What are the factors that lead to easy radicalisation of youth in India? Discuss some of efforts made by government to counter the same.

Published: May 3, 2018

Radicalisation of youth has become the obstacle for ensuring India transforms its human resource into demographic dividend. The reasons for radicalisation of youth in India are

  • Jobless growth: India has become fastest growing economy of the world. But this growth is not broad based. It has created Islands of prosperity in ocean of deprivation. This has resulted in frustration among the youth who lack of sufficient opportunities to break into Islands of prosperity. This has resulted in youth falling prey to radicalisation.
  • Communalism: India is home to diverse religions. Often the differences between the practices and beliefs of different religions are seen as agonistic to one another and it is leading to communalist elements exploiting the situations to spread hatred between the communities.
  • Social conditions of caste groups: The differences in the socio-economic conditions of caste and religious groups have resulted in disparities. These disparities between the caste and religious groups have become a tool to spread radicalism.
  • Fake news and Social media: Spreading of fake news through social media is creating a sense of insecurity among both majority and minority communities. This sense of insecurity is creating ground for radicalisation.
  • Post-truth: India is seeing rapidly rising tendency of post-truth wherein there is emphasis more on emotion rather than logic or objectivity. This constant appealing to emotions has made youth vulnerable to radicalisation.

Steps taken by government to counter radicalisation

  • Inclusive development: India is embracing inclusive development motto of inclusive development with initiatives like Skill India, Stand up India to usher prosperity to all the sections of the society.
  • Government is actively pursuing steps to counter fake news.
  • Home ministry is developing strategies to strategies to counter radicalisation.
  • If the law enforcement agencies in the country find an individual to be a highly radicalised person, they determine whether the person can be referred for de-radicalisation. The person receives counselling either by the police or scholars of the ideological or religious affiliation to which the individual belongs. The person’s activities are monitored to prevent recidivism. These measures are currently being pursued with diligence in the states of Maharashtra and Telangana.
  • The media campaigns of the ISIS in social networks to attract supporters are also being analysed and public relations programmes are on anvil for the propagation of ‘moderate’ interpretations of Islam to counter the ISIS ideology of violent extremism.
  • To strengthen the anti-radicalisation measures initiatives like an ‘extremist counselling hotline’, such as the one recently set up by Austria, has reportedly drawn the interest of Indian authorities. The viability of the United States’ counter-radicalisation programmes focused on community outreach and the United Kingdom’s Prevent and Channel programme is also being studied.

Indian Government has been taking several measures to protect impressionable minds, particularly the country’s youth, from the radicalisation and recruitment campaigns launched by the ISIS. In fact, it is ‘working out a cohesive strategy to counter attempts at radicalisation and recruitment, suitable in the Indian context’.

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