India’s Security Response to the Maoist Insurgency

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Indian Studies Review, Volume 2, Issue 1, p.2-16 (2021)



India, Left Wing Extremism, Maoist Insurgency, Naxal, Security Approach


<p>A violent conflict by the Maoists that challenges the parliamentary form of governance and the legitimacy of the Indian state has been responded in multiple ways by the state. Among the several measures taken to contain the Maoists over more than five decades, the security-centric approach has been the dominant one and common thread among successive governments and political regimes. As a result of the security response, the state has been able to reduce the level of violence as the Maoists are seen to be in the terminal decline phase. However, despite the success in bringing down the Maoist related activities, the movement refuses to die down. To understand the role and rationale behind the security-centric response against the Maoists, this article tries for a critical engagement. In this process, the article investigates the rationale behind the security approach against the Maoists and interrogates other related policy frameworks of the Indian state in response to the Maoists. The article argues that while the use of force has reduced the level of violence, it has had limited success in protecting the local people and the development projects that continue to be targeted by the Maoists. The article suggests that the security response of the state needs to converge with development programmes which eventually would help ensure rights and entitlements of local communities in the Maoist affected areas.</p>