Naxalism, which started as a small uprising led by Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal against the landlords who got the peasants attacked in West Bengal's Naxalbari village, has gradually grown into a massive mass movement engulfing around 180 of India's 626 districts.And presently, Naxal violence is more rampant in more than seven states. It starts from Andhra Pradesh and runs through Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Maharashtra. This stretch has been termed as the 'Red Corridor.'
The incident that had sparked the Naxal movement was started on May 25, 1967 by Communist Party of India (Marxist) and was headed by Charu Mazumdar and others. The CPI (M) was greatly impressed by the philosophies of Mao Zedong, a Chinese national, and propagated and practiced his ideologies.
Later, Charu spread the Naxal movement through his write-ups of which the 'Historic Eight Documents' became the bedrock of Naxal ideology.
The main premise of the Naxals was the upliftment of the poor peasants and they wanted the land tiller to be the land owners. But with time, the list of their demands kept growing.
Now, following are the main demands:
A democratic atmosphere should be created in the State. The government should respect people's right to fight for their democratic demands.
Implement reforms in the agricultural sector like Land Ceiling Act.
Implement policies of industrialisation and other schemes based on local resources in place of the liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation policies being followed now.
Recognise the tribal people's rights on forest.
Form a separate Telangana State.
Cessation of atrocities on Dalits.
Recover money from the affluent who evade taxes.
Naxals never had a peaceful approach to attain their demands. They often resorted to violence. It's an irony that they soon started following what they had set out to crush--atrocities. Available statistics reveal horrific picture.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, following are numbers of people killed by the Naxals.
1996: 156 deaths
1997: 428 deaths
1998: 270 deaths
1999: 363 deaths
2000: 50 deaths
2001: more than 100 deaths
2002: 140 deaths
2003: 451 deaths
2004: more than 500 deaths
2005: 892 deaths
2006: 749 deaths
2007: 384 deaths
According to various sources, it is believed that more than 6,000 people have been killed in the Naxal violence in the last twenty years. That's the reason why the govt has finally woken up to the Naxal threat and has described it as the greatest threat to India's internal security.