Left Wing Extremism is an almost totally rural phenomenon. It is a totally indigenous phenomenon motivated by domestic grievances and domestic political agenda. It is our long neglect to develop the tribal areas which has created alienation against the government and has become the very source of violence and terror aggravated by discontentment among the marginalized sections of society. To sum up it up in brief I would like to bring into light the study and conclusion by the Bandopadhyay Committee – Choosing its words carefully, the report states that “We have two worlds of education, two worlds of health, two worlds of transport and two worlds of housing…”

Development of villages and empowering the rural population only can solve this problem. My suggestions to contribute to rural development and minimizing extremism can be summed up in following points:

1.      Focus on creating employment and income and follow latest methods to increase productivity.
2.      Educate children and adults.
3.      Make them aware of modern technology.
4.      Make them aware of our government policies, schemes and steps that government has taken for rural upliftment and help them avail the facilities.
5.      Psychological Factors: To promote the feeling that government is not against them but is dedicated enough to support and uplift them by various means. This will in turn save youngsters.

But until and unless we are into those forests… into that situation, it shall not be possible for us think of a practical solution. The approach should be to systematically resolve the problem of unemployment, poverty, health care, education and governance. Sending armed troops is not the solution as it will only aggravate the situation. Rather than winning the war, the locals should be empowered and won over!

The socio-economic problems:
There are many socio-economic reasons for the rise and growth of Left Wing Extremism like – Poverty, Unemployment, Land Issues (lack or land reforms), Corruption, Illiteracy and Violence in the name of religion, community and caste etc. If we look at the land reforms in Kerala and West Bengal, we shall see that it has eased the  agrarian tension, while exactly to the contrary, failure of the same in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh has changed what was initially a peasant revolt into Naxalite movements. A lasting solution to Left extremist politics cannot be achieved without addressing the socio economic factors that contribute to its rise and growth. I firmly believe POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT as the burning issues in promoting Left Wing Extremism. It is a totally indigenous phenomenon motivated by domestic grievances and domestic political agenda. The Extremists target and lure people in vulnerable jobs like – fishermen, bamboo cutters, farmers and daily labourers. By doing this they have created a large and strong social base.

Suggestions to curb poverty and unemployment:
The majority of the tribal population is engaged in agriculture, fishing, animal farming, handicrafts and wood cutters and daily labourers. Micro planning is the one and only strong solution to beat poverty and unemployment.

1.      Focus on raising their income and standard of living by training and engaging them in work they are already good at.
2.      Promoting scientific methods and incorporate latest technology in day to day work.
3.      Keep them informed about various government policies and scheme that will benefit them.
4.      Take initiative and act as a mediator between bureaucrats/babus and the local people. It should be ensured that no one can take advantage of their poverty, illiteracy or ignorance.
5.      Teach them certain marketing strategies. They lack the knowledge about marketing or selling their produces.
6.      Removal of middleman so that they earn more than what they normally used to.
7.      Forming Co-operative groups (I have always looked upon Dr. Verghese Kurien and  his AMUL model as an model for real development and empowerment of rural India).
8.      Reduce the lack of support at panchayat and block office level.
9.      Tackle issues like seasonal and disguised unemployment by improvised irrigation and scientific facilities.
10.     Vocational Training to women – making pickles, process indigenous food products, handicrafts and hand woven fabric etc . These can be supplied to major handicraft companies like Fabindia.

Ultimate solution To Left wing Extremism and the likes:

74% of people in India earn their livelihood from agriculture. One third of Indian population is still below the poverty line. If we manage to channel all these people, their energy and skills in the right direction, one can easily imagine the scope of success. The various sectors that we can help and advice to plunge into are –
1.      Bee Farming
2.      Food Processing
3.      Dairy Farming
4.      Handicrafts and Furniture – begin as supplier to Retailers in Metros (Fabindia, Mother Earth etc), Export to foreign countries and eventually retailing own brand.
5.      Educational Institutions (Schools/Colleges)
6.      Hospital
7.      Transportation
8.      Cooperative Banks
9.      Garment Manufacturing Units etc

Why not propose to build business empire in villages. Instead of promoting migration of rural population to cities, why not go to them with better opportunities. We can begin from one village and slowly incorporate throughout the district (depending on area and demography). We should aim at conquering poverty and raising the living standards of most hardworking but poorest section of our country. I firmly believe in the fact that a country can develop only when its villages are developed. And starting from agriculture is the best possible way to connect to rural farmers (75% of Indian population is engaged in agriculture).

The bright side –
a.      Minimize migration of labours to cities
b.      Optimum usage of manpower and resources
c.      Cheap labour
d.      Minimize production cost
e.      Raised standard of living

The educated and aware rural youth should have the desire to go back to their villages. Only they are the ones well acquainted to those areas and know the local language and customs. They have the awareness about the issues that people face in day to day lives. And hence, easily understand and get along with the locals.

Social Entrepreneurship is the ultimate solution to this burning issue. Empowering Rural India only can bring about real change!

 

Note: Inspiration from various sources available on this issue has been taken in and compiled with my personal views and perspective. Unfortunately I couldn’t maintain a bibliography of the same.

 

 

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