[Answered] “World is facing an unprecedented threat from intolerance, violent extremism and terrorism, exacerbating conflicts and destabilising entire regions”. Discuss how India should tackle the growing threat of extremism and terrorism in the region?

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Various form of extremism in India. Measures to tackle extremism.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Today world is facing intolerance and extremism which means adoption of extreme political, social or religious ideals that reject or undermine the status quo and undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom. In recent years, India has witnessed new waves of extremism that have taken the lives of many innocent people. Whether based on religious, ethnic or political grounds, extremist ideologies glorify the supremacy of a particular group, and oppose a more tolerant and inclusive society.

Various form of Extremism- a threat to India’s fabric:

  1. Islamic extremism: It is major form of extremism faced by India primarily due to state sponsorship. Main theatre of it is Kashmir. Global Islamic terror groups have made limited inroads into the country. Though India has the second largest Muslim population in the world, Muslims make up approximately 14% of India’s Hindu-majority population. Kashmir has been the source of a violent insurgency since the late 1980s.
  2. Left-wing extremism: It is the single biggest internal security threat in the country. Left-wing rebels, also known as Naxalites or Maoists, have waged a low-level insurgency in India’s south-central regions since 60s. Despite counterinsurgency operations launched by the Indian government, no peace agreement has been reached, and over 20,000 civilians have been been killed in the Naxalite insurgency since 1980.
  3. Extremism in Northeast India: North-east is connected to the rest of the country by a land corridor of less than 30 kilometre wide. It is a highly volatile region since Indian independence. Each of the seven states has experienced an insurgency at some point since 1947. Most violence has been directed either at the Indian government or at illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.

Solutions to tackle extremism in India:

  1. Participatory decision-making should be enhanced and role of civic society at national and local levels should be increased.
  2. Effective socio-economic alternatives should be provided to the groups at risks. Alternate employment opportunity should be generated.
  3. Capacity of local governments should be strengthened for service delivery and security.
  4. Credible intermediaries to promote dialogue with alienated groups and re-integration of former extremists should be supported.
  5. Youth should be engaged in building social cohesion and de-radicalisation programmes should be carried out.
  6. Government should work with faith-based organizations and religious leaders to counter the abuse of religion by extremists.
  7. Respect for human rights, diversity and a culture of global citizenship in schools and universities should be promoted.
  8. Measures should be taken to increase the capacity of the judiciary and security agencies, not only to detect and prevent violent activities, but also to ensure that the proper judicial process and the legal and human rights.
  9. Government should fight corruption at all levels to enhance the legitimacy of state institutions, directly contributing to reduced perceptions of injustice and inequality. Building capacities of anti-corruption institutions, capacities of civil society to monitor transparency and accountability in government and in assessing corruption risks is important.
  10. Women should be empowered to reduce the sense of injustice and discrimination against them. The systematic discrimination and abuse of women is a strategic and deliberate tactic of a number of extremist groups. Women’s organizations should provide alternative social, educational and economic activities for at-risk young women and men.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 commits member states to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development”. This goal cannot be achieved in an environment of extremism. Extremism need to be tackled to create a more secure and sustainably developed India.

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