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Violence and


29.1 Introduction

29.2 Compulsions behind the Genesis of Terrorism

29.3 Irregular Warfare in the Wider World

29.4 Low Intensity Warfare in British India

29.5 Counter-Insurgency Programme of the Indian State

29.6 Summary

29.7 Exercises


Viewed from the Marxist theory of state, the army is the chief component of the state…. The whole world can be remoulded only with the gun…. Politics is bloodless war while war is the politics of bloodshed…. Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

Mao Tse Tung

The Chinese political theorist Mao’s dictum that Guerrilla Warfare is necessary for capturing state power remains relevant even in the twenty-first century. Long before Mao, a political sage of ancient India named Kautilya also realized the role of non- state war in the survival of the polities in the power-politics dominated international system. Kautilya advised the rulers to launch subversive campaigns instead of regular operations against enemy kingdoms. Kautilya was for creating bheda (divisiveness) within the enemy society that would tie down the enemy’s economic and military resources. This ought to be done, advocated Kautilya, by encouraging the minority groups to demand independence from the enemy’s central government. The point to be noted is that the Kautilyan Strategy advocated in the Vedic Age has become common in the Nuclear Age. The post-Cold War era is witnessing a surge of separatist movements from the Danube to Sutlej by the non-state actors who have foreign sponsors.

The term Guerrilla War comes from Spanish language which means Little War. The term came into use in the first decade of the 19th century when Napoleon’s Grande Armee which swept over Europe was challenged by the people’s movement in Spain which turned out to be violent. While analyzing Napoleonic Warfare, the Prussian military officer cum philosopher Lieutenant General Karl Von Clausewitz in his magnum opus Vom Kriege (On War) conceptualized Little War as Kleinkrieg. In the Clausewitzian paradigm, Little War is to be conducted by armed men and women. Since they are not regular soldiers of any state, those conducting guerrilla warfare are termed as irregulars. The irregulars do not engage in any set-piece battles with the regular soldiers of the enemy state, but operate in small detachments to conduct hit and run expeditions against enemy bases and supply columns. This sort of war lacks any well defined frontlines. Hence, the war conducted by irregulars is also categorized as Irregular Warfare.

After Clausewitz, Mao Tse-Tung was the greatest advocate of Guerrilla Warfare.
20 However, there exist elements of commonality as well as difference in the frameworks

of both Clausewitz and Mao. Both Clausewitz and Mao Tse Tung agreed that Guerrilla Warfare should be the preferred strategy of the weak people against superior numbers and advanced technology. Mao asserted: “Our inferiority in things like weapons is but secondary. With the common people of the whole country mobilized, we shall create a vast sea of humanity in which the enemy will be swallowed up, obtain relief for our shortage in arms and other things, and secure the prerequisites to overcome every difficulty in the war”.

Unlike Clausewitz, Mao theorized Guerrilla War as part of the Marxist class war; a struggle by the exploited groups against the exploiters. While for Clausewitz, the Guerrilla War is to be conducted against a foreign enemy, for Mao guerrilla conflict can as well be launched by the economically marginal people against the class controlling the forces of production. Clausewitz depended on pugnacious nationalism to propel the mass for waging Little War. But, Mao like the religious leaders emphasized the role of indoctrination among the civilians while launching a guerrilla struggle. This is because both the messiahs and Mao focus on economic and social betterment of the common mass as the objective of waging guerrilla struggle. Again, Clausewitz relied on friendly regular soldiers for backup. But, Mao relied on mass mobilization as back up to the guerrillas under pressure. Mao has written:

There are those who feel it is hardly conceivable for a guerrilla unit to exist for a long time behind the enemy lines. This is a viewpoint based on ignorance of the relations between the army and the people. The popular masses are like water, and the army is like a fish. How then can it be said that when there is water, a fish will have difficulty in preserving its existence? An army which fails to maintain good relations gets into opposition with the popular masses, and thus by its own actions dries up the water.

While Clausewitz views Guerrilla Warfare within the framework of regular campaigns, Mao provides autonomy to Irregular Warfare. For Clausewitz, Kleinkrieg should tie up as many troops of the enemy as possible in order to ease pressure on the regular soldiers of the state. While the guerrillas should conduct subsidiary struggle, the main blow is to be delivered by the regular soldiers of the army. Clausewitz is referring to the Cossacks who by conducting mobile guerrilla raids harassed Napoleon’s line of communications that stretched from Vilna in Poland to Moscow. Hence, Napoleon was forced to detach large number of troops for guarding his supply lines. This in turn enabled the Tsarist Army to gain a numerical superiority over the Grande Armee before delivering knock out blow to the latter in a Kesselschlacht (decisive set piece battle conducted by the regulars equipped with heavy weapons). In contrast, Mao visualizes that with the passage of time, the guerrillas should gradually transform themselves into revolutionary regular soldiers. In Mao’s theoretical paradigm, initially the guerrillas should conduct ‘hit and snatch raids’ against isolated posts of the enemy troops in order to capture weapons. Gradually as the stocks of weapons build up, the guerrillas should challenge the enemy regulars in a set-piece battle. Thus a transition will occur from lightly equipped guerrilla bands capable of mobile strikes to heavily equipped guerrillas capable of conducting positional warfare.

Occasionally, the guerrillas or the irregulars also wage war against their own government to redress their socio-economic grievances. The government in order to delegitimize the insurgents calls them brigands or bandits. And to hide the legitimate social and political grievances that drive the guerrillas, the government attempts to present their struggle as merely a ‘law and order’ problem. For acquiring funds, the irregulars often resort to kidnapping important civilians as well as looting banks.
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Such operations are often carried out by the irregulars, in order to pressurize the government by heightening civilian tension on the issue of public safety. Thus, the dividing line between criminality and violent political process conducted by the stateless marginal groups is very thin indeed.

Guerrillas operate both in the countryside as well as in the cities. Marxist Guerrilla theory as propounded by Mao emphasizes that the guerrillas should focus on controlling the countryside. In contrast, urban guerrillas conduct two types of struggle: urban warfare and urban terrorism. At times the guerrillas are able to win the support of the lower classes of the urban populace and become daring enough to amass heavy weapons. This requires an army to lay siege on the city. Such struggles could be categorized as urban warfare. In 1944, the Polish underground was able to amass so much heavy weapons that they captured the city of Warsaw and the Germans had to send panzer (armoured) divisions from the Russian front to eliminate them. However, when the threshold of violence remains low, the urban guerrillas indulged in what could be termed as urban terrorism. Such activities include blowing up of public institutions, murdering public figures, etc. The primary objective of the terrorists has been considered to frighten the civilians. Hence, the term terrorism comes from the Latin Word terrere i.e. to frighten. The devastation at the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001 is a glaring example of urban terrorism.

The knee jerk reaction of a government faced with sporadic violence by the stateless groups has always been to deploy the army. But, ordinarily an army is prepared for conventional campaign against regular soldiers. Hence, an army is out of its depth when faced with elusive guerrillas who prefer not to engage in set-piece battles. Since the armed members of the marginal groups do not offer clear targets, military deployments very often fail to check insurgencies. In fact, in the 20th century, the introduction of sophisticated lethal hand held arms like AK 47s and AK 74s, grenade launchers, land mines and bazookas have increased the lethality of the guerrillas. Whether it is the mountainous terrain of Bosnia or the swampy jungle track of Assam, the scenario is more or less similar. The guerrillas being local inhabitants are able to take advantage of the terrain and frequently ambush the heavy army columns slogging along the roads.

Both guerrilla operation and terrorism occasionally result in breakdown of civil administration. Then the army is deployed under the jurisdiction of the civil magistrates. In such instances, the army uses minimum force and the objective is to retain the army till civil administration is able to cope up with the situation. Such sort of operations lie at the lower end of the spectrum of anti-guerrilla or counter-insurgency operations. Hence such operations are categorized as Aid to Civil Operations.


Terrain is an important factor behind the continuation of insurgencies. For example in Northeast and Northwest India, the tribes from British Raj to Swaraj have been able to combat the government. This is because the physical geography aids the insurgents’ ‘hit and run’ expeditions. The mountains are cut by deep valleys and narrow ravines. The higher slopes are covered with pine and oak trees. All these facilitate ambush by small parties of the guerrillas on the slow moving columns of the security forces. The Kukis of Northeast India are of nomadic habits. So, they constantly change their sites of habitation. As they have no permanent settlement, they have nothing to lose by moving out from one area to another area. This made the Kukis a mobile enemy. And the swampy jungle tracks deny mobility to the road

bound military convoys. Both the Kukis and the Nagas are famous for constructing stout stockades with timber, concealed breastworks and abattis. From these hidden strongpoints these tribes have been able to inflict considerable casualties among the security forces of the state. While in British times they were armed with bows and arrows, now they possess self loading rifles. And this factor has made the tribal guerrillas more lethal.

Guerrillas operate in the hilly ravines and swamps not only because of the advantages the terrain offers to them but also for the fact that deficit economic zones breed the guerrillas. From the beginning of history, the bleak Afghan plateau did not offer adequate economic incentives. Large scale profitable agriculture has never been possible in hilly landscape cut by steep ravines. So, it was necessary for the tribesmen to indulge in pillage and plunder of the rich agriculturists settled in the plains of Punjab. Lack of peaceful employment opportunities also encourages the people of Afghanistan to take up soldiering as a vocation. Since the army has never been able to accommodate all of them, the profession of being armed mercenaries is a necessity and not a luxury for them.

In addition to economy, culture has a role to play. Terrorism is often the product of failure of the nation state or a state with many nationalities like India and the ex- Soviet Union, to integrate the ethnic minorities inhabiting the peripheral region with the majority populace. Continuous subversion in Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh is because of the clash between Hindi-Sanskritic culture of the core of India (north Indian heartland) and the tribal culture of the northeast. The culture gap heightens the communication gap between the people.

Religion often obstructs integration of the minorities with the majority populace. In Han China, pan-Islamic ties encourage the Uighurs who are Muslim, to yearn for a separate state with the Muslims inhabiting the post-Soviet Central Asian states. Insurgents sustain themselves when they receive foreign support. And foreign countries eagerly support the insurgencies because supporting terrorism against enemy states has become a low cost option. Without facing the horrendous manpower loss and financial drain that characterize the regular warfare, a state by supplying the insurgents with arms and money could keep the security forces of the enemy state thoroughly occupied. Kazakhstan is afraid of her big brother China. So, the former is encouraging Uighur Organization of Freedom. In the 1950s, the Nagas under the leadership of Phizo Angami, who had been an Axis client, demanded independence of Nagaland. He organized a 3,000 strong guerrilla force known as the Naga Home Guards. This organization received financial and military help from China.

Guerrillas have to be motivated to fight and die. While the military personnel are motivated through symbolic honours (medals, awards etc) and monetary rewards, the guerrilla leaders mostly take refuge to ideology. If not xenophobic nationalism then religion has been used for mobilizing the mass. The advent of a self proclaimed messiah and pan Islamic loyalty were the causative factors behind many Islamic guerrilla movements from the 19th century onwards. The ‘messiah’ portrays such struggle as a Jehad (Holy War). However, the Marxist guerrilla leaders instead of relying on the religious leaders depend on political indoctrination with the aid of grass root level cells. They lay down a framework of improvement of the peasant’s social and economic conditions.

The Greek historian Thucydides points out the importance of money in waging war. While Thucydides is referring to conventional campaigns, his insight is also applicable in conducting guerrilla warfare. The guerrillas acquire money either from their foreign
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sponsors as well as from the international mafia organizations. The jehadis of Afghanistan who fought the Soviets are now operating in Kashmir and are financed from the drug money acquired by selling poppy to the international underworld cartels.


Guerrilla Warfare is as old as human civilization. The Old Testament records night ambushes by the irregulars. David led a guerrilla struggle against the monarch Saul. Interestingly, David’s ranks were filled due to economic distress in Saul’s Kingdom. So, long before the Marxist theorists linked economic exploitation with Guerrilla War, this causality was already an established practice in the ancient Near East.

Counter-insurgency operations of the ancient world have certain similarities with modern day anti-guerrilla operations. In 200 BC, the Syrian Seleucids conquered Israel. The Israeli guerrilla leaders were able to establish a bond with the villagers by caring for the old and disabled. Moreover, the guerrillas promised land to the tillers. Many centuries before Mao, the Israeli guerrillas realized that they needed the villagers (sea) for protection against the Seleucid Phalanx (regular infantry). For protection against the imperialists, the guerrillas armed the villagers. Thus the guerrillas were transformed from being a marauding band raiding villages from the nearby hills into a genuine armed people’s movement. In 160 BC, the Seleucid monarch Antiochus IV sent Greek settlers to take over the land. This programme was somewhat similar to the 20th century Peking’s approach of curbing insurgency in Tibet. The Tibetans are of a different ethnic stock from the Han Chinese. Peking’s policy is to send Han Chinese settlers in Tibet in order to change the ethnic landscape of the ‘roof of the world’.

Multiethnic empires have been essentially susceptible to insurgencies. Following Clausewitz’s footsteps, the British Empire during the First World War used Irregular Warfare as a subsidiary struggle against the Turks. While General Allenby conducted a regular warfare against the Ottoman Empire, T.E. Lawrence encouraged and commanded the Arabs to overthrow the Turkish domination. Lawrence’s sideshows in the desert of Palestine diverted Turkish military pressure from the main front thus aiding Allenby’s advance.

During the Cold War era, two greatest Guerrilla Wars occurred in Vietnam between
1950-71 and in Afghanistan during the 1980s. The Afghan experience of Soviet Union could be termed as Moscow’s Vietnam. The two superpowers were humiliated by the stateless armed groups. The American Army and the Red Army even after deploying 536,000 and 115,000 troops respectively failed to crush the guerrillas. In addition during 1979, Soviet Union deployed 50,000 elite troops to annihilate the Afghan insurgents. In the ensuing combat, the Americans suffered 46,000 battle deaths in Vietnam and the Soviets in Afghanistan lost 15,000. In Vietnam, Chinese and Soviet financial and military supplies kept Vo Nguyen Giap’s North Vietnamese Army fighting the Americans. Similarly, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) provided stinger missiles and billions of dollars for sustaining the mujahideens against the crack troops of Moscow. For instance in 1988, US military aid to Afghanistan amounted to $ 600 million. The American aid to the Afghan guerrillas flowed through Pakistan.

History turned a full circle after the Soviet collapse when, the American pampered
Afghan mujahideens turned against their erstwhile sponsors. The bombing at the

World Trade Center in 2001 was the culmination of Osama Bin Laden controlled Al-Qaeda’s (literal meaning The Base) war with the American ‘infidels’. Initially USA used a novel weapon in attempting to eliminate the terrorist bases deep inside Afghanistan. The US Navy following the doctrine of ‘dominating the littoral in depth’ tried to destroy the terrorist hideouts with cruise missiles fired hundreds of kilometers away from the land from ships operating in the Arabian Sea. The next phase involved a gigantic air-land operation known as Operation Enduring Freedom which started in November 2001. Nevertheless many guerrillas escaped into south Pakistan and then into Kashmir.


The insurgency in Kashmir was a part of the tribal problem involving Pakistan and Afghanistan. The roots could be traced back to nineteenth century. The imperialists faced a multitude of irregular opponents from Sudan in the west and Northeast India in the east during this period. Charles Callwell, a British military theorist in the first decade of the 20th century, attempted to explain Irregular Warfare in the following words:

Small War…. comprises the expeditions against savages and semi-civilized races by disciplined soldiers, it comprises campaigns undertaken to suppress rebellions and guerrilla warfare in all parts of the world where organized armies are struggling against opponents who will not meet them in open field, and it thus obviously covers operations varying in their scope and in their conditions.

Northwest India remained the sore spot of Britain’s Indian Empire. Various types of Pathan tribes like the Afridis, Mohmands, Orakzais, etc were continuously engaged in insurgencies. Frontier tribesmen proved to be dangerous guerrilla warriors. Captain L.J. Shadwell, who fought against the Pathan tribes in Tirah during 1897 wrote:

A frontier tribesman can live for days on the grain he carries with him and other savages on a few dates; consequently no necessity exists for them to cover a line of communications. So nimble of foot, too, are they in their grass shoes, and so conversant with every goat-track in their mountains, that they can retreat in any direction. This extraordinary mobility enables them to attack from any direction quite unexpectedly, and to disperse and disappear as rapidly as they came. For this reason the rear of a European force is as much exposed to attack as its fronts or flanks.

Unlike the guerrillas, the imperial soldiers of Britain were dependent on a host of supplies that had to be transported to the front from the rear. So, supply depots and base camps had to be established. This gave the guerrillas the opportunity to cut the imperial lines of communications. To guard the long lines of communications, the British were forced to establish guard posts all along which stretched back far to the rear. This in turn tied up lot of troops who could not be used in the front for
‘Combing Operations’ against the guerrillas. Troops or convoys moving in the dusk
were vulnerable to ambushes.

In night fighting, the tribesmen had an edge over the British troops and the British led sepoys. This was because they were accustomed to see better in the moonlight. Since they knew the terrain, even in pitch dark they could approach through the ravines and passes to concentrate and subsequently launch attacks on the slogging
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imperial columns. The most favourite tactics of the Pathans was to fire their jezails (long barrelled muskets) behind the sangars (fortifications made of stones). Imperial counter-fire was stopped by the stone fortifications. The tribesmen were able to pick up their victims easily because each Pathan male was an excellent marksman. For him, the rifle was the joy of his life. From his childhood, he learned to handle firearms. Moreover, continuous blood feuds due to the operation of the Pukhtunwali code forced the Pathans to become versatile in the use of their weapons for survival. Again many Pathans used to join the Sepoy Army for acquiring musketry instructions. After the completion of their training, the Pathans deserted from the Sepoy Army with their rifles. When the imperial column got demoralized, the Pathans armed with swords and spears rushed down from the slopes. And in close quarter combat, muskets of the sepoys were useless.

Northeast India which after 1947 became the six sister states of the Republic of India also proved troublesome for the Raj. Occasionally the Sepoy Army made forays into the territories of the tribesmen. When during the last decade of the 19th century, the Lushai tribe proved to be troublesome, their villages were burnt. One characteristic of such pacification measures was strict political control exercised by the Political Agents over the conduct of operations by the military commanders. This was necessary to prevent infliction of undue violence over the civilians. Control by the political agents was the prelude to present day District Magistrates controlling Aid to Civil Operations. During 1917-19, when the Kuki tribe of Manipur rebelled,
3,000 personnel of the Assam Rifles and the Burma Military Police were concentrated
under the overall direction of the Political Agents. Besides military operations, the aim was to win over the Kuki chiefs.


At present at least five crores of Indians live under army rule. This is partly due to the violent activities of the non-state actors. The post-colonial state inherited several colonial legacies. The chief among them is the insurgencies in the periphery. The fundamentalist clergy, arms running and foreign aid sustained the Guerilla War of the tribesmen of the Indus frontier. Under the Raj, the clandestine operators from the Persian Gulf region imported arms. To check the arms trade, the Royal Indian Marine (predecessor of Royal Indian Navy) used to conduct maritime patrolling of the Gulf region in order to deter and if possible capture the smugglers. After 1947, several arms producing factories emerged in the North-West Frontier Province (hereafter NWFP) of Pakistan. Arms smuggling through Iran and Central Asia aided by the Pakistan Army, also sustained the guerrillas. Just after independence, the Pakistan Army armed and directed the tribesmen of the NWFP to invade India. They were designated as Azad Kashmir forces. They were led by many Pakistan army officers who were supposed to be on leave. Once armed and trained, the tribesmen were encouraged by the religious zealots to fight for liberating the land of the Muslims. From the 1980s, General Zia-ul-Haq, the military ruler of Pakistan, encouraged the growth of madrassas in NWFP. The Peoples Liberation Army, a militant organization of Manipur receives training and equipment from the Chinese military bases in Lhasa. In the late 1960s, about six separatist movements sponsored by China and Pakistan tied down five Indian infantry divisions.

The government of India raised several paramilitary formations to combat terrorism.

One of them was the Assam Rifles which was initially raised by the British for guarding the northeast frontier of India from the ‘wild tribes’. It had twenty-one battalions and most of them were deployed for maintaining ‘law and order’ in the six northeastern states. Compared to the police, the paramilitary forces were armed with not only heavy but also sophisticated weapons. For example, the Assam Rifles from the mid 1950s were equipped with sten guns, bren guns, and 2 inch mortars. While the police of West Bengal even now retain .303 Lee Enfield rifles, the Assam Rifle personnel had rejected such obsolete weapons in favour of Self Loading 7.62 mm rifles way back in 1968. However, unlike the army, the paramilitary forces lack artillery and armoured fighting vehicles which are necessary for conducting conventional warfare with the regular troops of the enemy states. The biggest paramilitary force of India remains the Border Security Force (henceforth BSF) which was raised by the Home Ministry in the mid 1960s.

Paramilitary forces are deployed when the police fail to curb the insurgents’ activities. Naga insurgency is the oldest separatist movement in the northeast. The Naga leaders argued that they are not Indians but brought to India due to the British conquest. In
1946, the Naga National Council demanded an independent state. The Naga leaders told the departing British that India should remain as the ‘guardian’ power for ten years and then the Nagas should decide about their future course of action. The state of Nagaland was carved out from Assam in 1960. The Naga insurgents from the mid 1950s onwards used to attack the railway line and the railway staff. The BSF guarded the Indo-Burma border to prevent any insurgents escaping and also to check any infiltration back into India. In general the regular police manned the lines of communications. It fell upon the Assam Rifles to conduct ‘Combing Operations’. In addition, the para military forces also send columns and organized flag marches in order to restore confidence of the people of the disturbed areas.

Both British-India and independent India have used air power to bring the insurgents under control. The Royal Air Force (henceforth RAF) regularly bombed the tribes along the Indus. On 28 August of 1960, the Indian Air Force (hereafter IAF) strafed the insurgents who laid siege to the Assam Rifles’ post at Purr. Moreover the IAF also dropped supplies for the defenders. The Assam Rifles was used to guard the rail installations. In 1966, when the police fled against the violent activities of the Mizo National Front, both BSF and Assam Rifles units were deployed. Between 9 and 13 March, the IAF strafed the Mizo insurgents. The IAF was used in 1999 at Kargil for evicting the intruders supported by Pakistan’s Northern Light Infantry. But the IAF like its predecessor RAF found out that amidst snow blizzards and rocky terrain, hitting the small bands of elusive guerrillas was next to impossible. The Kashmiri militants were strengthened with a leavening of Afghan mujahideens. The latter had downed several Russian helicopter gunships when the Red Air Force tried to bomb them in the bleak Afghan plateau in the 1980s. These mujahideens with the Pakistan supplied stinger missiles severely damaged several flying machines of the IAF. In a way, airpower has been impotent in checking insurgencies.

From the 1980s, the Inter Service Intelligence of Pakistan has become more active. Between 1985 and 1995, 20,000 guerrillas were trained and infiltrated into the Kashmir Valley. Before 1993, the ISI was spending Pakistani Rs 100 million (US $
3.3 million) every month on the militancy in Kashmir. The ISI is maintaining bases in Bangladesh for aiding the rebellious groups of northeast militants. Again Bangladesh dislikes ‘hegemonic’ India’s behaviour. So, Dacca turns a blind eye when insurgent groups like the Mizo National Front and the United Liberation Front of Assam (hereafter ULFA) establish bases on the Chittagong Hill Tracts in order to escape the ‘Cordon and Search Operations’ of India’s security agencies. After the Soviet
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withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Pakistan trained mujahideens were sent to Kashmir for launching a Jehad there. Being veterans of the Afghan War, they provided a lethal addition of combat effectiveness to the insurgents combating the Indian state in Kashmir. Again in pursuit of the policy of ‘tit for tat’, after 1993, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) started supporting the insurgents of Sind. The latter are encouraged to demand independence from the Punjabi dominated Pakistan.

In addition to such violent response, successive Indian governments have also attempted to restore normalcy in the disturbed areas by devolution of power through autonomous councils and panchayats and creation of jobs. This brings the rebel leaders within the democratic political process. Besides coercion, absorption of the terrorists in the main stream remains an important plank of India government’s counter-insurgency policy. One of the causative factors behind the rise of terrorism among the young generation is lack of employment. So, the government always tries to create jobs wooing the militants back to the mainstream. From the 1960s, many ex-militant Nagas were absorbed in the Border Security Force. As part of the state’s ‘divide et impera’(divide and rule), they were used with much success against their erstwhile brothers in arms. As part of the job creation programme, after 1960, a Naga Regiment was also raised by the Indian Army. Another aspect of the divide and rule policy on part of the government is to play the various insurgent groups against each other. The army and other state agencies train and equip the Kukis who are known as the members of the Kuki National Army. This organization attacked the Naga supporters of National Socialist Council of Nagaland in Manipur.

Ethnic affinities often draw India into the vortex of insurgencies occurring in the neighbouring countries. In Sri Lanka about one million Tamils are considered to be alienated from the thirteen million Sinhalese. The former in the 1980s organized a militant wing named as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (hereafter LTTE) for conducting guerrilla struggle against the security forces of Lanka. Due to public pressure from the people of Tamil Nadu, Delhi could not turn a blind eye to the sufferings of the Tamil minority in Lanka. And when Sri Lanka threatened to turn to USA for support, Delhi was afraid that Colombo might become a client state of Washington. So, in 1987, India sent the Indian Peace Keeping Force for combating the LTTE. The LTTE eliminated the moderate Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front and demands Eelam (a separate homeland) for the Tamils. The LTTE has been innovative in conducting maritime guerrilla warfare. The speedboats of the LTTE have been harassing the Sinhalese fishing boats.


From the end of the 20th century one witnesses the transition in Irregular Warfare from class oriented guerrilla struggle in the rural theatre to urban terrorism based on religious ideologies inherited from the 19th century. However the originality of late
20th century insurgencies lies in the expansion of maritime insurgency. Along with
the navies, the coast guards of the respective countries are playing an increasing role in checking the maritime insurgents. To sum up, terrorism is primarily directed against non-combatant civilians whereas the guerrillas mostly target soldiers. While guerrillas carry out political work for establishing a base among the civilians, the terrorists remain an elite underground cell without any mass base. Religious extremism, regional separatism and clash between ethno-religious identity with state generated monolithic nationalism generate separatist movements which often turn violent. The stateless marginal groups use violence for emancipation. And if that is not possible then the
28 terrorists’ agenda is to use violence or the very threat of it for bargaining greater

share of political power from the state’s ruling class. The use of violence by the Akalis of Punjab in the 1980s is an example of the bargaining Guerrilla War. The army is not suited for counter-insurgency duty because the military personnel have no acquaintance with the local culture and terrain. Military deployments for blunt suppression even cause large amount of collateral damage to the neutrals. This can alienate them and push such persons into the terrorists’ camp. Counter-insurgency requires political activities besides police actions. Terrorism has come to stay with us because at present a Conventional War could rapidly escalate into Nuclear War. So, in the twenty-first century, covert operations remain a favourite low cost strategy of the polities for weakening their potentially hostile neighbouring countries.
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1) Differentiate between Mao Tse Tung’s theory of Guerrilla Warfare and
Clausewitz’s view regarding the role of the non-state actors in war.

2) Point out the similarities and dissimilarities of Irregular Warfare in the Ancient and Modern eras.

3) Explain the colonial legacy as regards low-intensity threats in the post-colonial state.

4) What are the steps taken by independent India in checking the secessionist activities of the marginal groups?


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Divide et Impera Divide and rule policy pursued by the colonizers over the colonized. First introduced by the Roman Empire, the British also followed this policy in India to prevent the emergence of a sense of nationalism among the inhabitants of the subcontinent.

Guerrilla War Opposite of Conventional War. War conducted by the guerrillas is also termed as Asymmetrical Warfare. Instead of large decisive set piece battles, ‘hit and run’ expeditions characterize Guerrilla War. Hence, the latter is also known as Low-Intensity Warfare.

ISI Inter-Service Intelligence of Pakistan. This organization manned by personnel from Pakistan Army is in charge of covert operations directed against India and other countries.

Jehad Holy War by Islam to liberate the Pure (Muslims) from the heathens. In the Koran, it is enunciated that Jehad could take the form of both Conventional and Guerrilla Warfare and could be pursued even by non-violent means. But, from the late 20th century onwards Jehad has largely been in the shape of Guerrilla Warfare.

Jehadis Warriors who conduct Holy War.

Madrassa Islamic theological School where young boys are taught and trained in theological framework of Islam.

Messiahs Spiritual leaders or holy men who promise to bring liberation to their people.

Mujahideen Jehadis who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviets. They were initially trained, equipped and financed by the Central Intelligence Agency of USA. After the Soviet withdrawal, they turned against their erstwhile sponsors. After the collapse of the Taliban in the wake of Operation Enduring Freedom, the mujahideens had turned their attention to liberate Kashmir.



Bajpai, Kanti, Roots of Terrorism, New Delhi: Penguin, 2002.

Browning, Peter, The Changing Nature of Warfare: The Development of Land
Warfare from 1792 to 1945, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Calvocoressi, Peter & Wint, Guy, Total War: Causes and Courses of the Second
World War, Penguin, 1974.

Dupuy, Trevor, N., The Evolution of Weapons and Warfare, 1984, reprint, New
York: Da Capo, 1990.

Ellis, John, From the Barrel of a Gun: A History of Guerrilla, Revolutionary and Counter-Revolutionary Warfare from the Romans to the Present, London: Greenhill, 1995.
Fussell, Paul, The Great War and Modern Memory, OUP, Oxford 1975, 2000. Gupta, P.S. and Deshpande, Anirudh (eds.), The British Raj and its Indian Armed
Forces: 1857-1913, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Harvey W. Kushner, Encyclopedia of Terrorism, Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2003. Hobsbawm, Eric, The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991,
Vintage Books, 1996.

Joll, James, Europe Since 1870, Penguin, 1983.

Kennedy, Paul, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Economic Change and
Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000, Fontana, 1988.

Killingray, David and Omissi, David (eds.), Guardians of Empire: The Armed Forces of the Colonial Powers c. 1700-1964, Manchester/NewYork:Manchester University Press, 1999.
Lawrence Freedman (ed.), War, Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Omissi, David, The Sepoy and the Raj: The Indian Army, 1860-1940 ,
Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994.

Palit, D.K., Sentinels of the North-East: The Assam Rifles, New Delhi: Palit & Palit, 1984.

Samaddar, Ranabir (ed.), Cannons into Ploughshares: Militarization and
Prospects of Peace in South Asia, New Delhi: Lancer, 1995.

Townshend, Charles (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern War, Oxford/ New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
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13.0 Learning Outcome

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Initiatives towards Constitutional Status to Local Governance

13.2.1 Features of 73rd Constitutional Amendment

13.2.2 Features of 74th Constitutional Amendment

13.2.3 Decentralised Planning in Context of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act

13.3 Initiatives after Economic Reforms

13.4 Functioning of PRIs in Various States after 73rd Amendment

13.5 Functioning of Local Governance after 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment: Observations

13.6 Conclusion

13.7 Key Concepts

13.8 References and Further Reading

13.9 Activities


After studying this Unit you should be able to:

• Identify the background of revitalisation of local governance;

• Understand the features of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment;

• Discuss the initiatives after economic reforms; and

• Outlines the functioning of local governance in various states after the amendment.


The revitalization of Pancha…

General Studies :: Indian Polity #1

Constitutional evolution under British ruleRegulating Act 1773beginning of British parliamentary control over the East India Companysubordination of the presidencies of Bombay and Madras to BengalGovernor of Bengal made Governal-Generalcouncil of Governor-General establishedSupreme Court established in CalcuttaPitt’s India Act 1784commercial and political activities of the Company separatedestablished a board of control over the CompanyCharter Act 1813trade monopoly of the Company abolishedmissionaries allowed to preach in IndiaCharter Act 1833Governor-General of Bengal becomes Governor-General of Indiafirst Governor-General Lord William Bentickends commercial activities of the CompanyCharter Act 1853legislative and executive functions of the Governor-General’s council separatedopen competition for Indian Civil Services establishedIndian Council Act 1861establishes legislative councils at the centre, presidencies and provincesGovernor-General’s executive council to have Indians as non…



1.0 Learning outcome

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Concept of Democratic Decentralisation

1.3 Evolution of Democratic Decentralisation

1.4 Significance of Democratic Decentralisation

1.5 Democratic Decentralisation in India

1.6 Conclusion

1.7 Key concepts

1.8 References and Further Reading

1.9 Activities


After studying this unit, you should be able to:

• Understand the concept of Democratic Decentralization;

• Know the evolution and significance of Democratic Decentralization; and

• Describe the Democratic Decentralization pattern in India.


The dawn of 21st century is marked by decentralized governance both as a strategy and philosophy of brining about reforms and changes in democracies. These changes led to such virtues of transparency, responsiveness and accountability and ensures good governance. Today decentralization and democracy are the most significant themes in the development discourse. In the present contex…