Family dream returning Maoists to mainstream, reversal of vasectomy makes it possible
During spring of 2007, Dinesh Kadti first saw Meena in a Maoist training camp inside a dense jungle in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district and fell in love. Both of them were teenagers and within a month they decided to get married.
Two years later, they got married in Edesmetta jungle, a core area of the Maoists, after the rebels forced Kadati to undergo vasectomy, a must for the cadre wanting to get married. Kadanti said vasectomy is done to keep the cadre away from the allure of raising a family, which could turn out to be a potential reason to abandon the Maoist ideology.
As the years passed by their desire for a child grew. And when they surrendered before Chhattisgarh police in 2018, the first thing they wanted was to have a child.
“After surrendering, I along with three others wanted to get a reversal of vasectomy done because we wanted a kid and met the superintendent of police (SP). The SP assured help” said Kadati, who is now a constable with the district reserve guard in Dantewada.
In August 2019, Kadati got his reverse vasectomy done in a private hospital in Raipur along with two others and in March 2020, Meena gave birth to a child.
Surrendered Maoist commander, Sannu Katran, said that his vasectomy operation was conducted somewhere in Odisha and he got a reversal of vasectomy done in 2019. “I am waiting for a kid now.”
They are among 10 other former Maoist cadres, who have got reverse vasectomy done and now have children. In all, 23 surrendered cadres have got the procedure done since 2011, said Sunderaj P, inspector general of police, (Bastar range).
“The purpose of providing free reverse vasectomy is to create well-being among the surrendered Maoists because they feel they are a family man now. Many surrendered Maoists have applied for the surgery and we are considering the request one-by-one,” said Sunderaj.
The low awareness of the fact that vasectomy can be reversed is one of the reasons for many surrendered cadre not applying.
Abhishek Pallav, Dantewada’s SP, said, “Some of them are hesitant in coming up and most of them don’t know that vasectomy can be reversed.” As per the surrender policy of the government, reverse vasectomy is offered free of cost at any government empanelled hospital to surrendered cadres.
A senior police officer, requesting anonymity, said Maoists ask their lower-rung cadres to get a vasectomy done at a young age so that they do not understand the implications of the surgical procedure.
“Procreation is strongly discouraged in the Maoist organisation as pregnant and lactating women would be a liability and love for the child would push them out of the organisation.
“To guard against mass resentment and attrition for want of sexual and familial relationships, Maoists promote marriage and have strict rules regarding the frequency of physical relationships,” Pallav said.
But, the new cadre is resisting vasectomy and therefore, Maoists leaders allow them to opt for oral contraceptives.
“Reverse vasectomy resulting in child bearing is a success story. There has been a spurt in surrenders of Maoist couples and the option of undergoing reverse vasectomy is one of the main reasons,” said another Indian police service officer posted in Bastar, who was not willing to be named.
Human rights activists said that state police’s initiative should be appreciated but surgery should not be forced either by Maoists or the police.
“I am glad that the concerned persons could reverse the vasectomy successfully. As long as they were not forced to do it, as long as it was their own decision, there is no problem. Problem is only if they did not have a choice in the matter,” said Bela Bhatia, a human rights lawyer working in the Bastar region.