Mains Practice Question


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A national policy to end Naxalist violence has to emanate out of economic, developmental and internal security considerations. Discuss. 
A Simple Introduction about Naxalism

Naxalism is a Maoist-inspired communist insurgency that has been active in India since the mid-1960s.  The movement originated in the village of Naxalbari, West Bengal, in 1967, following a peasant uprising against local landlords. Inspired by Mao Zedong's communist ideology, Naxalites believed in armed revolution to establish a socialist state. Naxalites aim to overthrow what they perceive as a corrupt and exploitative government. They advocate for land redistribution and social justice for marginalized communities, particularly Adivasis (indigenous tribes) and Dalits (formerly untouchables).


It is the central part of the answer and one should understand the demand of the question to provide rich content.

According to Maoist ideology, the economically oppressed peasants and working class will rise against the capitalist bourgeois class to establish a classless society through armed revolution. However, rapid economic growth, opportunities created by communication and mobility, and aspirational youth act as strong counterforces to economic class-based divisions.

Strategies for Countering Naxalism

Strategic victory over Naxalism requires a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of central and state governments, as well as an honest assessment of the capabilities, mindset, and resolve of security forces engaged in anti-Naxalite operations. Additionally, establishing a realistic timeframe is essential to effectively root out this menace.

Tactical Warfare and Local Commando Forces

At the tactical level, successful combat against Naxalism necessitates the deployment of agile, stealthy, enduring, and disciplined commando forces primarily recruited from the local youth. An example of this approach is the Greyhounds of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh police.

Economic Interests and Resource-Rich Regions

The influence of Maoists thrives in contiguous forested areas across multiple states due to deep-rooted financial interests. These regions are rich in minerals such as bauxite, iron ore, limestone, marble, dolomite, coal, and copper, as well as pristine forests abundant in timber and Minor Forest Produce (MFP).

Exploitation of Natural Resources and Extortion

The value chain associated with these natural resources offers significant profit margins for extractive industries and contractors, creating opportunities for extortion and protection money demanded by Maoist groups. With many state governments enacting the Panchayat (Extension of Scheduled Areas) Act 1996, gram panchayats now auction MFP, including bamboo and tendu leaves, further contributing to these dynamics.

Implications and Solutions

Understanding the economic dynamics behind Naxalism underscores the importance of holistic approaches that address socio-economic grievances, governance issues, and the exploitation of natural resources. Combining security measures with development initiatives aimed at improving the lives of local communities is crucial for effectively countering the insurgency and fostering lasting peace and stability in affected regions.


The ending of the answer should be on a positive note and it should have a forward-looking approach.

To effectively combat Naxalism, an integrated approach is imperative, spearheaded by counter-offensive operations conducted by well-trained, disciplined, agile, and stealthy commando forces of the state police. Additionally, expanding road networks from the periphery to the core of liberated zones, facilitated under the security cover of central forces or specially raised engineering units, is crucial. Furthermore, the rapid expansion of mobile communication networks and the commercialization of economic activities represent slow but certain and irreversible pathways to success.


Other Points to Consider 

Naxalbari movement
Minor Forest Produce (MFP)
Guerrilla warfare
Previous Year Questions
1. Naxalism is a social, economic and developmental issue manifesting as a violent internal security threat. In this context, discuss the emerging issues and suggest a multilayered strategy to tackle the menace of Naxalism. (UPSC CSE 2022)


21-May 2024