General Studies Paper 3 (Internal Security)
Question:- Discuss the factors responsible for the sustenance of Left Wing Extremism in the country. Answer in 150 words (10 marks)
Jun 09, 2022

INTRODUCTION: Define Left Wing Extremism, give details of its history and geographical extent

BODY PARAGRAPH: Write the causes for its sustenance. Focus on the recent causes – don’t write about the traditional causes – they should be written in introduction.

CONCLUSION: Give a way forward; write solutions. You can also enumerate the policies of government going on to tackle this problem.



Left-wing extremism (LWE), or Naxalism (as it is known in India due to its origins in the town of Naxalbari in West Bengal), is a far-left extremist ideology. It derives its ideas from communism and emphasizes the progress of people’s social and economic lives through armed revolution to create a classless society. People are drawn to violence and extremism by their perceptions of injustice, mis-governance, and the system’s inability to engage the
disenfranchised. The geographical influence of left-wing extremism has contracted to 46
districts in the country in 2021 from 96 districts in 2010. However, it still remains one of the biggest threats to internal security.



The following are the reasons responsible for its subsistence:

1.An Appealing Ideology:  They blame the present wrongs on the capitalist economic structure. Naxal ideology at all times visualises and propagates that imperialism is heading towards total collapse.

2. Organisational Strength of Extremists Groups:  The ideological dedication, the cadre-based organisational set-up and understanding of the micro socio-economic situation in the various regions of India makes the extremists plan, operate and implement their strategies efficiently.

3. Funding Sources : To finance their activities, the Naxalites “accept contributions” in the form of “taxes and levies,” loot government treasuries and banks and also extort vast amounts from businesses, industries, political leaders, government officials, rich landlords and professionals. The Naxals exercise a monopolistic control over the forest produce and government contracts in their areas of dominance.

4. Continuous Availability of Recruits: The extremists have been able to ensure both financial and social security to the youth in the deprived regions of the country. Apart from economic security, it gives them a sense of empowerment and dignity. The prevailing security scenario also compels them to opt to join the Naxals for safety reasons as well. For many, joining these groups is the only way to survive. Further, these organizations hire vulnerable people who have low literacy levels, unemployed or low income, particularly the tribals, building up their cadre. This creates a positive feedback loop of recruitment of youth into LWE.

5. Leadership Issue: In the current scenario, barring a few exceptions, many of the senior police officers who are parachuted into such areas have little or no platoon/battalion experience. This led to armed personnel casualties. In the last three decades, around 15000 people have lost their lives owing to LWE.


Internal security issues often occur as a result of unequal growth, and we must address this issue if we are to make long-term progress in countering extremist ideology and extremist elements. Deliverables mirroring social empowerment by means of education, skills development, employment facilitation, human rights and the rule of law have enough in them to undo the negativity of linkages between  development and the spread of extremism.
(Talk about SAMADHAN doctrine, lessons learnt from any OTT series you watched, government policies etc.)