In the harsh jungle life of a Maoist on the run, love and marriage are not the kind of skill-sets that the parent CPI (Maoist) party encourages its cadres to be adept at. Even so, couplings do happen, even ending in marriage. But there is a catch. The couple cannot have children.
Now, thanks to a pro-active approach of the security forces, surrendered Maoists are able to settle down into family life and have children after getting their vasectomy reversed. A part of the Chhattisgarh government’s social rehabilitation plan, the move has brought smiles on the faces of couples like Tijo and Bhagat, proud parents of Aradhana, a baby girl born on October 6.
But first rewind to 2010, when 19-year-old Tijo, a teenaged Maoist cadre from the Gond tribe fell in love with her senior, Bhagat Jade, then 25. They got married, but the CPI (Maoist) diktat prohibited them from having children. So Bhagat had to undergo Vasectomy (a surgical process for male sterilisation).
A couple of years down the line, the two got promoted up the ranks; she became a divisional commander and he a senior divisional committee member of the Rajnandgaon-Kanker region. But Tijo’s desire to have children remained strong, finally pushing the outlawed couple to surrender in February 2014.
Around June last year, the state police helped Bhagat and three other surrendered Maoist leaders to undergo reverse-vasectomy surgeries. All four men had married their female colleagues while on the run in the jungles. Now they are planning for family life in the secure environs of the Rajnandgaon police lines, before they are given a secure dwelling place.
“In the jungle, after marriage we could meet once in two or three months. If I am at Rajnandgaon, my wife would be sent to Abujhmad area. This lack of interaction was depressing for both of us, so we decided to surrender,” says Bhagat, a resident of Manpur block of Rajnandgaon.
ADG (anti-Maoist operation), RK Vij, told HT that while Bhagat is the first Maoist to become a father after reverse vasectomy in Chhattisgarh, “many others are inquiring about the possibility of returning to normal family life”.
Moreover, doctors at the district government hospital are answering all the concerns of the new parents Bhagat and Tijo—from feeding the baby to changing diapers to vaccination schedules.
The three other Maoist leaders who underwent corrective vasectomy surgeries – Saket alias Rajesh Pudo, 30, (platoon commander), Chotu alias Sriram Padha, 26, (border platoon commander) and Tavi alias Ganeshu, 35, (local organisation squad commander) –have similar experiences to share.
“Approval for marriage followed by vasectomy is mandatory. After marriage the couples are rarely allowed to live together,” said Rajesh Pudo, adding that there is no place for family life in the CPI (Maoist) setup. “The moment any female member conceives, she is forced to abort the foetus,” adds Sriram Padha.
According Additional DGP Vij, taking a cue from Chhattisgarh’s efforts to socially rehabilitate surrendered Maoists cadres, the ministry of home affairs has decided to replicate the practice in all Maoist-affected states.