Archive for B Raman

Dantewada: The Centre of Gravity of Left Wing Extremism

Posted in Counter-insurgency, Dantewada, LWE with tags , on 14 June 2010 by indiasecuritymonitor

Dantewada has seen some of the bloodiest Left Wing Extremist (LWE) battles in recent times. This is no coincidence as per Mr. B Raman, former Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. In his article on the topic, he has in effect identified Dantewada as the ‘centre of gravity’ to borrow a term from the conventional warfare parlance. The geographical importance of Dantewada in the LWE context for the nation has been brought out extensively. 

The ultimate outcome of our counter-insurgency operations against the Maoists will be decided in the Dantewada district Chattisgarh, which has become the Yenan of the Indian Maoists . After the failure of the Soviet model and the Long March to achieve the capture of political power in a predominantly rural country like China, Mao Zedong and his lieutenants embarked on the Yenan model, which ultimately led to success in 1949. Yenan is in the Shaanxi province. In his 1971 book titled “The Yenan Way in Revolutionary China”, Mark Selden describes the Yenan Way as the “discovery of concrete methods for linking popular participation in the guerrilla struggle with a wide ranging community attack on rural problems.” The Shaanxi province, one of the most drought and famine affected areas of China, provided to the Chinese Maoists an ideal base for testing their theory of exploiting mass rural discontent for creating an armed struggle against the urban areas.

If Yenan saw the beginning of the road of success of the Chinese Revolution, the Dantewada area of the state of Chattisgarh is looked upon by the India Maoists as an ideal base for exploiting tribal discontent to create a revolutionary fervour as a prelude to the capture of political power through an armed struggle waged from the impoverished rural areas. The focus of our counter-insurgency efforts has to be centred in the Dantewada area of Chattisgarh. The Maoists’ dream of capturing political power by exploiting rural/tribal discontent has to be countered through an innovative counter-insurgency programme to deprive the Maoist leadership of the support of the rural/ tribal masses. Strengthening the capability of the police to neutralize the Maoist leadership has to be combined with programmes to address simultaneously the grievances and problems of the masses in order to prevent the flow of volunteers to the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army of the Maoists.