UPSC MAINS 2020: Left-Wing Extremism in India

Topic : Left-Wing Extremism in India

Topic in Syllabus:  Indian Governance


Naga extremist group has for the first time said a “separate flag and Constitution” were necessary for an “honorable solution”.  NSCN (IM) said that there has been no progress since the framework was signed on August 03, 2015 after the latter agreed to give up its long-standing demand for sovereignty.


Left-Wing Extremism

  • LWE organizations are the groups that try to bring change through violent revolution. They are against democratic institutions and use violence to subvert the democratic processes at ground level.
  • These groups prevent the developmental processes in the least developed regions of the country & try to misguide the people by keeping them ignorant of current happenings.

Declining Numbers

It was because of the never-ending successful efforts of our security forces that the number of related incidents, deaths & their geographical spread came down in the past decade.

Sr. No.            Parameters                                                  2009               2018
1                     No. of incidents                                             2258                833
2               Deaths (Civilians & Security Forces)             1005                240
3                 Number of affected districts                      96 (in 2010)        60

Government Strategy to Curb LWE

SAMADHAN doctrine is the one-stop solution for the LWE problem. It encompasses the entire strategy of government from short-term policy to long-term policy formulated at different levels. SAMADHAN stands for-

  • S- Smart Leadership,
  • A- Aggressive Strategy,
  • M- Motivation and Training,
  • A – Actionable Intelligence,
  • D- Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas),
  • H- Harnessing Technology,
  • A -Action plan for each Theatre,
  • N- No access to Financing.

The national strategy to counter LWE was formed in 2015 as a multipronged approach to combat LWE. Its main aim was to ensure participatory governance and protection of the rights of local tribals, inter alia.

Intelligence sharing and raising of a separate 66 Indian Reserved Battalion (IRBs) was done by the government to curb the menace of LWE organizations.

Development of LWE Affected Areas

Few schemes being implemented by the government for LWE affected areas are:

  • Special Central Assistance (SCA)- for filling critical gaps in public infrastructure and services of emergent nature.
  •  Road Connectivity Project- for construction of 5,412 km roads.
  • Skill Development- for construction of 47 ITIs (01 ITI per district) and 68 Skill Development Centers (02 SDCs per district) by 2018-19.
  •  Education Initiatives- for building new Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) & Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) where they are not present. It is also planned to open more schools under the Eklavya model.
  •  Installation of Mobile Towers- for endless telecom connectivity.
  •  Financial inclusion- for ensuring the presence of banking facilities within 5 km to all citizens residing in LWE affected areas.

Way Forward

  •  Though the number of incidents of LWE violence has come down in the recent past, continued efforts and focus are needed in eliminating such groups.
  •  Innovative measures are required to be employed in preventing IED (Improvised Explosive Device) related incidents which have caused significant casualties in recent years.
  •  States play a vital role in maintaining law and order. So, emphasis should be laid on the capacity-building and modernization of the local police forces. Local forces can efficiently and effectively neutralize the LWE organizations.
  • States should rationalize their surrender policy in order to bring innocent individuals caught in the trap of LWE in the mainstream.
  •  States also need to adopt a focused time-bound approach to completely eliminate LWE groups and ensure all-round development of the affected regions.
  •  For the holistic last-mile development of “New India”, it is necessary to get rid of the menace of such radicalized groups, & the synergized efforts of the Centre and the States are crucial in achieving the same.


Sample Question:

Left Wing Extremism (LWE) is showing a downward trend, but still affects many parts of the country. Briefly explain the Government of India’s approach to counter the challenges posed by LWE.(250 words)