The counterinsurgency policies of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party of India and the Naxalite insurgency
Christian, Nilesh J.
Chatterjee, Anshu N.
Mabry, Tristan J.
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Over the last six decades, the Naxalite insurgency has spread to over 40 percent of India and survived multiple administrations. The Naxalites adopted a flexible approach, using the government's neglect of Dalits and tribal peoples to its advantage. By 2006, the Indian National Congress (INC) government declared the insurgency a great threat to national security but implemented only half-hearted counterinsurgency efforts. In 2014, the Hindu nationalist party (Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP) came to power with the promise of aggressively dealing with the Naxalites. This thesis examines the BJP's counterinsurgency policies and practice in comparison to its election rhetoric. Since 2014, the BJP has implemented a holistic and balanced approach in its multipronged counterinsurgency strategies by using security, good governance, development, peace talks, and amnesty. The government is allocating needed resources to implement its strategy effectively. In the last two years, Naxalite violence has decreased, although the government still faces many challenges such as coordinating efforts and controlling corruption and other unlawful activities. However, in comparison to the INC, the BJP's counterinsurgency approach is more pragmatic and resourceful. It is attempting to solve the underlying causes of discontent among the indigenous people by supporting political, economic, and social justice.
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