The rapid expansion of the Maoist movement across India is not occurring without reason. The UPA government’s apparently pro-rich economic policies coupled with the failure of the Left parties to expand their support base have combined to a provide a surge to the violent movement, the Left-affiliated All India Trade Union Congress(AITUC)said on Tuesday.
The spread of "political extremism" was one issue discussed at general council meeting of AITUC, which is affiliated to the CPI and is currently the largest Left trade union, held in the capital on May 6 and 7. This is the first time that an affiliate of the CPI, which is considered to be more sympathetic to the Maoist movement compared to CPI(M), has connected the spread of Naxalism to the failure of the Left and trade unions to provide a platform to the poor.
"If organised democratic movement, trade union action, struggle of the peasantry cannot take meaningful shape, political extremism is bound to spread. What is alarming is that extremism has already been able to set its foot in about 168 districts out of 600 districts in the country," AITUC general secretary and CPI MP, Gurudas Das Gupta, said.
Das Gupta said in a situation of growing dissatisfaction among the under-privileged, it is essential that a trade union movement spearheads the battle against unemployment and violation of labour laws among unorganised labour and farmers, which provide a catchment sectors for political extremism.
"If India has attained high growth rate of more than 9 per cent, the beneficiary is only 0.2 per cent of population. While the government claims that 47 million jobs have been created during the Xth five-year plan, unemployment has increased to 3.06 per cent. The manufacturing sector has lost over 3 per cent jobs and the annual growth of employment in the organised sector has turned negative and the same is the condition in the public sector," Das Gupta said.
The council also discussed the waning of Congress’s influence and the consequent strengthening of BJP. "While BJP is seeking to exploit the discontent of the people, the Congress refuses to learn its lessons. It appears to be in disarray," Das Gupta said.