Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Naxalism! Can it derail India's economic growth?

A lot has been written about India's crumbling infrastructure, corruption and political kaos but very little has been said about India's Maoist rebels who operate from the Eastern part of the country. These rebels have been operating in India since 1967 but now the government is beginning to identify these rebels as a threat to economic prosperity. Initially the Naxalite movement in India was contained and these rebels operated only in a few states but now they have spread to most states and are gaining popularity. They threaten various iron and coal industries that operate in the Eastern part of the country and recent events describe their strength is only increasing.

Approximately 85 Million people in India are into this movement or are supporters of this movement. Not many people in India who live in cities or people abroad are aware of this homegrown terrorism. The government has managed to keep this a secret but now are beginning to acknowledge it openly.

If this movement is not curbed or if action is not taken soon, this movement will potentially grow into cities and people and business's will be threatened. Foreign investment will get choked and economic progress will come to an abrupt halt.

The Indian government needs to take steps militarily as well as attempt to understand the root cause of Naxalism in India. Naxalism has emerged from those places in India which are poverty stricken and have not seen economic activity in India since Independance. The roots lie in states like Chattisgarh where poverty is rampant. This time the government cannot blame a neighbouring country but will have to look at some of their own policies that have resulted in this negligence-A confined Naxalite movement in a state now has the potential to derail India's progress.