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Day 52 – Q 2.The term ‘urban naxal’ has gained currency in the last few years. What is the meaning of this term? What are your views on the belief that the so called urban naxals are a security threat to India? Comment.

2. The term ‘urban naxal’ has gained currency in the last few years. What is the meaning of this term? What are your views on the belief that the so called urban naxals are a security threat to India? Comment. 

‘शहरी नक्सल ’शब्द ने पिछले कुछ वर्षों में प्रचलित हुई है। इस शब्द का अर्थ क्या है? इस विश्वास के बारे में आपके क्या विचार हैं कि तथाकथित शहरी नक्सली भारत के लिए एक सुरक्षा खतरा हैं? टिप्पणी करें।


The term Urban Naxals is not clearly defined. The phrase “Urban Naxal” loosely means people of the Naxalite bent of mind who reside in urban areas and work as activists, supporters and protectors of the ideology, while the active Naxals battle it out in the jungles and vast swathes of Maoist-dominated areas.


In India, while LWE has remained largely a rural phenomenon, the Naxal movement has been drawing great following and leadership from the urban areas, especially from highly educated achievers. The most predominant and visible modes of penetration appear to be infiltration into protests, agitations or demonstrations carried out against the government in urban areas. 

They are not a threat to Internal Security:

  • Political parties and right-wing organizations have wrongly termed some of the Left-leaning social activists as ‘urban Naxal’ for their political mileage.
  • Anybody raising strong questions against the government is being perceived as an urban Naxal, which is very serious malice.
  • These are Left-leaning activists who are fighting against social injustice and advocates for the rights of poor and tribal.
  • Urban Naxals want to win the information/perception war through legal means, unlike real Naxals who want to overthrow the state through armed conflict.
  • The government uses this term to curtail some dissenting voices.

They are Security Threat to India:

  • Urban Naxals are the ‘invisible enemies’ of India. One common thread amongst all of them is that they are all urban intellectuals, influencers or activists of importance.
  • These urban Naxal influence the middle-class employee, intellectuals and students with Maoist ideology and radicalize them against the government.
  • They also hamper the international image of the country and portray bad social picture in international forums through conferences and newspaper articles.
  • It is believed that with ageing leadership the Maoists and Naxalites have been looking at cities and towns for leaders. It feels that this is keeping in line with the tradition that most of their top leaders are well-educated people from universities.  
  • Some communist parties and Naxal organisations give immense importance to its ‘urban movement’ not just for the leadership, but for providing personnel, supplies, technologies, expertise, information and logistic support by over ground activities.
  • The main focus of the Maoists’ urban work is to organise the masses, including the working class, students, middle-class employees, intellectuals, women, Dalits and religious minorities. Naxals create front organisations for extending the reach of the organisation. 
  • From their ideology, it appears that Naxalites are fighting for the rights of the poor and want to establish a people’s government, but the facts are quite contrary. The social uplifting of the downtrodden is not their real aim rather it is political power by undemocratic means.

Way ahead:

  • To paint overt and peaceful political rebellions as Naxalism is a bad tactic, a political and moral blunder, which the government and political parties should avoid.
  • The government should focus on curtailing the propaganda of the real Maoists in rural pockets of central Indian.
  • Take up genuine counter campaigns and outreach programs are the best way to ideologically defeat the leftist insurgency.


Many top intellectuals regularly support Naxalism, advocating an egalitarian society, human rights and tribal rights. But the use of violent means cannot be supported to achieve a noble cause in a democratic setup. Rather than blind support, the intellectuals should also encourage Naxals to eschew violence, fight elections, join the mainstream society and learn the art of give and take of democratic bargaining without aggression. 

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