Left Wing Extremism

News: According to data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), there has been a steady decline in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) related violence and geographical spread of LWE influence in the country. The geographical influence of Maoists has contracted to only 41 districts in the country, which is a sharp reduction from 96 such districts in 10 States in 2010. LWE incidents have also reduced from 2,258 in 2009 to 349 incidents till August 2021.

Left Wing Extremism in India:

  • Left-wing extremists, popularly known as Maoists worldwide and as Naxalites in India. The term Naxalism derives its name from the village Naxalbari of West Bengal. It originated as a rebellion against local landlords who bashed a peasant over a land dispute.
  • The rebellion was initiated in 1967,with an objective of rightful redistribution of the land to working peasants under the leadership of Kanu Sanyal and Jagan Santhal. The movement has spread across the Eastern India in less developed areas of states such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is considered that Naxals support Maoist political sentiments and ideology. Maoism is a form of communism developed by Mao Tse Tung.It is a doctrine to capture State power through a combination of armed insurgency, mass mobilization and strategic alliances. The region, affected by LWE, is referred to as the Red corridor.

Factors responsible behind Left Wing Extremism:

  • The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980has been used to target tribals, who depend on forest produce for their living. Massive displacement of tribal population in the naxalism-affected states due to development projects, mining operations and other reasons.
  • Such people who do not have any source of living are taken into naxalism by Maoists. Maoists provide arms and ammunition and money to such people.
  • Government measures its success on the basis of the number of violent attacks rather than the development done in the naxal-affected areas. Absence of strong technical intelligence to fight with naxalites. Infrastructural problems, for instance, some villages are not yet connected properly with any communication network.
  • It is seen that even after police take hold of a region, administration fails to provide essential services to the people of that region. Confusion over tackling naxalism as a social issue or as a security threat.