[Answered]What do you understand by the term radicalisation? What are various reasons for growing radicalisation in society? Discuss its consequences and measures needed.

Demand of the question

Introduction. What is radicalisation?

Body. Various Reasons for growing Radicalisation in society. Consequences of radicalisation and measures needed.

Conclusion. Way forward.

 Radicalisation is a process in which an individual or group adopts extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations. It reject or undermine the status quo or contemporary ideas and expressions of the nation. Recent rise of ISIS and its penetration across Asia is an example of such a radicalisation.

Reasons for growing Radicalisation in society:

  1. Socio-Economic Factors: Socio-economic factors like poverty, social exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination, limited education and employment etc. is a cause of growing radicalisation. The poor and illiterate provides a fertile ground for radical agencies for recruitment.
  2. Political Factors: Various political factors including weak and non-participatory political systems lacking good governance and regard for civil society are leading to people turning towards radicalisation. Apathy of government, authoritarian tendencies lead to shattering of hopes and sense of anger against the government and established regime. For example, naxalism was fuelled by the sense of apathy of local politicians against the local people.
  3. Social media: Social media provides virtual participation and a platform for like-minded extremist views, accelerating the process of radicalisation. Internet is used by terrorists as an effective tool for radicalisation and terror financing. Terror groups use the internet to advocate the use of violence to further a religious, ideological or political cause.
  4. Displacement: Often development is accompanied with displacement. People are displaced due to land acquisition but often are not adequately compensated. This lead to the development of feelings of injustice and anger against the state, often leading to tilt towards radicalisation.
  5. Religious intolerance: Rising religious intolerance, hate crimes, mob lynching are further leading to radicalisation. Minorities are feeling unsafe. With rising hatred and intolerance, minorities are turning towards radicalisation.
  6. Illegal migration: Porous borders especially towards West Bengal and North Eastern States have led to thousands of Bangladeshis migrants which has increased tensions among ethnic communities. e.g. Kokrajhar riots of Assam, Dimapur lynching of a rape accused.

Consequences of radicalisation:

  1. Economic costs: A sense of fear reduces economic investment and hinders economic progress of a country. Loss of trade and access to markets have a negative impact on people’s livelihoods. E.g. youth in Kashmir being radicalised has led to a sense of fear in the valley, leading to low economic development of the area.
  2. Social costs: Using resources for conflict-related purposes means that public expenditures on social services decrease. This impacts spending on social causes like education, health etc.
  3. Impact on children: Children face particular vulnerabilities as a result of armed violence such as orphanhood, psychological damage. They also face a threat of recruitment as young soldiers. These factors often lead to a disruption to education, and thereby the reduction of a child’s capacity to recover from poverty.
  4. Impact on women: Women are affected in many ways in the event of violence. Sexual violence, recruitment as combatants and an expanded economic/household role, which is often transferred onto young girls.

Steps to tackle radicalisation:

  1. Strengthening Institutions: Educational and political institutions should be strengthened at ground level so that people of state feel empowered. Also, intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies and Judicial Courts need to act in unison on this matter.
  2. Employment: Enough number of job opportunities should be provided to people to decrease their chances of joining any radical organization. Emploem would help in providing livelihoods and directing youth energy towards productivity.
  3. De-radicalisation: It is necessary to de-radicalise people. There is a need to ensure that people who have been de-radicalised feel safe and secure in the country. Provisions can be made to skill them for employment.
  4. Social development: The cornerstone for radicalisation is poverty, deprivation and isolation and standard education opportunities. These need to be addressed by the government and policies to be formulated for inclusive participation and facilitation of all means for their development.
  5. Regulation: There is a need to draw guidelines to regulate the internet. This must be done without damaging the privacy of an individual. An effort is needed to place an effective mechanism to trace the activity of radical groups.

Radicalisation is a danger to internal security and polarises the Indian society deepening the sectarian differences. Thus it is imperative to fight radicalisation on all fronts. Initiatives like UDAAN are important. A pragmatic and responsible civil society can ensure that Indian cultural harmony remains intact. Social security measures, speedy justice for poor can go a long way in strengthening it.

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