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India's Maoists on A Growth Spurt

The communist movement is long dead in India, and yet a large number of Maoists continue to thrive there. They have little hope of ever getting to the level where policies are made, and make no pretense of programmatic work; violence is their stock in trade. According to a recent report by New Delhi’s Institute for Conflict Management (ICM), violent incidents committed by the Maoists and related deaths have climbed steadily in the past two years. As before, India’s Maoism is an international movement: the difference now is that the international connections are exclusively to violent Mafia-like outfits, including gun-running and drug-trafficking networks. What is behind this peculiar phenomenon, and what are its implications for Indian security? The spawn of Naxalbari The virulent form of the Marxist movement that earned the label Maoism was derived from the aggressive form of the communist movement pursued by Chinese leader Mao Zedong. In India, the Maoist movement was known as “Naxalism” because it was born as a radical split-off from existing mainstream communist parties in the village of Naxalbari in northern West Bengal state. Led by a second-string communist leader, the violent movement took off in the late 1960s under the banner of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) – CPI-ML. Absurd in concept and probably a handmaiden to many intelligence groups in those intense Cold War days, it remained largely underground and the movement became irrelevant within a few years. However, the party metamorphosed into many underground parties, all claiming to be “Maoists” committed to serve the poor and underprivileged. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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