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Naxalism: The Red Terror In India – Analysis



The word Naxal comes from the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal, which was the site of the Naxalite peasant revolt in 1967. Naxalists believe in uprooting the discriminative system of haves and have not and create a society of equality based on the ideology of Karl Marx. Its epicenter was in West Bengal but rapidly it spread into other states of India such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Also Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district is highly affected by the Naxalists. 


Types of Naxalism

1. Urban Naxalism- Urban Naxals believes in ideological change and influence people to stand against the state. They provide full support to Rural Naxals.  

2. Rural Naxalism- Rural Naxals are indulged in armed struggle with the state. 

Naxalism Vs Maoism 

Naxalism is an internal aggression that emerged due to extreme exploitation and lack of governmental efforts in terms of development. It should not be confused with Maoism as Maoism referred to the ideology of Mao Zedong in China although it has the same way of forcing the government but Naxalism emerged in India from three different regions Naxalbari, Kharibari and Phasideva. First it emerged in Naxalbari that is why it was named Naxalism. Their goal is to through the existing government system out and creates a new social order.

History of Naxalism

Historical if we look it started around 1964 in its first phase and eradicated by Indira Gandhi government and later in 1980’s it emerged again with its second phase eventually in 2004 it got its third phase with the merger of MCC of Bihar and PWG of Andhra Pradesh as CPI-Maoist later it bifurcated in many other groups one of them was CPI-ML Janasakti.

Current Status On Naxalism in India

Comparative statistics of Naxal violence (2005-2018)

YearsCiviliansSecurity Force PersonnelLWE/ CPI-MaoistsTotal
Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal, Data till 9 September, 2018.

State Initiatives to deal with Naxalism

Government has adopted surrender policy for Naxalists, the state has given opportunities to the youth to join the security forces in Naxal affected regions with ease, started talks with the insurgent groups, promoted primary and higher education also initiated the developing works of road constructions and bridge constructions etc.

Why Eradicate Naxalism?

Now the issue is that it has lost its values and often targets civilians, extort money from them and often put fire on their houses and whenever government tries to start developing works they fail them by abducting government officials and even killing the officials and arson the JCB and other construction machines.


The state has to cut the main sources of funding to Naxalism and smuggling of weapons to the Naxals. Finally security forces need to locate the Naxalists from the Jungles and deep forest areas, where the Naxal camps are active. The state can take help from the local people and increase the number of Salwa Judums. 

*Pankaj Kumar Sain, is a Political Analyst and has a Masters in Political Science