How is Naxalism different from Maoism in India? Throw light on main reasons for the spread of Naxalism and Maoism in the country.

Published: May 3, 2018

Maoism originated in China as a form of Communist theory derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong. It was widely applied as the political and military guiding ideology of the Communist Party of China till 1977-78. It emphasised the advancement of people’s social and economic life by establishing a classless society through armed revolution. It was rooted in the anti-imperialist struggle and supported armed revolution in order to achieve political transformation. Naxalism is actually based on the principles of Maoism to achieve a similar transformation in India.
Naxalism originated as a rebellion against lack of development and poverty at the local level in the rural parts of eastern India.  The Naxals are considered far left radical communists who support Maoist political ideology. Their origin can be traced to the split that took place in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 1967. It led to the formation of Communist Party of India (Marxist and Leninist). 
Reasons for spread of Naxalism and Maoism in the country
Disparities in Development
The disparities in development have led to a sense of annihilation. This relative underdevelopment has led to greater opportunity for Naxalism to take ground among the masses.
Tribal annihilation
The forest policies and development agenda in the post-independent India has destroyed the symbiotic relationship of the tribals with the forest. Loss of the symbiotic relationship was not replaced by alternate livelihood opportunities. As a result Naxalism ideology has found more buyers in the tribal belts.
Geographical terrain
The dense forests provide with enough opportunities to evade the law enforcement agencies while undertaking their acts against the establishment. This has enabled them to be in safe hideouts and spread the menace of Naxalism.
Revolutionary thoughts in pre-independence period
The revolutionary school of thought in pre-independence period has actively persuaded masses to take up arms against the establishment for the cause of justice. This has a spillover effect in the post-independence period.
Lack of governance
Lack of robust governance structure and bureaucratic apathy has led to disenchantment against the governance institutions as a result naxalism is seen as an alternative to develop an alternative governance structure.
The post independence period saw India emerge as one of the global powerhouses and world’s fastest growing economy. But these were not achieved through a growth model which was broad based. Hence there are calls to evolve a development model which is inclusive and sustainable.

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