India,” Journal of Human Rights 9 (2010).
[30] Kirpal S. Dhillon, “Police and Terrorism,” in P.J. Alexander ed., Policing India in the New Millennium (Mumbai, India: Allied Publishers, 2002).
[31] Biddle; Stathis N. Kalyvas, “The New U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual as Political Science and Political Praxis,” Perspectives on Politics 6:2 (2008).
[32] Ramana; Bedi.
[33] Boyini.
[34] Ajai Sahni, “India’s Maoists and the Dreamscape of ‘Solutions,’” South Asia Terrorism Portal, February 2010.
[35] Praveen Swami, “Anti-Maoist War in Serious Trouble,” Hindu, August 10, 2011.
[36] The minister of Home Affairs recently announced that there are currently 71 battalions of Central Paramilitary Forces deployed in the Naxalite-affected region. See “P. Chidambaram Inaugurates DGPs/IGPs Conference,” Press Information Bureau, Government of India, September 15, 2011.
[37] Chhattisgarh has 28 battalions and Jharkhand has 15. See Vinay Kumar, “In Chhattisgarh, Central Forces Don New Mantle,” Hindu, April 23, 2011; Amit Gupta, “CRPF’s Rain Offensive,” Telegraph, July 12, 2011.
[38] This assessment is based on data from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
[39] Sahni, “India’s Maoists and the Dreamscape of ‘Solutions’”; Achuthan; Bhavna Vij-Aurora, “Armed and Dangerous,” India Today, April 25, 2011.
[40] The local vigilantes in part recruited by the state governments, sometimes as special police officers or village defense committees, are known as the Salwa Judum (“peace hunt”) movement. They have brutally abused the population and in fact escalated violence. See Sundar; Chakravarti.
[41] Chakravarti.
[42] Ibid.
[43] Sundar; Ajai Sahni, “India and her Maoists,” Wars Within Borders, November 2009.
[44] Supriya Sharma, “Unified Command Flopped Last Time, Will it Work Now?” Times of India, July 17, 2010; Bibhi Prasad Routray, “India’s Anti-Maoist Operations: Where Are the Special Forces?” Eurasia Review, January 5, 2011.
[45] Anuj Chopra, “India’s Failing Counterinsurgency Campaign,” Foreign Policy, May 14, 2010; “A Disaster Foretold,” The Pioneer, April 11, 2010.
[46] The different approaches to counterinsurgency employed by the U.S. Army (modeled on FM 3-24) and U.S. special forces are analyzed by Jon Lindsay in “Commandos, Advisors, and Diplomats: Special Operations Forces and Counterinsurgency,” presented to the International Studies Association Annual Conference, New York, February 15, 2009.
[47] Boyini; Madhavi Tata, “Lessons from Andhra,” Outlook India, April 19, 2010; Ajai Sahni, “Andhra Pradesh: The State Advances, the Maoists Retreat,” South Asia Intelligence Review 6:10 (2007).
[48] Achuthan.
[49] Boyini.
[50] Sahni, “Andhra Pradesh: The State Advances, the Maoists Retreat.”
[51]  Ibid.; Achuthan.
[52] This data is from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Also see Sreenivas Janyala, “The Andhra Fightback,” Indian Express, June 27, 2009.
[53] Ibid.; Achuthan; Tata.
[54] Routray.
[55] This data is from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Also see Vij-Aurora.
[56] Chakravarti; KP Narayana Kumar, “Naxalites ‘Tamed’ in Andhra Pradesh, Hub of Movement,” MINT, July 2, 2009.
[57] “58% in AP Say Naxalism is Good, Finds TOI Poll,” Times of India, September 28, 2010. Although the survey did not specifically pose questions about the Greyhounds, they are likely included in the forces viewed with suspicion as unjust since they were the lead operational forces in these areas over the last decade.
[58] On initial police efficiency, see Verma and Gavirneni. On maturation, see Sahni, “Andhra Pradesh: The State Advances, the Maoists Retreat.”
[59] Achuthan; Sahni, “Andhra Pradesh: The State Advances, the Maoists Retreat.”
[60] Ibid.
[61] Ramana estimates 7-10 years for government strategy to start seeing results and Vij-Aurora reports that one intelligence official estimated 8-10 years simply to properly train the required force.
[62] Mukherjee,  “India’s Experiences with Insurgency and Counterinsurgency”; Paul Staniland, “Cities on Fire: Social Mobilization, State Policy, and Urban Insurgency,” Comparative Political Studies 43 (2010).
[63] Achuthan.
[64] This borrows a concept used by Anatol Lieven to explain some elements of another South Asian state. See Anatol Lieven, Pakistan: A Hard Country (New York: Public Affairs, 2011).