Radicalisation – UPSC GS1

  • The word “radical” refers to change in the fundamental nature of something, thus Radicalism is a set of beliefs or actions of people who advocate thorough or complete political or social reform.
  • Radicalisation refers to the process of an individual’s transformation from a moderate, law-abiding citizen into an active, anti-state, violent extremist.
Types of Radicalisation:
  • Right-Wing Extremism:
    • It is characterized by the violent defence of a racial, ethnic or pseudo-national identity, and is also associated with radical hostility towards state authorities, minorities, immigrants and/or left-wing political groups.
  • Politico-Religious Extremism:
    • It results from political interpretation of religion and the defence, by violent means, of a religious identity perceived to be under attack (via international conflicts, foreign policy, social debates, etc.). Any religion may spawn this type of violent radicalization.
  • Left-Wing Extremism:
    • It focuses primarily on anti-capitalist demands and calls for the transformation of political systems considered responsible for producing social inequalities, and that may ultimately employ violent means to further its cause.
    • It includes anarchist, maoist, Trotskyist and marxist–leninist groups that use violence to advocate for their cause.
Factors behind Radicalisation:
  • Individual socio-psychological factors, which include grievances and emotions such as alienation and exclusion, anger and frustration and a strong sense of injustice.
  • Socio-economic factors, which include social exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination (real or perceived), limited education or employment etc.
  • Political factors, which include weak and non-participatory political systems lacking good governance and regard for civil society.
  • Social media, which provide connectivity, virtual participation and an echo-chamber for like-minded extremist views, accelerates the process of radicalisation.
Instances of Radicalisation in India:
  • Cases have revealed instances of internet-facilitated indoctrination and active radicalisation in multiple states.
  • Instances of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) have grown despite the continued government intervention. Encounters, ambushes and arrests still occur with regular frequency in the red corridor districts.
  • Increased incidents of mob lynching, cow vigilantism and the string of assassinations of rationalists such as Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and Gauri Lankesh point towards rising extremism in the right wing cadres.
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