being the most populous democratic country is one of the fastest growing
economies in the world. India has a great potential of becoming a superpower in
the near future. Even with the increase in the globalised environment India
faces threats to its security internally through the Naxalites. The weakness in
India’s governance, political institutions and socio-economic structure is
highlighted by the Naxal movement and it speaks volume about the threat to
Naxalite are the terms used to refer to the various militant communist groups
operating in different parts of India. Naxalism being the biggest threat affects
various areas such as economy, security and foreign affairs, its citizens and
rule of law in a country. Naxalism being a multi-dimensional problem a balance
between military forces, social and economic development and dialogue between
the parties are some of the approaches to deal with this threat. Therefore it
is important to understand the root cause of the Naxal problem and what can be
the possible solution.
ideology behind Naxalism is based on the ideologies of Marxism and Maoism.
Marxism had emerged as a reaction against capitalism and the negative effects
of Industrial Revolution. Industrial Revolution divided the society of Europe
into two classes i.e. the bourgeoisie (the owners of factories or owners of the
means of production) and Proletariats (the working class or means of production
such as farmers or factory workers). The Capitalists suppressed the working
class as there were no labour laws at the time. Therefore Karl Marx advocated
the ideology that there should be a classless society so that there are no
conflicts and the political power should be hijacked by the proletariats from
the bourgeoisie. The use of force or violence to get the political power is not
frowned upon by this ideology. Later Maoism developed which is the Chinese
version of Marxism. Maoism talks about the dictatorship of the agricultural
labourers and rural peasants. Though there were a few differences between
Maoism and Marxism the end goal sought by both the ideologies was the same i.e.
a classless society. Naxalism is based on the principles of Marxism, Maoism.
Naxalite movement can be said to have started in the 1960s. The Naxalite
movement was an uprising from the impulse of revolutionary idealism. The
peasants uprising of the 18th and 19th centuries and the
organized armed struggles of the peasants led by Communists in Telangan in the
1940s paved way for the Naxal leaders. Socio-economic problems, miss
administration, unaccountability and perceived injustice and growing agrarian
tension have led to advent of Naxalism. The argument of the Naxalites is that
the exisiting government and the system is corrupt and it can be tackled with
violence only. The reason for this movement was to liberate the poor through
land and social reforms. The Naxalites feel it is justified to use violence to
achieve radical reforms. The aim of the Naxalites was noble but the method
opted to achieve the goal was misguided and unlawful. The Naxalite movement has
quickly strayed away from its noble goal of social justice and has become an
extremist force to create internal disturbance in India. Naxalism grew from a
tiny movement of Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal in the village of Naxalbari in
the foothills of Himalayas in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. Mazumdar was
a great admirer of Mao Zedong (Chinese Communist leader) and advocated the teachings
of Mao and said that lower castes must overthrow the government and the upper
classes. The movement was named as Communist Party of India (Marxist). Another
similar group called the Marxist Communist Centre (MCC) was active in South. Both
of them merged and became CPI (Maoist), following Maoist doctrine. They were
seeking power through armed violence. Naxalism has been a threat to the state
for the past forty years. The ideology of Naxalites appeals to the downtrodden
and deprived strata of people. The members of the organisation are ready to
sacrifice themselves for the cause of seizing political power through armed
of the main factors of Naxalism is India’s failure to develop the trial areas
due to which the Maoist have spawned in these areas and created havoc. The
government needs to listen to the grievances of the tribal people and solve
them. Naxalism has been deeply rooted due to the negligence of the tribal and
landless people by the government. Naxalism is in the states of West Bengal,
Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh basically states which
are hugely dominated by tribal people. Historically the tribal people are
freedom minded as they are deeply attached to their land, forest. The lack of
basic governance in the tribal areas is a big problem. Lack of communication,
basic health care, education, banking services, etc in the tribal areas is a
huge problem. Government machinery has failed and the government officials are
scared to be posted in the tribal areas. The decentralization of the local
government is not fulfilled in these areas which leads to alienation of these
areas from the country. This vacuum is filled by the Maoists in the area.
Therefore Maoists can be tackled only by modernizing and strengthening the
rural policies and intelligence agencies need to be present in these areas.
and economic factors also lead to Naxalism. Economically, the problem of
poverty and economic stratification has helped increase the Naxalism movement. Majority
of the downtrodden people comprises of tribal, dalits and landless poor. They
are deprived of the basic necessaries of the human life. The country’s economic
benefits and growths have still not reached the far corners of the country. The
politicians also exploit the forest wealth and push the tribal people to
economic margins. A repressive state apparatus, represented by the police and
the black laws they use to their advantage, helps keep this exploitative system
situation in the tribal and forest areas has become worse due to trading and
investments in the Indian economy. The entry of multinational companies in
Odisha and Chhattisgarh has imposed a threat on the livelihood of the tribal’s
and their way of life. The multinationals are aiming to gain the vast stores of
natural resources such as minerals, forest produce, etc. The demand for raw
materials has put pressure on the forest and mining areas. Therefore economic
exploitation has led to tribal people taking drastic steps such as
of Naxalism in India
economy of the country is affected by the Naxalite movement and severely
impacts the development of the country. The effects of the Naxal movement over
Reduction in per capita GDP growth.
2. Higher inflation rates
Lower tax revenues – The government agencies are prevented in collecting taxes
by the Naxalites who run a parallel government in the areas.
4. In Naxal affected areas the investments and
expenditure are higher on defense which causes lower expenditure on education
Lower exports, reduced bilateral trade
flows and reduced foreign direct investment inflows. – Due to the Naxal
violence and their extortion business foreign and domestic investment remains
low. These problems are coupled with the lack of good transportation facilities
which are also a victim of Naxal violence.
effects of Naxalism includes lower tourist visits, lower market share of
tourism, low usage of public transport, reduced investments in agriculture and
other sectors, reduced school admissions, lower employment availability and
opportunity. Instances of Naxalite violence which adversely affect the trade
and economy include road damages, damage to machinery, shutting down banks,
damages to railway tracks, damages to highways and telecom network towers which
breaks the communication and transport facilities. All in all it’s a very grim
economic condition which affects all sectors of industry and all class of people.
are now one of the biggest internal security threat that the Indian Government
faces. The battle for supremacy with the state has become a central theme
ignoring the economic and social problems of the masses. There have been a
range of acts of violence which have no direct consequence on the rights of the
people but invariably end up harming the masses. The elections have been disrupted
by the Naxalites preventing a leader from being chosen and preventing people’s right
to vote. The business of the Naxalites is estimated to sum of Rs 2000 crores which
they earn mostly by extortion. They extort money from the contractors in the guise
of protection money. The Naxalites blow up schools, trains and railway lines apart
causing violence and harming the common people in the process. There have been
reports that Naxals physically torture police informers by gruesome acts like beheading,
hacking of limbs and even gouging out of eyes. Another incident that happened
on 6 July 2007 when a group of armed Naxalites extorted Rs 65,000 from a farmer
in Chikmagalur went on to demonstrate that the Naxals have lost the principles
for which they fought once and are adversely affecting the lives of the people
they once sought to help.
complexity of the causes of the Naxalite problem as well as its implications
both for internal and external security reflect a solution that is multi-dimensional
and calls for a synergy between the central governments and the states. In order
to comprehensively dissolve the Naxalite threat, the government has to address
its root causes. Socio-economic alienation and the dissatisfaction with the
widening economic and political inequality will not be solved by military force
alone, which seems to be the main instrument employed by the government. The
problem calls for a three-pronged solution: social and economic development,
multi-lateral dialogue and military force.
the Naxalites are fuelled by discontent from the marginalised and the poor, a
larger percentage of the national budget must be allocated to addressing the
needs of these regions. More of the national expenditure needs to be focused on
developing these poorer regions through initiatives regarding health,
education, social welfare and rural and urban development. Government service
delivery should be improved in these tribal areas. Both state and government
must ensure that things such as statutory minimum wages, access to land and water
sources initiatives are implemented. In coming up with strategies for national
economic growth, the government must always bear in mind the possible effects
of fast growth for all socio-economic groups in a country as large and diverse
as India. If the social needs of these marginalised people are addressed, there
will be no discontent to fuel the Naxalite’s movements.
growing Naxalite insurgency also reflects a flaw in the federal structure.
Because law and order is seen as a state responsibility, the central government
is unable to be implementing a coherent national strategy to address the threat.
The government has the overall responsibility of mobilising development, but it
cannot do so without the support of the states. The central government and the states
need to cooperate together to solve the internal security threats and coordinate
the implementation of this multi-dimensional approach. Both organisations must complement
and support each other’s initiatives and strategies. But the present economic growth
models are advocating of that type of economic growth which is not sustainable.
For example this part of our country is mineral rich. Therefore multinational
companies are interested to exploit these areas at any cost. But at the cost of
lower strata of the people, these people are tribal people and landless farmer.
These are the people who have to be displaced but not gained anything in return
from them. Therefore large scale dissatisfaction is arising. Governance is
totally absent there. Although government policy is good, if implementation is
nil then serious problems arise. This is the main reason for rising of Maoist
insurgency in these areas. There is no quick fix solution to the problem of Naxalism.
The need of the hour is good governance. The public also do their bit to solve
this problem. We cannot criticise the establishment for each and every problem.
Here the role of public or civil society is very important. Government is
making every possible effort by making all possible policies and instruments.
But to implement all the policies and to create awareness among the public, the
role of civil society is also very important.