Root causes of Naxalism
How a person becomes a naxalite ?
Naxalism is the most significant political movement since independence. It has been the most long-lasting though it has had its ups and downs. Despite its fragmented nature a continuing thread with some variations can be seen in the ideological thrust, strategy and tactics of mobilization of different groups within its fold. It is the only movement which having started in one police station of a single district in West Bengal in 1967 has expanded its activities covering over 460 police stations in 160 districts across 14 states despite the police force and infrastructure having grown manifold during this period. The movement’s capacity to challenge the state has also enormously increased considering the incidents of violence and casualties resulting from them. The movement is viewed with greater anxiety in the government because it is most intense precisely in areas which are rich in natural resources and, therefore, targeted for fast-track industrial development. These are also the areas which have a history of mass protests by the peasantry against colonial policies. The movement is also unique in that it tends to mobilize the most subdued and socially marginalized sections and lays bare, as probably no other movement has done, the sharp fissures in the society, politics and economy. Unlike the political mass movements with violent underpinnings featuring in the border areas, naxalites do not seek to secede from the Indian union to establish a sovereign independent state of their own but only to capture political power through armed struggle to restructure society.
A movement with such clarity of goals and sharply carved out strategies is usually spearheaded by a well knit organization. Though the naxlite movement continues to be fragmented in separate small groups, after 1977 three organized political formations – CPI (ML)- Liberation, CPI (Maoist) and CPI (ML) have emerged with...