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The Hindu

Nexalism Some Facts

  • Naxalbari in West Bengal in 1967.
  • The Maoists have since carved out what they call a Compact Revolutionary Zone (CRZ), or Red Corridor, stretching from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh to Pashupati in Nepal, encompassing parts of seven States: Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar.

  • They have their footprint inMadhya Pradesh aswell. In all, the area comprises 200 districts, 60 of them labelled hyper-sensitive.

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  • An expert group set up by the Planning Commission in 2008 on ‘Development Challenge in Extremist Areas’ observed: “Naxalite movement has to be recognised as a political movement with a strong base among the poor peasantry and adivasis and though it professed long-term ideology of capturing State power, in its day to day manifestation it was to be looked upon basically as a fight for justice, equity, protection, security and local development.”

  • To give teeth to their struggle, a military formation called the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) was formed. It has become a proficient striking force.

  • The PLGA has army-line command, control, communication, sophisticated weaponry, explosives, skills and guerilla-warfare tactics, combined with motivated, passionate-tothe- cause cadres.


The critical core of the policy to counter the Maoists should dwell essentially on a pro-poorcentric credo, inclusive growth, a trinity of security interventions, even socio-economic infrastructure dispensation in left out ‘rain shadow’ areas. Capturing the hearts and minds of the alienated and disempowered segments is critical. Of crucial significance are well-crafted, integrated and multi-dimensional strategies. A positive mindset, sagacity and clarity of vision and perception of the powers-that-be are essential. There should be active political processes. Political vacuums should not exist. There should be operational coordination among the affected States. Creative responses to challenges, vibrant micro-level governing modules such as gram panchayats and local bodies in Maoist-bound areas are needed. There should be community involvement in the combat against extremism,modulated and humane offensives of State security forces, and zero tolerance to human rights violations and excesses. These should be blended with brainstorming psychological operations to bring about changes in the psyche of turbulent and anguished minds.

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