How the term Urban Naxal came to being

The term 'Urban Naxal' is based off a Maoist strategy
Last Updated : 11 October 2022, 17:00 IST

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PM Narendra Modi on Monday cautioned the people of Gujarat against 'Urban Naxals' trying to enter the state in a veiled attack on the Aam Aadmi Party, blaming 'Urban Naxals' of obstructing development projects in his home state.

The term was coined by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri's May 2017 essay in right-wing magazine Swarajya, who went on to direct films like The Tashkent Files and The Kashmir Files. It came to be used in political circles in the wake of the Elgar-Parishad case, where left-wing dissenters who were critical of the Modi government were arrested in connection with violence in Maharashtra's Bhima-Koregaon in 2018.

But how did the term come about?

The term 'Urban Naxal' is based off a Maoist strategy where they look to urban regions for leadership, organising masses and engaging in military tasks like providing personnel and infrastructure.

The strategy is based off a document by the CPI (Maoist) called "Urban Perspective," which explains that the focus has to be on organising the working class, which is “the leadership of our revolution”.

“It is the task of the party in the urban areas to mobilise and organise the proletariat in performing its crucial leadership role,” the document reads.

It also says that the 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, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The document also points towards building a united front of all secular forces and persecuted religious minorities against “Hindu fascist forces”.

The document also details military strategy as establishing base areas first in the countryside where the "enemy" is militarily weak and then capturing cities, the "bastions of the enemy forces."

Published 11 October 2022, 08:39 IST

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