Urban Naxals

Urban Naxals

Urban Naxals

The article tells how Urban Naxals affects India’s Internal Securities.


Mains GS III: Linkages between development and spread of extremism and Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

Why in the news

Recently Prime Minister Narendra  Modi has warned the tribal community against “falling for urban Naxal who have arrived in disguise ”  

Urban Naxals

Pic: Urban Naxals

What is Urban Naxalism?

  • The term Urban Naxals is not clearly defined. It loosely means people of the Naxalite bent of mind who reside in urban areas and work as activists, supporters, and protectors of the ideology, while the active Naxals battle it out in the jungles and vast swathes of Maoist-dominated areas.
  • Urban Naxalism
  • The phrase ‘Naxal’ originated from the name of the village Naxalbari of district Darjeeling in West Bengal, where the movement was initiated under the leadership of Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal in 1967.
  • The word  “Urban Naxals” is more or less attributed to the people with a Naxalite bent of mind inhabitant of urban areas and acting as activists, supporters, and protectors of the ideology while the active Naxals battle it out in the forests and vast swathes of Maoist-dominated areas.

How Naxalism evaluated in India:

  • The Naxalism in India was a consequence of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in which a small group of the party workers decided to break away to initiate an armed struggle against big landowners and establishment.

Spread of  Naxalism

  • The spread of Naxalism was reassured by sustaining the interests of the suppressed ones against the prevailing injustices of the establishment, harassment by petty government functionaries, extortion by policemen, and callousness of officers in addressing their grievances.
  • It’s an indication of poor governance.

The objectives of Naxals

  •  The stated goal of the Naxals is the violent overthrow of the state through armed revolution

Expansion of Urban Naxalism

  • According to the intelligence reports, they must have been able to form urban cells and industrial belts of Raipur,  Surat, etc also front organizations have been set up in prominent cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Hyderabad, etc

Difference between urban Naxals and civil rights activists

  • the civil rights activists take up democratic methods like rallies, petitions, etc to achieve their goals  whereas Naxals do not take a democratic route 

What is Red Corridor?

  •  The area comes under the passage from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh to Pashupati in Nepal where Naxals have a broad influence, it is one of the most underdeveloped regions of the country
  • Hence, it would not be an exaggeration to state that Naxalism also indicates poor governance.

Factors trigger Urban Naxalism:

Land reform policies of India

  •  After independence, the land reform policy of India was not so successful in some parts of the country, which lead to the evaluation and growth of the Naxal movement in India.

Development Projects and Tribal Alienation

  • The tribal’s are driven by complaints with the Indian Government over decades-long resource mismanagement and systematic marginalization that started with a series of development projects in the 1980s that detached tribal’s from their lands in the name of the public good. 
  • The dispute between economic progress and aboriginal land rights continues to boost the Naxalite’s activities.

Forest Protection Act of 1980:

  • However, the legislature had put an attempt to protect the country’s natural resources from exploitation, the law essentially outlawed the existence of many tribal villages that had been in place for centuries.
  •  As areas were described as reserve forests, traditional occupations of even gathering twigs were forbidden.
  • People who earned their livelihood through access to forest resources in a sustainable manner suddenly found themselves outside the law.

Government’s shortfall 

  • Poor quality of  education facilities and basic sustainable employment
  • Unable to provide the basic healthcare facilities
  • Poor routine  administration and poorly motivated public personnel
  • Mishandling and corruption in government schemes like the Public Distribution System.
  • Below bar  implementation of special laws
  • Infrastructure deficit
  • Problems  related to law and order, grievance redressal

Government policies :

  • Prohibition on  CPI Maoist, as well as all its formations and front organizations under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
  • Aiding to the LWE States: ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ being State subjects, action with respect to the maintenance of law and order lies chiefly in the domain of the concerned State Governments. Although, the Central Government closely supervises the situation and coordinates and supplements its efforts in several ways to deal with the LWE problem.
  • These include:
  • Providing Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)
  • Commando Battalions for Resolute Action (CoBRA),
  • Systemizing  of Counter Insurgency and Anti Terrorism (CIAT) schools;
  • Updating the State Police and their Intelligence apparatus etc.

 The central government has also provided assistance under the following schemes

  • Security Related Expenditure Scheme (SRE)
  • Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS)
  • Central Scheme for assistance to civilian victims/families of victims of terrorism, communal and Naxal violence
  • Civic Action Programme (CAPs)

Way ahead:

  • Government and political parties should avoid, tagging overt and peaceful rebellion as Naxalism is a pad tactic, a political and moral blunder
  • The government put an effort to cut down the propaganda of the real Maoists in rural remote areas of central India.
  • Taking up real counter campaigns and outreach programs is the best way to ideologically defeat the leftist insurgency.


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