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Q: Discuss the social, economic, political, and ideological dimensions of naxalism in India. Highlight the factors
that led to a decline in Naxal violence and affected areas in recent times. (15 Marks, 250 Words)


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Naxalism or Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) is an insurgent and separatism movement based on the ideology of Maoism. It originated from Naxalbari village in West Bengal and aims at violent overthrow of the state. Former PM
Manmohan Singh termed naxalism as the single biggest security challenge faced by the country.

Social factors
· Continuation of social discrimination based on caste and ethnic identities.
· Exploitation and misbehaviour with the female members of weaker sections of the society.
· Attempts by the affluent class to maintain traditional hierarchies in a changed global scenario.


Economic factors
· Limited economic opportunities in the hinterlands and tribal areas.
· Stark economic inequalities that continue to expand.
· Land acquisition 4 mega projects resulting in displacement of tribals.

Political factors
· Apathy of the political class towards marginalised sections and population in the hinterland.
· Lack of true representation Tribals, Dalits and other marginalised communities.
· Poor functioning of the Gram sabhas, Tribal councils and autonomous councils.

Ideological Factor:
· The ideology remains attractive in a society with a history of discrimination and prevailing socio-economic inequalities.
· Many well-meaning liberal intellectuals fall prey to the Maoist propaganda without understanding the true nature of Maoist insurgency doctrine which glorifies violence and believes in adopting the military line to capture power.

Factors leading to decline in Naxal violence in recent times:
· Security Approach: Modernisation of Police force scheme, targeting senior leadership, strengthening state
Intelligence Bureaus (SIBs) etc.
· Developmental Approach: Better health and education facilities in affected areas, aspirational district programs, MGNREGA, Eklavya Residential schools for tribal children, entrepreneurship through TRIFED etc.
· Centre-state cooperation: in security domain through funding under security related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, Multi-Agency Centres, deployment of CRPFs etc, Bastariya batallion in Chhattisgarh etc.
· Central Government Initiatives: 14 specialized CoBRA batallions of CRPF to assist the states, use of UAVs and mini-UAVs, CPI (Maoist) banned under UAPA, SAMADHAN initiative etc.
· State-specific initiatives: Specialized units to tackle naxalism like Andhra Pradesh (Greyhounds), Jharkhand (Jaguar), Maharashtra (C-60) etc.
· Disillusionment with ideology: Dur to development initiatives of central and state governments, Naxalites targeting civilians, mobility in search of employment etc.

There is need for center and states to regularly cooperate and coordinate in both security and developmental initiatives to completely eradicate the threat of naxalism.