Naxalism and its Causes
The term Naxalism derives its name from the village Naxalbari of West Bengal. It is originated as rebellion against local landlords who bashed a peasant over a land dispute. This rebellion was under the leadership of Kanu Santhal and Jagan Sanyal with an objective of rightful redistribution of the land to working peasants which was initiated in 1967.
It is considered to be the far-left radical communists; the Naxals support Maoist political sentiment and ideology. It was started in West Bengal and the movement slowly spread across the Eastern India in less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The movement has rapidly found roots among displaced tribes and natives who are fighting against exploitation at the hands of major Indian corporations and local officials whom they believe to be corrupt.
Factors responsible for the growth of Naxalism
1. Mismanagement of Forests: It is one of the main reasons for the spread of Naxalism. It started with the British government. The monopolization of the forest started with the enactment of various forest laws. The integration with the wider world led to an influx of a new class like moneylenders. The administrative machinery became more exploitative and extortionate at functional level.
2. Tribal policies not implemented well: Even during the post Independence era, the government was not able to stop the process of the tribal alienation and their displacement caused by large projects. Even the issues of food security were not fully sorted out. Consequently, Naxalism made inroads in Orissa and other states.
3. The Growing inter and intra regional disparities: Naxalalism attract people who have poor livelihood like fishermen, farmers, daily labourers and bamboo cutters. The government policies have failed to stem the growing inter and intra regional disparities. The poor people think that Naxalism can provide solutions to their problems.
4. Absence of proper Industrialisation and lack of land reforms: The half-hearted implementation of land reforms by the government has yielded negative results. The agrarian set up has not been defined in the absence of proper implementation of survey and settlement. This further damaged the agriculture production and the rural economy. Absence of proper industrialization has failed to generate employment for rural people leading to dissatisfaction with the government. It is also one of the causes behind Naxalism.
5. Geographical Terrain: Naxalism thrives in areas covered with forests. It helps them fight against the police and the army by waging Guerrilla warfare.
6. Middle Class Youth: The educated youths have been the largest supporters of the Naxalist movement as the maximum of the youths involved in the movement are medical and engineering graduates. Universities have turned up to be a pitch for the creation of radical ideologies.
Hene, Naxalism was the brain-child of exploitative relation of landlords and peasants, but today it became the biggest security problem for India's future.