NAXALISM: A THREAT TO THE STATE OF INDIA
Naxalbari has not died and it will never die.
- Charu Mazumdar, ‘Long live the heroic peasants in Naxalbari!’, Liberation, July 1971-January 1972.
One of the largest internal security threats that the government of India faces today is Naxalism. 1Recent reports show that naxalist movements have spread to as many as 22 states across India, including states such as Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi and Uttarakhand that were earlier known not to have any links to naxalism and as many as 39 Left-wing extremist groups are currently operating in the country with a combined membership of more than a lakh. The naxalite-armed movement is based on the Maoist ideology, which is mobilizing large parts of rural populations to revolt against established institutions by engaging in guerilla warfare. The Naxalite’s use of arm and ammunition against the state and central security forces has challenged the very principles of the state, which are sovereignty and the sole control on use of power. In light of this the research paper aims to explain that how Naxalism has proved to be a challenge to the state of India and how the Indian government is trying to overcome this challenge. 2According to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Naxalism remains the biggest internal security challenge and it is imperative to control left-wing extremism for the country's growth. These lines by the Prime Minister itself explains that how Naxalism is a serious challenge to India. The terms Naxalites or Maoists are used to refer to militant far-left radical Communist groups operating in India. They are inspired by the doctrines of Mao Zedong who believed that Naxalites should work to overthrow the government and upper classes by violence. The start of Naxalism can be traced back from a period when the Mughals used to rule the country but originally it 3started from Naxalbari area in West Bengal in 1967 and since then has spread to the rural areas in central and eastern India, ostensibly to champion the cause of small farmers and tribals through violence but was wiped out in 1970. It soon became out of fashion in its homeland West Bengal. But the underground operations of the outfit continued.
The Naxal Management Division of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) describes the 4objectives of Naxalites as destroying “the State legitimacy, and to create a mass base, with certain degree of acceptability, with the ultimate object of attaining political power by violent means.” The MHA has also stated that Naxalites attach themselves to various organizations and societies on issues such as displacement, land reforms and acquisition where they can increase their mass support. 5They have been named as a terrorist organization according to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of India, 1967.
Naxalites since long have been challenging the central and the state government on various fronts. The naxalites have been attacking police establishments and infrastructures such as public transportation, national buildings, which has caused insecurity and instability in the entire area. 6From the period 2006-2012, there were nearly 12,000 incidents with Naxalites in which 4,000 civilians killed. The Naxalites have been spotted active in approximately 40 percent of India’s geographical area. 7They control large portions of remote and densely forested areas and are concentrated in an area called “Red Corridor”. This area is also the tribal belt where the tension between economic development and aboriginal land rights is most apparent. The Naxalists have shown activity in recent times in regions such as Darbha Valley, Chattisgarh that has led to several deaths of civilians and security-personnel. Naxalism affects the nation at various stages. It affects several macroeconomic factors such as reduction in per capita GDP growth, higher inflation rates,...
Bibliography: 3. Ritesh K Srivastava, reporting for zee news (October 17 2013)
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