Naxalism in India

GS-3 Mains (Security)

Short Notes or Revision Notes 

Question : Explain the concept of Naxalism and its origins in India. And Examine the threats posed by Naxalism to India’s internal security and socio-economic development.

What is Naxalism?

  • Naxalism, also known as Left-Wing Extremism (LWE), is a major internal security challenge in India.
  • Naxalites (or Maoists) aim to overthrow the government through violent means.
  • They are concentrated in a region known as the “Red Corridor” across several states.


  • Started in 1967 with a tribal-peasant uprising against landlords in Naxalbari village, West Bengal.
  • Led by figures like Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal, and Jangal Santhal.
  • Merged into the Communist Party of India (Maoist) by 2008, becoming the umbrella organization for Naxalite groups.
  • Declared a terrorist organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.


  • Severely affected: Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar.
  • Partially affected: West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Slightly affected: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Emerging presence: Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh.

Causes of Naxalism:

  • Marginalization of Adivasis (tribals), Dalits, and other disadvantaged communities.
  • Lack of land reforms and economic development in affected areas.
  • Tribal resentment over restrictions on forest access due to various acts and orders.
  • Absence of basic necessities like healthcare, education, and infrastructure.

Threats Posed by Naxalism:

  • Vulnerability to external threats due to potential links with insurgent groups.
  • Hinders economic development in affected regions.
  • Increases government expenditure on internal security.
  • Weakens governance and service delivery in Naxal-dominated areas.

Government Initiatives:

  • Deployment of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to assist state police.
  • Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme for funding security operations and rehabilitation programs.
  • Improved intelligence gathering through Multi-Agency Centres (MACs).
  • Better inter-state coordination among affected states.
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to tackle Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
  • Increased air support with UAVs and helicopters.

The Way Forward:

  • Requires a combined approach of development and security measures.
  • Address root causes like poverty and marginalization.
  • Re-establish government control in Naxal-affected areas.
  • Focus on development projects and improving living standards for affected communities.

Recent Successes:

  • LWE violence has significantly declined in recent years due to government efforts.


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