Leftist-Islamist Alliance in South Asia

Amitabh Tripathi, Delhi, India


Victory of Maoists in Nepal has two reactions in India. One which portray this victory as an opportunity for Indian government to pursue Naxalites in India to join mainstream and follow the path of their Nepali counterpart. According to second reaction victory of Maoists in Nepal is going to deteriorate the security interests of Indian and Indian government should work hard to crush Maoist insurgency in Nepal as well preventing Maoists to make king of Nepal irrelevant in political context.


The most dangerous sign which people in Indian media have shown is that they are pleading for Maoists and it has some serious implications as well reasons.  Indian media in general and print in particular has dominance of people who are indoctrinated with Leftist ideology and most of them were activists of Left in their college period. They belong to that period when Marxism was fashion for intellectuals and college campuses were full of these people. In India since 1989 social and political change took place.  After Economic reform was initiated and some drastic changes came in existence at economic level it has some impact on society as well. In the meantime, surge of Hindu forces was witnessed and leftist ideology sidelined.


After demolition of Babri structure in Ayodhya in 1992 leftists collaborated with several anti Hindu forces in the name of secularism and in this composition they don't have more say but were surviving in any way.


After 2000, situation has changed to some extent and social division of have's and have-not’s has come in debate again and it has given a chance to leftist to curse American policies as well as some agencies as responsible for all this. In Indian context this development is very important because social disparity has created a vacuum in society and provided an opportunity for any organisation to woo have-not's to their side and Naxalites in India exploited this situation in very shrewd manner. They are active in remote parts of India which are very poor, illiterate and geographically scattered and made of hills and forests. Because of these geographical conditions these areas are very much terrorism prone. 


Two years back I journeyed to one of Naxal affected areas, named Chhatisgarh, and met with some Naxalites. They have clear edge over Indian security forces because of geographical structure, but most important, Naxalites work on a parallel political and social system. They have their own schools in which they not only teach children of tribes but also give financial assistance to their parents. I had a chance to visit their schools and see their their text books.  These text books teach that Hindus in India are in alliance with “imperialistic America” and that we have to fight both communal and imperialistic forces because they are two faces of same coin. They talk about a new world order where there will be no disparity and there is equality. They also publish a magazine called Mukti Maarg (Way of Salvation). In this magazine they have mobilised those writers and academicians with a leftist inclination.  Islamists also talk of new world order that they claim is based on Quran and Shriyat.  Both leftist and Islamist ideologies support repression and violence to achieve their goal.


This theme has also been adopted by Islamists in India against Hindu forces  and America.  This is a common point where Islamists and leftists in India come close to each other.  With the victory of Maoists in Nepal, the academic and establishment left in India see a chance for a resurgence of communism with a global reach.  This is why they are pursuing the Indian people and government to hail the victory of Maoists and see it as a golden opportunity to bring Naxalites into the  mainstream.


Although it has serious implications for both India and America, one aspect of this has not been discussed at all.  In India leftists have very limited electoral appeal, and they are confined largely to only three states:  West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura where they hold the governments.  But in other states their presence is negligible. In this new scenario, they are looking to increase their presence with help of Naxalites.  Naxalites have a large presence in more than 100 districts of the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, TamilNadu, Jharkhnd, Chhatisgarh, and Andhra Pradesh. In these states they have more influence in some pockets. When two years back I visited Chhatisgarh and met with some Naxalites and their sympathizers, I was told then to look closely at the developments in Nepal.  They told me about their plan that to bring down system of Nepal and reconstruct it according to their ideology.  They plan to use this to sharpen their movement in India.  These sympathisers of Naxalites are almost activists of communists parties in India and with support of Naxalites and intimidation these sympathisers have a plan to broaden the electoral power of Communists in India.


As I said earlier, growth of Naxalites in India will have an effect on America also. After 9\11 we have witnessed several leftist ideologues overtly supporting Islamists, but in India a new Left-Islamist nexus is building against their common enemy in India in the name of Hindu and America. If this nexus grows stronger in India and South Asia, it would finally damage America and West as well.


Four years back in India, several people in media with liberal-left inclination said openly that Al Qaeda had launched a war against America, but India has not to worry about because Osama Bin Laden has said nothing against India. It was a mischievous misrepresentation of facts. These are the people who want to see the victory of communist ideology at any cost and even they don't hesitate to make an alliance with Islamists for this cause. Victory of Maoists in Nepal has emboldened leftists in India and they are dreaming of the resurgence of communism.


To counter this growing trend we have to take some initiatives. A parallel nationalist movement should be promoted in India to fill the vacuum for dissatisfied people.  This ultimately will culminate in strong anti-imperialistic movement. Once nationalist movement will take root, Naxalites have no chance to woo dissatisfied people to their side. This is also true with Chinese hegemony in Asia. Coalition government in India of Congress and Left have some common agenda, and Congress is eyeing to stay in power for the next ten years. The president of Congress Party, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, is grooming her son Rahul Gandhi to hold the post of premiership for the next ten years. To make this happen, Congress has to rely heavily on Left parties and this is why Congress has adopted the policy of submitting to leftist and Islamist demands. In the short run, this situation of Indian government will embolden the Islamist and leftist forces.


Taking into account the global scenario, Indian and American interests have become very much common at least at strategic level. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and China could come close with a block in near future and it would have security implications for India. Nexus of Red-Green alliance as Dr. Richard Benkin has predicted could become reality in South Asia. To prevent this, India and America should come together and America should consider Hindu nationalists as their ally.