Linkages Between Development and Extremism

By Hemant Kumar|Updated : December 17th, 2019

The rise of Left-Wing Extremism is one of the finest examples of the existing linkages between Development and Extremism. People living in rural areas along with tribals are generally, easy targets for extremists in the sense that they are discontented by the issues related to land, low wages, legislation regarding forest areas, etc. All this discontent have provided a fertile ground to the left-wing extremism for their influence in these areas with much ease.

Peasant’s Uprising in 1967

A Peasant’s uprising at Naxalbari took place in 1967, which was launched by a communist leader, Charu Majumdar, along with the other rebel cadre of CPM. It is popularly known by the term Naxalbari Uprising as it took place in the Naxalbari village in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal.

Historic Eight Documents

Based on the thoughts of Marx-Lenin-Mao, Charu Majumdar wrote many articles which came to be known as Historic Eight Documents. This provided the ideological foundation and justified the fact that the revolution should be based upon the armed struggle as per the Chinese revolution under Mao.


Maoism is developed by Mao Tse Tung of China and is being considered as a form of Communism. The doctrine behind this is to capture the state power by using armed insurgency, strategic alliances along with mass mobilization. It justifies violence, no matter what comes.

Current Scenario

In the present times, Left Wing Extremism poses a threat to the internal security of the nation as it includes 90 affected districts in 11 states. Out of these 30 districts in the 7 states are the worst affected areas. The affected states include Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, etc.

As per the official data, a decline has been seen in the violence committed by Left-Wing Extremism since 2011 due to many policies adopted by the Indian Government in tackling violent upsurges.

Red Corridor

The region lying in the eastern, central and western part of India, which experiences Naxalite insurgency has been referred to as ‘Red Corridor’. An initiative to redraw the red corridor has been taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs by consulting the states so as to review the affected districts.

Shrinking Corridor

It has been found that the situation of Left Wing Extremism is improving consistently. The govt. is also convinced by the fact that many of the districts are being removed from the Naxal-hit areas as they are no longer under the influence of Maoists or have been reduced to negligible presence.

Linkages between Development and Spread of Left Extremism

The “Expert Group on Development and the Causes of Discontent, Unrest and Extremism” of the Planning Commission in its draft report identified the causes exhaustively. A summary of causes extracted from that Report is as under:

  • Land related Factors: It includes many factors like tardy implementation of land reform policies, non-regulation of traditional land rights, etc. One of the major reasons is the Land Reforms which were introduced after Independence including- Estate Acquisition Act, 1953 and Land Reforms Act (Land Ceilings), 1955
  • Displacement and forced Evictions: Tribals are being forced to leave their lands, displacement is also caused by power projects and all without the appropriate compensation, etc.
  • Forest laws: The interference by the government in the relationship that lies between the tribal people and the forests proved to be fatal. The government disrupted the existing amicable relationship by introducing- The Forest Act, 1927 and Forest Conservation Act, 1980, and converting the forests areas into restricted areas for the tribal people, thus, accelerating the discontentment further.
  • Livelihood related Causes: The corruption in the Public Distribution System leads to the lack of food security, traditional occupations are being disrupted and the alternative work opportunities are not there, etc.
  • Social Exclusion: Dignity is being denied, the existence of untouchability and such practices in some of the areas, etc.
  • Creation of Special Economic Zones: The lands of tribals and remote settlers are being seized by the government for so-called development by misleading them under the name of SEZ’s, for promoting nation’s economy and also, not providing any sort of compensation to the sufferers.
  • Division of Land: It has been estimated that there are about forty per cent of rural people who don’t possess any land or else, less than half-acre of land. Due to this many problematic situations have arisen including the exploitation of these farmers along with no land reforms which forced then to follow the path of left Wing Extremism.

All the above problems which the people faced due to the government policies, which eventually, proved fatal for them, turned them against their governments. Thus, people chose to turn their backs to the government and started embracing left-wing extremism, as this was the only feasible option for them to fight for their rights by going against their government.

Government’s approach in dealing with LWE

To deal with LWE, the Government of India has adopted a ‘four prolonged strategy’ in 2006. It is a holistic approach which covers:

  • Interventions due to security issues: It includes Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, Strengthening the Intelligence mechanism, inter-state coordination, Providing support to State governments, etc.
  • Interventions due to development issues: It includes Additional Central assistance to LWE affected districts, Road Requirement Plan-I, Road Requirement Plan-II, Programme “Roshni’, etc.
  • Providing rights to local communities: The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act, 2006 and Panchayat Act, 1996.
  • Improvement in governance: it includes monitoring and Implementation of Flagship Programmes, Civic Action plan, etc.

Samadhan Doctrine to deal with LWE

Samadhan Doctrine has been proposed by the Union Home Minister in 2017 and it means-

S- Smart leadership

A-Aggressive Strategy

M- Motivation and Training

A-Actionable Intelligence

D- Dashboard based Key Performance Indicators

H- Harnessing technology

A- Action plan for each Theatre

N- No access to Financing


The roots of Left-wing Extremism lies in the” October Revolution” of Russia. The fact can’t be denied that its parent ideology is Communism. Whenever people are denied of basic amenities, they look for alternatives and follow the path of Left Wing Extremism which no doubt, proved to be fatal when people adopted violent means in achieving their demands. The need of an hour is that the government should focus on people first and by adopting a step by step approach only, this form of extremism can be rooted out. The Government of India is of the opinion that the problem of Left- Wing Extremists can be tackled by adopting a holistic approach and focussing on the interventions due to development and security related issues. The government is also optimistic of eradicating Left Wing Extremists problem through the strategic vision that has been articulated above. Education plays a vital role in erupting rationality among people. By propagating education among these people, we can aware them of all the malpractices adopted by Left-wing Extremists by brainwashing the sufferers.


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