Factors Responsible for Growth of Naxalism in India

The Naxal affected areas are tribal dominated districts in the interiors of the states where the administrative architecture and development has not reached. The discontent among the population of these areas is on the matters of rights to lands, forests, mining, development and the caste based discrimination. Naxalism is the outcome of a number of various factors political and economical in nature as discussed below:

Political Factors

  • Emergence of the movement coincided with the formation of the first United Front Government in West Bengal (1967) with CPI (M) as its main constituent. The movement thus received increasing official support, attention and press coverage in those times.
  • The movement was influenced with the political ideology of Chinese Communist Party and Mao Zedong. They used slogans such as “China’s path is our path; China’s Chairman is our Chairman”. However, this ideological inclination to China faded away later. Today, the Naxalite groups are no more having the same perceptions. However, their commitment to Maoism remains as it was earlier.
  • The Naxalbari movement began as an armed peasants uprising. The insensitive nature and apathy of the political system towards tribals remained one of the most important factors that led to such uprisings.
  • The most important political factor for rise of Naxalism is the inability of the legitimate political authority in India to provide avenues for structural uplift to the deprived sections of society in the affected states. There are some areas where there is absolutely no civil administration or police.
  • The Naxalites operate in a vacuum created by administrative and political institutions, espouse local demands, take advantage of the discontent prevalent among the exploited sections of the population and seeks to offer an alternative system of governance that promises emancipation of these segments from the clutches of the exploiter classes through the barrel of gun.

Economic factors

  • Problem of poverty and economic inequality and underdevelopment in the naxal affected regions.
  • Skewed distribution of land and economic growth.
  • Encroachment of forest lands by and wealth controlled by contractor-politician nexus.
  • Entry of mining companies in Tribal lands and forests, posing threat to the livelihood of the tribals.
  • Indigenous tribal population deprived of their lands, uprooted from their traditional source of livelihood. Globalization accused to have led many MNCs making inroads in tribal areas owing to their resource richness. The benefits of the resource exploitation are not passed on the tribals.
  • Well knitted linkage between the illegal mining industry in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand which results in a lucrative source of earning for the Naxal leadership and cadres.
  • The tribal villages have no medial facilities, no schools, low literacy, and high poverty.
  • The Naxalite cadre base is formed of tribals, lower castes from India’s poorest communities, form the Naxals’ cadre base. Naxalite movement is supported by the grievances of the tribals and the dalits.

Various issues raised by Naxals / Maoists

Caste / Gender based exploitation

This includes victimization and sexual exploitation of tribal women, recruitment of teenage girls as special police officers and exploitation of low caste women by upper caste males.

Religious Minorities

The Maoists use the Babri mosque demolition, Gujarat riots and other such events to call up the minorities to unite against the fascist Hindus. They give unequivocal support to Kashmiris, Nagas, ULFA and and Meiteis.

Issues of agrarian community

The Maoists point to the farmer suicides in Vadarbha, Andhra Pradesh etc. and have included in their programme signing off the peasants debts, restoration of farm subsidies, investment in irrigation, proper prices of farm produce and ban on Multi National Companies.

Induced displacement by Development

Maoists keep the SEZ on top of their agenda. SEZ, according to them is a treacherous policy to snatch the land of the people and hand it over to MNCs.


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