UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A perspective on the Naxalite insurgency in Jharkhand and Bihar : going beyond the grievance argument Prasad, Deborah Y. J.


This thesis examines a form of left wing extremism called the Naxalite, or Maoist insurgency in the Eastern Indian states of Jharkhand and Bihar. Deemed the biggest internal security threat to India by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2004, this low level insurgency has been plaguing the country for over fifty years. To date, the government of India has used a two pronged security and development approach to combat the problem, but it still remains a serious issue. This thesis examines why the Naxalite movement has essentially been restricted to the geographic area referred to as the “Red Corridor”, and also examines why the insurgency has not yet been resolved. A majority of the studies approaches this issue as either a law and order problem or a development problem; however, this thesis scrutinizes the nature and motives of the insurgents themselves. The purpose of this study was to suggest the idea that the insurgents responsible for the violence of the Naxalite insurgency are more often motivated by greed of opportunity and economic gain, rather than genuine grievances. This is not to say that genuine grievances do not exist in this insurgency, rather it is merely to say that it is not a fuelling factor for violence. Lastly, this thesis examines the lack of monitoring and gaps in policy implementation for counterinsurgency, and finds that it is the lack of cognizant monitoring, rather than lack of policy, which has contributed to lack of the resolution of the conflict.

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