Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in South Asia

Authored by: Shivaji Mukherjee

The Routledge Handbook of Asian Security Studies

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138210295
eBook ISBN: 9781315455655
Adobe ISBN:


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India is unique because it continues to be the world’s largest democracy, in spite of having experienced multiple insurgencies. There are both leftist ideological types like the FARC in Colombia and the Shining Path in Peru, as well as the ethnic secessionist variety like the IRA in the United Kingdom or the LTTE insurgency in Sri Lanka. The Naxalite or Maoist insurgency in India claims to fight for subaltern groups like lower castes and excluded tribes and is one of the longest running leftist ideology based insurgencies today. India also has a long history of ethnic insurgencies which want to secede because of perceived ethnic or political grievances. The longest lasting is the Naga insurgency in the Northeastern state of Nagaland which started in 1948 soon after Indian independence, and has been in a period of protracted ceasefires between the most powerful rebel group, the NSCN-IM, and the Indian government since 1996. The most well-known of these secessionist insurgencies is the one which erupted in the northern state of Kashmir in 1989 and continues at a low level of intensity even today, and demands autonomy or secession from India.

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