Linkages between development and spread of extremism
In Indian scenario, extremism activities are increasing rapidly. The scale of the extremists operations is massive and consequently these activities have perilous impact on nation's social, economic and political development.
Many scholars explained the notion of extremism as any ideology considered to be far outside the normal attitudes of society or to interrupt common moral standards. It is usually constructed with moderation or extremists with moderates. Various political writers signified that extremism also has numerous strands starting from just holding to one's ideas and values on one end of the continuum and use of violent means for nuisance on the other end. Thus, extremism is considered as a complex phenomenon.
Causes of extremism: There are numerous of reasons for the development of Extremism in India:
1. Lack of governance: Governance is mainly concerned the significant issue as that lack a long term strategic perspective. Priority of Government bodies is to focus on Industrialization and do not give much importance to people living in tribal areas. Tribal have been denied their constitutional rights and justice.
2. Socio-economic issues: When considering socio economic issues, education must be the prime involvement and this needs to be addressed with innovation. Once populace is literate and well educated in particular region, they will be able think logically and do not involve violent actions. Most of these people who are entering into the movement of extremism are lacking primary education, basic amenities and infrastructure facilities.
Economic discontent was a prevailing factor which led to the growth of the militant nationalism. Towards the end of the 19th century economic condition of the people became miserable due to unemployment and repressive financial measures of the Government.
In all over worlds, following causes can be observed for growth of extremism:
- Political deprivation leading to hopelessness or a sense of powerlessness.
- Long festering political disputes.
- Lack of Education and poverty.
- Ideological imperatives may lead to extremism.
- Socio-economic inequities, unemployment, despair about the future.
- Dishonest and self-serving dominant groups.
- Foreign occupations.
- Sense of victimhood amongst Muslims.
- Renaissance of Islam phobia in Europe.
Types of Extremism:
- Personal Extremism
- Family Extremism
- Institutional or Organizational Extremism
- Group Extremism
- Social or Cultural Extremism
- National Extremism
- International Extremism
Determinants of Extremism:
Extremism is just like epidemic ailment that spread its arms in various parts of world. There are three important determinants. First the extremism that those in power exhibit. They go in with tanks and bombs where persistent force backed diplomacy can work, seek to destroy what requires careful reconstruction, advance division and hate where understanding and bridging of differences is needed, and abandon the path of justice and fair play for pure partisanship. All this naturally promotes lethal and devastating extremism. Secondly, when political system is not credible and there is no reliable justice structure, political groups often frame their concerns and solutions in an extremist way. When a non-credible political system leads to the illegal imposition of the rule of a specific elite, party, ethnicity or institution over the 'rest', the response of the rest is often cast in extreme ethnic, religious, anti-elite or anti-institution character. Henceforth through overemphasis of their legitimate concerns, they construct a victimhood scenario. In countries where trustworthy political and legal systems do not exist, many would buy into victimhood framing. The causes of dissatisfaction may be plentiful. They could be political, cultural, sociological, economic and moral. Third determinant of extremism is perpetual discontent that develops frustration, irrationality and worry and a mind that will almost naturally take to radicalism. They have almost no stake in the dominant socio-political and cultural milieu. With lots of suffering, people choose path of the anarchistic, nihilistic or messianic route to worldly and heavenly deliverance.
Developmental issues associated with development and spread of extremism:
Natural Calamities: During the last decade of the 19th century, affliction of people was filled to the brim. Famine, plague, earthquake, war and repressions were let loose in the country. From 1896 to 1900 prolonged and catastrophic famines occurred throughout the length and breadth of the land in a bewildering succession. In 1896 bubonic plague broke out in Bombay and took a toll of millions of lives. These natural calamities were accompanied by the intensified exploitation and suppression by the Government. Such devastating conditions led to development of extremist.
Special Economic Zones:
Spread of extremism is a major issue for any country. Land acquisition for Special Economic Zones created chaos among tribal people and they come to street for protest. Large tracts of land are being acquired across the country. There is a loss of revenue in the form of taxes and it greatly impacts on agricultural production. Land is living resource for farmers and their life is dependent up on the land. Special Economic Zones needs a single huge block of land and government is now taking stern steps to acquire the land. Mediators are also generating trouble between government and farmers. Such situation is very disturbing for farmers and they lose huge money. Government compensation is also not justified as it is very low. Such factors enforce people to become violent and give rise to their extremist activities.
Labour, Unemployment and wages:
Another intense issue that spreads extremism is joblessness which creates insecurity of living. People may develop dissatisfaction and anger both in urban and rural areas. In allocation of government jobs, there has been shown some favouritism and this activity leads to dissatisfaction among youth as they are being ignored.
Improper policies and their ineffective implementation may result in extremist activities among weaker sections of society. It is very necessary that government must consider poor people when devising policies for economic growth of country. These policies must be well-organized and unprejudiced which reveal good administration .Weaker section of people does not have much confidence in police. People have no faith that justice will be done to them against the powerful person in the society. Such impression about government officials develops extremist thoughts among poorer section of society.
Process of getting Justice:
When lower section of society is struggling with various issues related to survival or employment and their conflicts and disputes are not settled in time, frustration among people in society develops. Presently, judicial system of India is very time consuming and disputes are not settled in short time. The parties to the dispute lose control over even the terms and details of the dispute once it goes to the court. These factors create extremist feelings among sufferers.
Ways to resolve issue of extremism:
Land Related Measures:
It is necessary to make efforts to continuously implement the land ceiling issues. So that the ceiling excess land obtained should be made available for distribution amongst the most susceptible section of the landless poor people. Land should be acquired by government for special economic zone through giving proper compensation to the agriculturalists.
Basic facilities and Infrastructure:
It is observed that when government fails to provide infrastructure and services as per national norms that gives rise extremism affected areas. Basic services to standards among the people in these areas are to be given prime importance.
There are some government issues that lead to spread of extremism. In central India where disturbance is prevalent such as states like Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and parts of Maharashtra. State interventions both for development and for law and order are not good. Local populations present in the tribal areas are being dominated by the armed and rich people. Government must take necessary steps to protect these communities. The basic steps to improve the status of poorest section of society is establishment of credibility and confidence of government, keeping a continuous watch for fulfilment of peoples vision, effective protection, peace and good governance, sustainable development with equity in tribal areas, will make extremism low in tribal areas.
Government initiative to decrease extremism:
Government must come forward to reduce the expansion of extremism in India through implementing various policies. Military operations have not been uncontrolled and individual states continue to undertake area clearing operations, such exercises appear to form parts of a new clear, hold and develop strategy that uses development as a tool to win back the support of the tribal population, who overpoweringly appear to sympathize with the extremists. In the beginning of 2011, there is a rehabilitated focus to perform development initiatives in areas cleared of Maoist presence. Several flagship projects of the government to improve connectivity of tribal areas with the administrative centres, to provide work to the tribal youth and to make certain health and educational facilities have been launched. It is imperative to ensure that proper execution of these developmental projects and monitor their progress, a new scheme titled Prime Ministers Rural Development Fellows Scheme has also been revealed. Under the scheme, 156 young professionals have been trained and are being stationed in 78 worst-affected districts for two years to help the district administration. Resources have started flowing into the coffers of the district administration with an importance on time bound utilization and execution.
It has been observed in the past that the extremists targeted infrastructure projects or have prevented contractors from completing the projects, security forces are now allocated to protect the planned development ventures in order to ensure their timely completion and security. Government must assure to people of weaker section that they will not harm the tribal community.
The government has also cleared a proposal to raise a combat unit under the para-military Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for construction of roads in Maoist-affected areas.
India is currently dealing with an effective response to left-wing extremism. Even though in the last two years, extremist ferocity as well as areas under extremist influence has somewhat reduced, but the problem remains.
To summarize, extremism is entrenched in Indian community. Various authors elaborated this concept as violent activities of certain group of people due to dissatisfaction from government policies and initiatives. It is established that Extremism became a major philosophy of Indian nationalism. There are several grounds for development of extremism in India such as joblessness, ignorance of weaker section of society by government. After thorough review of causes and issues for the development of extremism, it is revealed that extremism is viewed differently by dissimilar sections of the society. On one side, there are passionate supporters and, at the other extreme, some others hold the view that the movement should be crushed cruelly. It is difficult to classify the opinion in the middle path. It can be said that some of the demands of the extremists are genuine and cannot be ignored. Therefore, the Government must seriously consider such demands and make policies and execute them, either voluntarily or subsequent to negotiations with the protestors.