Violent Extremism in India

Of late India presents the theatre for various forms of extremism. It is confronted with numerous incidents of violent terrorism with somewhat strong religious overtone, affecting so far a large section of our population. These incidents are reported to have support from some Islamist Jihadi elements and also external actors from across our borders. The State of Jammu and Kashmir in particular and other states, such as UP and Delhi continue to bear the brunt of escalated levels of violence with every passing day. Besides these, insurgencies in the northeastern states and Maoist offensives add to the large degree of such extreme violence, being witnessed in several states.

Despite the improvement in the security operations, one doesn’t see any decrease in the number of reported violent incidents, as alongside, there has been a proliferation of armed groups with wide national and transnational linkages. This has led to rather an increase in the ability of these armed groups to perpetrate violence. These groups have been continuously undertaking measures, which has led to these groups’ capacity for using enhanced techniques in their terror operations.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, of all the internal threats, the incidents of terrorism, by far pose the gravest threat to our country and various forms of incidents of terrorism include ethnic-nationalist terrorism, religious terrorism, left-wing terrorism etc. The regions which have suffered for long due to the terrorist activities are Jammu and Kashmir, east-central and south-central India and the Northeastern States. In the words of Former National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, there are as many as 800 terrorist cells operating within the country.  Some 205 districts out of total 608 districts have been affected by terrorist activities. These acts of terror in India have been such intentional act of violence that is aimed to cause death, injury or property damage, induce fear, and is mostly targeted against groups of people, easily identifiable by their political, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other markers of identity.

While ethnic-nationalist form of terror has focused on creating a separate state within India or independent of India mainly based on the views of any one ethnic group against the rest, such as insurgency of tribal groups in North East India, the religious terrorism has emphasized on some religious interpretation, or a presumed duty or in solidarity for a specific religious group, against one or more religious groups, of which Mumbai 26/11 terror attack in 2008, is an example of religious terrorism. The Left-wing terrorism, on the other hand, is focused on economic ideology, influenced by the ideology of Marx, Engel, Mao, Lenin etc and is encapsulated in the Maoist violence in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

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