AbstractsEarth & Environmental Science


The past 50 years, India has experienced a large internal conflict caused by the Naxalite movement. This is a rebel movement that has a radical left wing ideology inspired by Chairman Mao s ideology and guerrilla warfare strategy and seeks to overthrow the government through revolutionary means. It has become such a large threat in India that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has named it the biggest internal security threat facing India today. The areas in which the Naxalite operate are in the southern and eastern parts of India where there are also vast mineral resources. Since the economic linearization of India in 1991, there has been a change in the policies regarding the extraction of minerals, opening up to foreign private companies in areas that are strongly dominated by indigenous people and other poor rural groups. The main hypothesis in this paper is that the mining industry and thereby the extraction of a natural resource is contributing to the aggravating violence by the Naxalites. I will look at four different possible reasons why this is the case, one being that the areas being dominated by people with very limited resources that are having their ancestral lands being taken away from them can feel a sense of frustration against the government which isn t protecting them. The other three are through direct economical means like looting to create bombs to create land mines to destroy infrastructural projects. The other is illegal mining, they can earn the high rents that follow mineral resources by themselves extracting the minerals and selling them off and the last one is through corruption, kidnapping and extortion. I then looked at the literature about the topic as well as looking into other empirical studies on the naxalites I created an ordinary logit model. I did a district level analysis from 47 different naxal affected districts in 4 different sates was done, where I looked at the number of mining concessions allotted to each district over time as well as other socio economical variables. I used an ordinary logit regression to test the model, this did not give any significant results so I expanded to a binary time-series cross-sectional model in order to include the time dependence, however this did not show significant results either. All the calculations were done using stata software. In the concluding remarks I note that one of the reasons for such insignificant results given that the conflict literature states that there is a close link between natural resources and conflict is that the data used in the study might not be accurate or extensive enough. This is due to a restricted public access to a various number of variables. This is one of the things that can be looked at in a further study because even though my model does not give any clear results there seems to be a relationship between mining in Naxalism based on news articles and government reports.