Key words: left-wing extremism, Naxalism, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Kandhamal incident, CPI (Maoist), IDGA-Maoist, Planning Commission Expert Committee, Chief Ministers' Conference
Recently the Government of India has approved a special development package for the 33 Naxal-affected districts, along with 22 districts around the Naxal infested areas. With a budget of Rs. 20,000 crore for the next three years, it aims to provide a health center and school within one kilometer of every habitat, roads connecting all villages, skill development programmes for youth and help in increasing agricultural output. This initiative by the Central government is being looked upon as a remarkable step forward for the resolution of the decades old problem of Naxalism.
On the other hand, as India celebrated its 60th Republic Day on 26th January 2009, CPI (Maoist), the outlawed Naxal outfit, showcased it’s might by clamping a ban on the celebrations in many parts of the red territory. With the Central government going unconventional in formulating anti-Naxal policies, it’s time to ask whether such a paradigm shift would be useful? What about the unprecedented growth of the violent Naxal network?