India Internal Security | Developmental issues related to rise and spread of extremism

Developmental issues which pertain to the spread of extremism are linked to lack of access to basic resources to sustain the livelihood.

However, development is a useful tool against extremism but it must operate in tandem with the security forces.

Some of the developmental issues which lead to the spread of extremism are listed below-

Forest Laws-

In the name of development, habitat of principal Adivasi communities were declared reserve forests & in accordance with Forest conservation Act 1980, no forest land can be diverted to nonforest use without permission

Rights of primitive forest dwellers were restricted resulting in losing access to land.

This resulted in mass resentment leading to extremist activities.

Land Fragmentation-

40% of rural households have no land or less than half of acre of land

Increased small/marginal land holdings and no land reforms, Insecurity, and exploitation of tenants creates Unrest which leads to extremism

Special Economic Zones (SEZ)-

Large tracts of land are being acquired across the country for this purpose. Land is livelihood resource for farmers. A farmer’s life is completely dependent upon the land.

SEZ requires a single huge block of land and government is taking harsh steps in acquiring the land. Farmers are not getting proper compensation for the land being taken away from them. These atrocities lead them into extremist thoughts.

Extremists have stated one of their objectives as fighting against India’s efforts to set up SEZ in tribal areas reflecting the adverse effect of development.

Encroachment on Common Property Resources-

Common Property Resources (CPR’s) include community pastures, watershed drainages, village tanks etc. and are vital for rural areas to develop.

CPR’s contributes effectively to the rural economy and provides sustenance to local communities.

But due to industrialization, privatization and development projects, the CPRs area is shrinking and this also increases resentment of villagers.

Displacement due to developmental projects-

Displacement/ forced eviction of people occur due to developmental projects such as irrigation, industrial projects, mining projects, power plants etc. It can be physical, emotional or cultural.

Tribal people are most prone to displacement because tribal areas are rich in mineral resources such as Orissa, Jharkhand. This imparts multidimensional trauma on them leading to serious consequences.


  • Unemployment and insecurity of livelihood are growing source of dissatisfaction and anger among youth, both in urban and rural areas.
  • Minimum wages for agricultural workers are not implemented,
  • the share of workers in unorganized sector has increased, there is no effective coverage of labour welfare laws.

This multifaceted form of exploitation in the absence of any developmental propaganda forms the major cause of the spread of extremism.

Environmental degradation-

  • Land is being targeted by land mafias for mineral extraction and in that process agricultural land gets barren
  • Pollution of water & air resources also happens and people are deprived of basic necessities to survive


Tourism industry in this development scenario is posing a great threat to the existing cultural-economy-governance matrix of tribal life which is interwoven with ecology.

The introduction of foreign influence and commercialization is triggering the process of disintegration of tribal society leading to extremist activities

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By B2B

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