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Amit Rathee asked: What is the difference between Left Wing Extremism, Naxalism and Maoism in the Indian context?

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  • P.V. Ramana replies: Naxalism and Left-Wing Extremism are used interchangeably.

    On March 2, 1967, Naxalites, as they are generically known in India, who were then members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), led a tribal peasant uprising in Naxalbari village, Siliguri sub-division, Darjeeling district, West Bengal. Since then, all those who subscribed to the idea of an armed over-throw of the state have been generically referred to as Naxalites, the term having its origins in Naxalbari village.

    On the other hand, the term Maoists refers exclusively to cadres and leaders of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). All Maoists are Naxalites, but all Naxalites are not Maoists.

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