[Answered] Discuss the threat of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) to India. Briefly explain the Government of India’s approach to counter the challenges posed by LWE.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Discuss the danger of LWE in India. What is Indian Government approach to counter the challenges posed by LWE.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Left Wing Extremism or Naxal Movement has been the source of extreme violence in some parts of the country. These extremists are internally waging wars against the state. It is considered to be the most important security concern. These extremist movements have disconnected several tribal villages from the national main stream. They want abolition of state to establish the rule of people. These extremists attack the symbols of the country’s power such as the police, schools and other government institutions.

Danger of LWE in India:

  1. They threaten the locals before the conduct of elections and prevent them from voting. Violating the principle of participative democracy.
  2. They resort to violence through their guerrilla tactics and attempt to setup their own government in the local villages.
  3. They destroy the roads, transport system and government resources, thereby creating hindrance in governance and last mile connectivity. The poor are deprived further.
  4. Urban Naxals, who sometimes operate under the cloak of NGOs or social-work units, raise questions about the use of force by government machinery. This helps them build a strong bastion of sympathisers and volunteers in towns and cities and across social media.
  5. They resort to extortion, abduction of important personalities like Politicians, bureaucrats, police etc and put up their demand.
  6. They hire vulnerable people who have low literacy levels, unemployed or low income, particularly the tribals, who aren’t aware of consequences of joining such forces, building up their cadre.
  7. They also have nexus with politicians, they find this as a medium to put up their demands through voices of Politicians.
  8. They attack the police, government and collect weapons, technological devices to fight against them on technological front.

Government of India’s approach to counter LWE:

  1. The Government’s approach is to deal with Left Wing Extremism in a holistic manner, in the areas of security, development, ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities, improvement in governance and public perception management.
  2. The foremost focus of Government is to strengthen the connectivity in these areas so as to improve its engagement with the rest of the country. Infrastructural enhancements like road, railways and airport construction, instalment of mobile towers are taking place. For example- National Policy and Action Plan.
  3. Smart Leadership and better coordination with the State governments is being encouraged by the Government to expand its reach in the LWE affected areas.
  4. An aggressive strategy is being followed to modernise and strengthen the capacity of armed forces.
  5. Special emphasis is being laid on the implementation of Forest Rights Act and ensuring entitlement of local communities over Minor Forest Produce.
  6. To stop the maintenance and sustained survival of Left Wing Extremism, the Government is attempting to block Left Wing Extremist outfits’ access to financing.
  7. Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme is being implemented to ensure militants’ rehabilitation and return to the mainstream.
  8. To counter the ideological effect of Left Wing Extremism on people, gaps between Security Forces and local people are being bridged through close interactions, Tribal Youth Exchange programmes, radio jingles, documentaries, pamphlets etc.
  9. The Union Home Minister enunciated an integrated strategy through which the LWE can be countered with full force and competence. The new strategy is called SAMADHAN, which is a compilation of short term and long term policies formulated at different levels.

As per reports, the total area affected by Naxalism has shrunk to 90 districts of the country from 165 districts and at least 122 Maoists have been killed across the country in the first six months of 2018 which is highest in past eight years. So, it is true to say that the trajectory of LWE has been showing a downward trend.

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