Naxalites in India: Separatist Terrorist Group or not

The Naxalite can be described as a post-independence social movement found in India. It is a revolutionary movement consisting of the laborer and the peasants. The term Naxalism originates from a village known as Naxalbari in West Bengal. Later, it spread into less developed areas such as rural eastern India. Initially, the movement activities were done underground by groups that included the members of Communist Party of India. The Naxalism movement came as a result of a split of the Party of India, a communist party, in 1967. In the same year, there was a violent uprising led by Jangal Santhal and Kanu Sanyal directed towards the government. The emergence of movement is believed to be an initiative of a radical communist that supported Maoist ideologies and political sentiments. After ten years of existence, the movement had a successful integration of its ideas among the natives and the displaced tribes who felt oppressed and wanted to fight for their rights. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the emergence of the Naxalites, their goals, practices, and where they are based.


The Start of Naxalism

Jangal Santhal and Kanu Sanyal, both of whom were leaders of CPI, started Naxalism. Through an armed uprising, they formed and organized an overthrow of the Naxalbaris landlords who were in control of the land. Their main objective was to fight for the working peasants who had no land so that it could be rightfully re-distributed to them. This uprising led to the killing of a policeman by the protestors in his attempt to arrest their leaders. CPI-M was the state government at that time, and it denied its participation in the attack. Later, the aftermath of the assault resulted in an expulsion of a party member who participated in the uprising together with his sympathizers.

The state government then organized a crackdown that was supposed to curb the insurgency. Consequently, many atrocities took place as the movement fought back. There was much aggressiveness among the members of the movement whose demand for land was increasing persistently posing a big threat to the state security. Gradually, the support of the group increased, and it was spreading so fast among the landless and the poor that live in rural regions such as the Odisha and Bihar, Bengal and Andhra Pradesh (Tully, 2011). There was also an emergence of activist groups that supported the movement. Due to their influence, there followed a massive recruitment of members some of whom were urban elites. It resulted in series of uprisings that were directed to exterminate the landlords. The expelled leader of CPI-M together with various factions later united to form CPI.

Naxalism Today

Feeling oppressed for several years, the rural Dalits and some tribes decided to pursue their right for land acquisition, which had been denied for generations. Taking advantage of the situation, many parties associated with Naxalism were formed and sort the support of peasants to organize uprisings. Up-to-date movement remains the biggest threat to the internal security of India. According to Home Secretary, G. K Pillai, the main objective of the movement is to overthrow the democratic system of the India by 2050 (Tully, 2011). The increasing recruitment and military expertise witnessed among the Naxalites raises an alarm. Moreover, one of the major concerns is the number of casualties suffered from the government army activities at Dantewada. It shows that the movement is well prepared in terms of the machinery and expertise. In recent years, there have been many counter-attacks by the military forces against the attacks initiated by the movement. Lately, there has been a movement of some of the uprising factions into politics, but it creates worries since it could turn out to be a hypocritical game that seeks to give the Naxalites more power to propagate their plans (Tully, 2011).

The Naxalism movement has spent more than 50 years in the bloody battle leading to various accusations, each side accusing the other of the wrongdoings. It has, in turn, resulted in a vicious cycle of attacks and distrust. In the recent years, the governments paramilitary forces and the police operations have been steadily increased. In its effort to eradicate the movement, the government has been also financing the local resistance movements to fight the Naxalism. Failure to end this animosity in the near future will mean a series of atrocities that would result in massive deaths.

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The questions we should ask ourselves are what do the Naxal readers really want? Does what the Naxalites want really matters? And for what reason should a poor person raise a gun? The answers to these questions are simple. What these people lack is basic opportunities required for growth, essential amenities, and infrastructure. They are the things they have been denied and are fighting for. So all that the movement want is to live a life that is free of discrimination. Therefore, the government should ensure that these people are not alienated. Instead, they should also be allowed to enjoy the available resources as the rest.

The state and the national government of India view the Naxalites as a terrorist group and have declared them illegal. The government has outlawed the Communist Party of India formed few years ago. It also claims that the formation of CPI-ML party is illegal. Hence, it has resulted in more enmity between it and the movement. On the other hand, the group claims that it is not a terrorist organization, and its purpose is to bring equity among the oppressed groups. It makes it impossible for the government to fully deploy its armed forces because it lacks enough grounds to link the movement with terrorists acts. Therefore, the government does not want to fight them the way they would fight the terrorists. There is also a fear by the government of receiving international condemnation when dealing with the issues of the movement.

The Operation Areas of Naxalites

Naxalism is mainly nurtured in those areas that are least developed in India. It is found at the heartland of the country. The movements operation areas are mostly in Adivasi and rural areas where people live in jungles and where there is little or no government administration. Most of the prominent areas where it operates are in Chhattisgarh, Eastern Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Western Orissa, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. From the list, it can be seen that the movement operates in inland (Tully, 2011).

Naxals Opinion

The Naxalites are Indian citizens who are socio-economically handicapped. They earn a small livelihood from their lands. Needless to say, the Indian economy has grown tremendously leading to increased national wealth. To facilitate this development, there has been a need for more natural resources and land from the businesses. However, the pattern of the economic growth is characterized by the uneven distribution of resources leading to a widened gap between the poor and the rich. This has, in turn, resulted in a conflict for land ownership and economic progress, thus fueling the activities of the Naxalism. Most of the members of the movement live in abject poverty with no access to government services. In these areas, they are also governed by weak government administrations. Since these people have little or no education, they suffer the highest level of infant mortality. It, therefore, becomes easier for the movement to target these groups and spread their ideologies. In return, the people view the movement as their savior because they have no any political power to air their grievances.

The Governments Opinion

Being multi-layered, the existence of the Naxalites poses a big threat to the Indias security in the future. The movement complains of the Indias interior shortcomings making it possible for this country to be vulnerable to external condemnation. With globalization in place, the existence and effects of the Naxalism cannot be presumed to be affecting India alone. The movement is also a threat to the external security. The underlying assumption is that there must be a third party in cahoots who supply them with ammunition and black money. It becomes challenging for the government to implement its plot against the movement because many people within them are innocent and should not suffer because of them. The government is also in a dilemma whether to implement the movements demand or not. If it applies, the government feels that citizens will view violence as leeway to meeting their requirements. On the other hand, there is fear by the government that the failure to implement the demands may continue endangering lives of the innocent citizens.

Factors that led to the Growth of Naxalism

Mismanagement of Forests

It has been considered as one of the main reason Naxalism has existed. The enactment of forest laws by the British government gave rise to monopolization the movement fiercely rejects.

Failure to Implement Tribal Policies Rightly

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There have been efforts by the campaign to fight against tribal discrimination that was initiated during the colonial period and which the government had not been able to stop. This tribal alienation has been witnessed through major projects and food security, thus relating the members of the movement (Tully, 2011).

Intra- and Inter-regional Disparities

Most of the members of the movement are people whose livelihood is meager. They include the daily laborers, farmers, bamboo cutters, and fishermen. There has been an uprising among these people because the government policies do not address the issue of intra- and inter-regional disparities. It pushes the poor to seek the support of movement thinking that they are going to find a solution to their problems (Tully, 2011).

Absence of Land Reforms and Poor Industrialization

Laxity of the government to properly implement land reforms has facilitated the spread of the movement. The agrarian developed has failed to yield better results due to poor settlement and survey. It has led to the reduced agricultural production and unsuccessful rural economy. As a result, rural people have failed to secure employment making them express their dissatisfaction with the system of governance.

Geographical Terrain

Naxalism is mostly based in covered areas like forests because they offer hiding places making it possible for the members to hide from the police and sometimes fight with them. It has posed a big threat to the army when they engage them in battles (Tully, 2011).

Radicalization of Youths

The largest group of supporters of the movement is made up of university graduates consisting of engineering and medical graduates because of the dissatisfaction among the intellectuals and the radical ideologies being created by the learning institutions.


To conclude, unless underlying issues of Indian social, political, and economic institutions are dealt with, India will continue to be exposed to more danger from the Naxalites. Over the years, their internal operation may extend to include some of the external security threats. This may be possible due to its high number of sympathizers making the situation riskier. Therefore, the government needs to understand that the issue of dealing with the insurgency of the movement is complex, and its existence proves to be a major threat to the Indias security in the near future.

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