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Hans Raj Singh asked: What is the difference between Maoism and Naxalism?

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  • Anil Kamboj replies: Naxalism originated as a rebellion against lack of development and poverty at the local level in the rural parts of eastern India. The term ‘Naxal’ derives its name from a village called Naxalbari in the State of West Bengal where the movement had its origin. The Naxals are considered far left radical communists who support Maoist political ideology. Their origin can be traced to the split that took place in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in 1967. It led to the formation of Communist Party of India (Marxist and Leninist). Initially the movement had its centre in West Bengal. Thereafter, it spread into less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

    Maoism originated in China as a form of Communist theory derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong. It was widely applied as the political and military guiding ideology of the Communist Party of China till 1977-78. It emphasised the advancement of people’s social and economic life by establishing a classless society through armed revolution. It was rooted in the anti-imperialist struggle and supported armed revolution in order to achieve political transformation. Naxalism is actually based on the principles of Maoism to achieve a similar transformation in India.

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