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Naxal Movement, Naxalism and terrorist activities of Naxalites in India

Updated on September 6, 2014

Naxal movement India map

Map showing the districts in India affected by Naxals.
Map showing the districts in India affected by Naxals. | Source

Naxal Movement: History

Naxal movement was started from Naxalbadi in West Bengal in the sixties and seventies of twentieth century. Naxal movement was started as a revolt of peasants and farmers against powerful and rich land owners. Basically it was a movement of poor and land less farmers and labors. Naxalism was also against the state demanding land reform. Inception of the group was done in 1967.

The movement was started from Naxalbadi, hence it is called Naxal movement and the members of this movement are called Naxalites. It was a social movement which soon became violent. The group took the name like a political party, Communist Party of India (Maoist Leninist) or CPI (ML). They were inspired and motivated by Chinese communist party and declared Chairman Mao of China as their Chairman. This was an Anti American movement too. America, the US was eyed as imperialist by the Naxalites.

Charu Mazumdar was one of the main founders and first head of this party or group. Harekrishna Kongar and Kanu Sanyal were other two main leaders. Naxalites started terrorist activities in different parts of West Bengal.

Initially they worked in Robin hood style. They looted landlords, private bankers and merchants and distributed wealth to the poor farmers and labors. Businesses, trades and industries were afraid of Naxalites. They also robbed guns and other weapons from the Zemindars and other powerful persons in West Bengal. Gradually they became powerful and started robbing police stations for arms and ammunition.

West Bengal faced deadly face of violent Naxalite movement and their terrorist activities in the seventies. The Central government of India had to come out with their help to save the state. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were sent to West Bengal state to protect the state from Maoist activities.

I was born and brought up in West Bengal and witnessed Naxal activities in my childhood and adolescence. There was an environment of terror. Common population of Bengal were afraid of both Naxal and CRPF activities at that time.

However, terrorist activities of Naxalites soon made them unpopular in the society and the Central forces crashed that movement. There were no significant or visible Naxal movement in west Bengal in the eighties.

Sabyasachi Panda

Naxal leader Sabyasachi Panda (L to R) in his youth, in his 30th Just and after arrest
Naxal leader Sabyasachi Panda (L to R) in his youth, in his 30th Just and after arrest | Source

Resurgence of Naxal movement and terrorist activities of Naxalites

Most of the Naxal leaders were either killed in police encounters or arrested. Large numbers of Naxalites returned to the mainstream of society or joined mainstream political parties in the late seventies.

Naxalites again rose their heads in the nineties. It was not in West Bengal that time but in Bihar and Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. Jahanabad in Bihar witnessed deadly face of terrorism against powerful landlords. Anantpur became the center of terrorist activities of the Naxalites in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. The Naxal movements in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh was the movement of landless and poor farmers and labors against powerful land lords, bankers and merchants like it was in West Bengal. Kerala. coastal state of south India is another center of Naxalism.

Soon Naxal movements and terrorist activities of Naxalites spread to tribal belts of Orissa and newly built state of Chhattisgarh (Chhattisgarh was separated from its older state Madhya Pradesh andRaipur was declared its capital) and Jharkhand (Jharkhand was separated from its older state Bihar and Ranchi was declared its capital). It was also spread to some parts of Maharashtra and other states in the beginning of twenty first century. Some activities of Naxalism is also seen in the south of Gujrat state.

Naxalite activities are now again spread in to West Bengal especially in the Midnapore district of Sunderban forest area. Sunderban is renowned for Royal Bengal tigers situated in the coastal area of bay of Bengal. Lalgarh is presently the center of Naxal movements in this region.

Abhijeet Mazumdar

Abhijeet Majumdar is son of Charu Majumdar, the founder member of Naxal movement in India.
Abhijeet Majumdar is son of Charu Majumdar, the founder member of Naxal movement in India.

Naxalite activities: Biggest terrorist threat to India

 Activities of Naxal militants are the biggest terrorist threat to Indian state according to the Central government of India. Violent movements of the Naxals are spreading from area to area and from state to state. It has covered large area of the Indian territory.

Naxal movements have been taking hundreds of lives of civilians as well as security forces. Terrorist activities of Naxalites are also causing damage of public properties such as railway lines, Government offices, roads etc. Land mines are the most favorite weapon for the Naxals. Several troops of security forces were blown in land mine blasts. Some times civilians also become victims of land mine blasts. They blow railway tracks and other public utility properties. They also take part in mass killings. Naxalites have killed large numbers of villagers at a time several times. Some times they have put villages into fire. All these activities have big threat to peaceful living.

Government measures against Naxalite movements

Both central and State governments of India are active and alert to stop violent movements and terrorist activities of the Naxalites. They have been trying to stop and cease these activities. They have been deploying security forces and special task forces in the areas affected. On the other hand, Governments call them for conversations. several packages are declared for the Naxal affected areas and for the Naxalites.

Governments want them to come in to mainstream. Governments are trying to rehabilitate them if leaving the terrorist activities. Political and economic packages are offered to them. These measures have started working and large numbers of Naxalites have returned to mainstream.

However, not enough is done. It needs vigorous efforts to control this movement. Large area are still under Naxal threat. The central and State governments have to work much more to get rid of this.

Spirituality transforms Naxalites

Priority of Narendra Modi: Update

Indian people have dethroned Congress led UPA government from the center and Dr. Manmohan Singh is no more Prime minister of India. Narendra Modi has taken charge as Indian Premiere leading NDA government. He has declared solution to Naxal problem as his priority.

Rajnath Singh, the new union minister of home affairs have also declared measures to stop violent activities of naxalite movement. He has been consulting state governments to determine his major steps. He has extended his hands for all supports to naxal affected state governments from the central. We can hope for better days.

(Updated on August 11, 2014)

Naxalite movement in Jharkhand

Naxalism in Gujrat


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    • profile image

      harshal 5 years ago

      it's really true...............keep writing all the best.............

    • profile image

      Asit Guin 6 years ago

      In 1967, in Naxalbari, a false movement started. Some people promised to the tea garden workers of that area, that if you can kill local landlords, then their land will be distributed to you. So it was a movement to convert labors into farmers. It was a wrong and irrational demand. Increasing pressure on land and increasing number of farmers cannot be a progressive demand. It is not practical also. When Naxal leaders fought election in 1977, they lost their deposit in Naxalbari. This is totally different scene from the vote of Telengana area after Telengana movement of ‘46-47’ period. NAXALBARI MOVEMENT IS A FALSE MOVEMENT FROM THE BEGGINNING.

    • shaktilove profile image

      shaktilove 6 years ago from nearby You - just behind 2 screens

      Good hub, indeed.

      As Rohit said, here is a deep and serious causes of violence. Desperate and hopeless individuals are easy to focus on similar ideologies. We can see it around whole earth ~

    • profile image

      harekrishna konger 6 years ago


    • profile image

      Rohit 7 years ago

      Recently Mr. Chidambaram allotted 528crores to curb the Naxal menace. The thing is why does the Govt. wakes up only when the menace come out in the loop.If that amount would have been allotted earlier, for the development of marginalized and poor, things would have been different. We sitting in the comfort of our home can freely make comments and criticism, but the gravity of the problem is such that u can curb it, but can never erode it. U need to change the mindset of the people thriving on Naxalism and for that much more than anything we need a strong will power, and I find that lacking on all.

    • profile image

      7 years ago

      ooo oooooooooooo

    • profile image

      rk 7 years ago

      very well written

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 7 years ago from Jaipur

      Hi CVR,

      Thanks for your comment and compliment.

      Jyoti Kothari

    • C.V.Rajan profile image

      Disillusioned 7 years ago from Kerala, India

      Elaborate and informative.


    • profile image

      giovanni gervasoni 7 years ago

      As for many other things,India is such a big country,and full of contrasts,that it can be understood why Naxalism exist,first of all.BUt their means,violent, are not appropriate,and civilians involved,r destroying of properties not acceptable. hnks x the article Mr Khotari.

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 7 years ago from Jaipur

      Hi thevoice, AARON99,NGRIA Bassett and H P Roychoudhury,

      Thanks for your comments on this hub.

      I appreciate your support.

      Jyoti Kothari

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Law and order is the foremost priority of a state for development and welfare of a state. In the name of development how any one or a group of people can take the arms in their hands to kill people. If people are with you, you can proceed with the process of democracy and not by the threat of arms. A civilized and ideal government should wipe out such kind of Nasal Movement. It is a nice hub – a reminder of law abiding citizen.

    • NGRIA Bassett profile image

      NGRIA Bassett 7 years ago from Bermuda

      excellent hub Jyoti. Thanks for hubpages and your contributions, some of us have no idea what is going on in other parts of the world.

    • profile image

      AARON99 7 years ago

      A well written hub with great research. Keep writing. All the very best.

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      unique hub read