1. Internal Security UPSC

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is play-store-badge-1.png

Download Our App


Internal Security UPSC “The very heart of being a sovereign nation is providing security of one’s borders, of one’s internal situation, and security against anyone attacking one’s nation. That is the very heart of what I believe is sovereignty.”

                                                                                                           John Warner

Internal Security

  • Internal Security UPSC is the process of maintaining peace within the boundaries of a Sovereign state and other self-governing territories, usually done by maintaining national law.
  • The liability to maintain Internal Security UPSC internal security lies in the hands of the police, paramilitary forces and in exceptional cases with the military.

 External Security

Internal Security UPSC External Security refers to any threat that a Country, a Nation, a State or a Nation-State perceives to its identity, Internal Security UPSC its economy and its components, its stability, its borders and its population and in particular the feel of the people, their mental and physical health as well as to its social, technological and industrial infrastructure. 

National Security

Internal Security UPSC National security or national defense is the security and defense of a nation state, including its citizens, economy, and institutions, which is regarded as a duty of the government.

              Internal Security       External Security
Internal Security UPSC It is the security of the country from internal actors as well as foreign actors, within its boundaries.It is the security of the country from aggression by a foreign country.
Responsibility of the State police, supported by Central police forces and armed forces.Responsibility of the armed forces.
It falls under the purview of Ministry of Home Affairs.It falls under the purview of Ministry of Defence. Internal Security UPSC
Internal Security UPSC. Fighting from internal forces require an unconventional set of skills of warfare.Fighting from external forces involves conventional warfare skills.
Internal Security UPSC Police efforts for internal security maintenance  may lead to human issues.Human rights issues are generally neglected while fighting a war against foreign country.
Internal Security UPSC Internal troubles are often a result of aggrieved Indian citizens because of an inequitable development process. Internal Security UPSCExternal troubles are often a result of boundary disputes or economic competition between two countries.

The two aspects of Internal Security UPSC National Security are Internal and External Security. It is important to understand the difference between them:


The various attributes of internal security are:

  • To safeguard the sovereignty of the nation,
  • To protect domestic peace and tranquility,
  • Proper maintenance of law and order,
  • Equality before law and equal protection of the law,
  • To ensure that people are free of any fear or oppression and
  • Peaceful co-existence and communal harmony.


  1. Lack of proper governance:
    1. A feeling of alienation in citizens and
    2. Electoral reforms including intra-party democracy deficit.
    3. Improper labour laws, deficit financing, ineffective economic growth benefits, development disparities, effect of subsidies, improper income distribution and ineffective monitoring of government expenditure.
  2. Communal tensions, social injustice, societal divisions based on caste, language and religion, ethnicity and narrow-minded vote bank politics.
  3. Lack of effective technologies.
  4. Use of armed forces of the union, viz. the army in counter-insurgency operations and in other internal security situations.
  5. Poor and out-dated laws.
  6. Lack of political will to enforce the laws to maintain stringent internal security policy.
  7. Lack of effective policies to control media and other mass communication institutions.
  8. Disparities in socio-economic development.

Traditional Internal Security Challenges

The following are the challenges that are encountered in internal security conventionally

  1. Terrorism,
  2. Growth of militancy,
  3. Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear armaments,
  4. Evolving multi-polar world and shift of power towards Asia,
  5. Instability in the Afghanistan–Pakistan region,
  6. Powerless multilateral institutions,
  7. Maritime security,
  8. Energy security and
  9. Organised crime.

Non-Traditional Internal Security Challenges

Internal Security UPSC In the globalised era, new dimensions give rise to various internal security challenges. They are

  1. Epidemics and pandemics,
  2. Cyber security threats,
  3. Climate change challenges,
  4. Disaster risk reduction and management,
  5. HIV/AIDS challenges,
  6. Small arms and light weapons proliferation and
  7. Environmental security threats


Inter-state confrontation has reduced after the end of the Cold War. Various external forces now oppose the intra-state conflicts as the current situation is ripe. For example, in the Syrian crisis, various countries have covertly supported either the regime or its opposition forces even when the internal situation in Syria did not escalate into war. One can also notice in the conflicts of the middle-east region like Yemen, that the world countries have never shown much interest in taking sides.

Thus, in the present-day context at the global level, internal security is threatened by common sources, and it has to be dealt with by the states and with the help of other similar-minded nations to curb the menace.

The shifting of power towards Asia from the western nations caused the present century to be called an ‘Asian century’, and any vulnerability in this region would have had a high potential to change the course of history in the globalised environment. The devaluation of Chinese currency had made a sound impact on many economies similar to the 2008 financial crisis.

The foremost intra-regional threat now is terrorism. Different groups of terrorists have different demands but the motive is the same – that of causing damage to life and property of innocent citizens. Terrorism is now engulfing almost every region of the continent. The serious evolving threat is the falling of nuclear warheads in the hands of terrorists due to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and any situation that would lead to great loss.

The rise in militaries has never put countries into war, but the armed force is widely used to neutralise internal threats. Civil war-like situations across the world have increased the strength of armed forces, and are indeed used to protect the ruling establishment.

Specially, instability in the Afghanistan–Pakistan region poses serious threats to the whole world. It is the hub of terrorist organisations like the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda. Any activity in this region has far greater implications. The withdrawal of USA’s forces from Afghanistan has produced a vacuum, which has created instability in the region, and it also has the potential to divide Afghanistan. This has created numerous problems for India in the border regions with Pakistan. India with its inaccessible terrain and numerous terrorist camps has a lot to be aware of. Being located in the middle of the Golden Crescent and the Golden Triangle, India faces threats from drug traffickers and gun runners who use the instability in the region to establish an anarchical state.

Recent conflicts in Libya, Syria, Yemen, etc. were not prevented by the United Nations or any other multilateral organisations, and it appears that these organisations are powerless in times of such conflicts. India’s request for reform in such multilateral bodies has to be given due consideration because only a powerful multilateral body can prevent such conflicts from growing into a prolonged civil war.

Maritime security needs to be given a lot of importance from maritime nations as nearly 95 percent of trade is through the sea and 95 percent of Internet traffic is via undersea cables. Thus, the safety of Sea Lines of Communication (SLOC) should be given due consideration, and trade must be carried out without any threat. India, a subcontinent, with a coast line of 7,600 km has had a bitter experience of terrorists arriving from the sea. For example, the 26/11 Mumbai attack, which was carried out by terrorists who hijacked a boat from Karachi, is the best example of maritime terrorism. Thus, maritime security includes terrorist’s threats, smuggling of narcotics, gun running and trafficking, which also pose serious internal security challenges to India.

Conflicts in west Asia have reduced the investments in new technologies to efficiently produce hydrocarbons, and this reduction in hydrocarbon reserves and conflicts in the regions of high hydrocarbons reserves has increased concerns over energy security. Thus, we are left to face the situation of reduced output of hydrocarbon. If energy is not secured, the world may have to face a war of oil once again. India being a developing nation requires enormous amounts of oil for its sustenance. A number of reasons have been a hindrance in exploiting its energy reserves internally. India’s energy security has been derailed by externally induced internal threats.


In recent years, many newer challenges apart from traditional security challenges have outgrown and pose far wider implications. Climate Change is one amongst them. Global warming, melting of glaciers, rising sea level, submerging of island nations etc are serious issues in hand. Moreover, climate change also has its impact in agriculture by changes in the rainfall pattern and reducing its output can also cause huge water stress. Thus, the world is faced with increased risk of a water war. Highly rainfall-dependent countries like India have to be prudent against the looming climate change and its consequences.

The recent case of the Corona virus is a good example of how the world is interconnected. A disease affecting China led to a huge global scare And is now A PANDEMIC ALL OVER THE WORLD. Another example are Ebola & SARS virus in south Asia, which caused such a stir some years ago. Communicable diseases emanating anywhere have such potential to turn out to be a global pandemic. Every nation has to protect itself from these threats. In India’s case, our country has to be highly vigilant, owing to its huge and dense population and poor sanitary practices.

The interconnected world has paved the way for everyone to be connected via the Internet. Information and communication technology has transformed the whole world. It has provided various advantages that have made life easy, but it also has numerous disadvantages, the most prominent cyber threat having manifold negative implications. Cyber threat is a malware infecting individual computers to disrupt its services and may lead to cyber war. Such attacks have the potential to threaten the whole nation. Apart from physical military confrontations, cyber confrontations have increased. India had faced and has been facing a number of cyber attacks from across the borders. Thus, the government has to provide necessary protection to its data and its citizens from such attacks. Ex- China targets India through the dark web and a lot of phishing and spamming attacks have been brought to light. This could have severe implications for India if this goes unchecked.


Some of the internal security challenges with respect to India are as follows

  • Unstable Neighborhood (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka etc),
  • Northeast insurgencies and related issues,
  • Communal violence and its impact,
  • Caste tensions and conflicts,
  • Regional and Ethnic conflicts,
  • Naxal threats – Left Wing Extremism,
  • Jammu and Kashmir militancy,
  • Trans-border migration from Bangladesh,
  • Misuse of IT tools and
  • China’s interest in the northeast & other regions.

Unstable Neighborhood

  • Unstable neighborhood has made India vulnerable to security threats.
  • Pakistan is waging a covert or secret war against India when it is fighting terrorists overtly in its own tribal provinces. Long standing dispute over Kashmir region is another concern.
  • Nepal has emerged from years of insurgency of Maoist fighters.
  • Bangladesh faces threats from fundamentalist forces and serves as a hiding place for insurgents.
  • Insurgents from the northeastern part of India use Myanmar as their base. Internal Security UPSC Though Myanmar has opened up to democracy, it has to get stronger in administration to prevent regional and ethnic tensions in its provinces and also other anti-national elements. Thus, even if stability is maintained internally in India, it can easily be disturbed by various elements acting from foreign soil.

Insurgency in the Northeast

Since independence, the northeast region has suffered from a number of secessionist and extremist insurgent activities. All seven states in the northeast are a party to some kind of movement. Though the Constitutional provision for creating autonomous tribal regions has been made with greater power, it has not been realised. The Nationalist Social Council of Nagaland (NSCN) is one among the well-known insurgent organization which runs a government in exile from Myanmar.

Threat of Communalism

Communalism has created a disorder in India, right from the British days of ‘divide and rule’ to the days of partition. The seed of hatred had been well established in the Indian psyche. Communal forces are whipped up by bad elements that seek to achieve their economical and political motives. Communal clashes have created disillusionment among various minority religions. Ex- Babri Masjid Case.

Caste Conflicts

Mutual hatred between castes has paved the way for violence. Honour killings have increased manifold. Caste violence, regionalism and ethnicity have displaced thousands of people. A good example is the huge exodus of northeast people from the south. The result of Telangana movement was positive; it has still divided people who speak the same language based on territory. Such kind of regional and ethnic problems continue making it a tough task for the government to deal with such situations.

Regional and Ethnic Conflicts in Various Parts of the Country

The ethnic conflicts across different regions of the country have raised a number of internal security issues. Ethnic conflicts in northeastern states and the Sons-of-the-soil theory in Maharashtra are a few examples. The conflicts sometimes require the use of a larger force to bring the situation under control.

Left Wing Extremist Movement

The Naxal Movement or the Left Wing Extremism has been the source of extreme violence in some parts of the country. These extremists are internally waging wars against the state. It is considered to be the most important internal security concern. These extremist movements have disconnected several tribal villages from the national main stream. Maoism requires abolition of the State to establish the rule of people. These Extremists attack the symbols of the country’s power such as the police, schools and other government institutions. Multi-pronged strategies have been developed by the government to contain this movement.

Internal Security Situation in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir militancy is perennial; it poses grave internal security problems. This problem has been in the scene since partition. It has the character of communal tension, secessionist tendency, anti-state violence and intervention by an external state. Pakistan has tried various ways to overtly and covertly wane away the state, and one such way is militancy. Youths of Kashmir are indoctrinated, trained in Pakistan and aggravated to wage war against India, making it one of the most significant internal security issues in India.

Trans-border Migration From Bangladesh

The burning issue in the northeastern part of India is the influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh especially in Assam, West Bengal and adjoining areas, which have serious socio-political implications. This issue as mandated by the government is to be dealt by the Border Security Force (BSF).

Illegal migration usually occurs through the porous land borders; the migrants can swim along the river to reach India. Some of these migrants are involved in anti-national activities like terrorism, arms trade, money laundering, fake currency rackets, which pose a severe challenge to the internal security. Most of them settle down as Indians in most parts of the country making unhealthy demographic changes across the country.

Misuse of IT Tools hampering Internal Security

The introduction of information and communication technology has led to a new lifestyle which also throws many security challenges.

Misuse of information technology tools refers to criminal exploitation of the Internet. Cyber crime has become high profile, particularly hacking, copyright infringement, identity theft, child pornography and child grooming. Confidential information is lost or stolen and it impunges on privacy.

Globally, both governments and non-state actors grow in importance with the ability to engage in cross-border attacks referred to as cyber warfare. Strategic establishments have become the target of attack by misguided youths in hostile countries because of which cyber security systems will have to be strengthened.

China’s Interest in Northeast & other Indian territories

China’s official map itself contains Arunachal Pradesh as an extended territory of southern Tibet. To have its presence and control over the northeastern part of India, China uses all its devices. Some sections of northeast people also support China’s efforts as they have similarities with the Chinese racially and culturally. Ex- Recent standoff between Chinese & Indian sides on Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley region.


The factors that are responsible for internal security problems in India are

  • large-scale poverty and unemployment,
  • lack of proper governance,
  • increased communal violence,
  • regional elites using religion, language, region, caste, etc. to their advantage,
  • jobless growth,
  • unstable neighbour,
  • open and porous borders,
  • corruption & red tapism
  • prolonged judicial process etc.

Some of these factors are historical while the others are contemporary.

Poverty and Unemployment

It is a present-day factor responsible for rise in internal security threats. This is the fundamental reason for the origin of Maoism in India. Our country can prevent the youth from being brainwashed by these forces if these two problems can be contained. It is the responsibility of the government to address these chronic problems.

Governance Deficit

The lack of governance is a prominent factor that creates internal disturbances. People take up extremist paths to protest in opposition to the government.

Communal Tension

People tend to support political parties on the basis of religion, which gives power in the hands of such people, who in return misuse it to their advantage. This has far-reaching effects and can cause death and destruction.

Unequal Growth

The effects of positive growth are not equally distributed and have been a cause for simmering tension to the downtrodden people. A lot of our population reels under poverty while a few stay privileged at their cost.

Unstable Neighbours

Instability in the neighbourhood has been cause for continuing threat. While Pakistan has been a major player in the prolonged tension in the Kashmir region, countries such as Bangladesh and Myanmar serve as a base for anti-national activities. Open borders with thick forest cover are difficult to be monitored and they serve as hideouts for the militants. Evading capture and prosecution is an easy task under theses circumstances.


People sometimes see the whole state as corrupt. To restore order in the society, they strive to overthrow the state and this attracts people to Maoists.

Prolonged Judicial Processes

In India, the judicial system is such that justice is either delayed or even denied. This leads to the proliferation of kangaroo courts. People are disillusioned with time-consuming judicial process, and they start questioning the fairness of the system and the rule of the law. This is when they take it in their own hands to restore what they see as normalcy.


Caste Consciousness

Even in the globalised environment, caste consciousness has not gone astray. There have been various pronouncements regarding the fair treatment of women, abolition of Honour killings etc. Many Dalit villages in southern states have burnt in caste conflicts. Untouchability, a sin, is still not eliminated and thus serves as a demonstration of caste in our society.


The Defence and Security Policy is a process by which a country deals with any threatening situation. Conventionally, the policy dealt only with external threats originating from an unfriendly state, but now in the current scenario the defence policy also includes internal threat situations. In his book Defending India, Jaswant Singh, Former Defence Minister notes that “principle challenges to India historically been and remains the imposition and maintenance of public order”.

India’s security interests arise from its historical and geographical factors and its political and economic relations with other nations, its resource dependence as a nation of large working population. These interests keep on changing with the dynamic world scenario.

India, a strong nation with the world’s largest democracy, is characterised by its international responsibility for peace and freedom. India has enshrined in its constitution values such as freedom and democracy. Being an active member in various international organisations, India pursues its quest for a safe and better world.

India’s security policy is based on its constitutional values of secularism, democracy, socialism, peaceful coexistence and pluralism. The central pillar of securely thinking is the strategic autonomy. The police are inclined towards non-military alliances but will select strategic partners. It is always the negotiated settlement, which is preferred. The employment of force is the last resort.


  • To protect the citizens from security threats that arise in and out of the country and also to secure public and private properties against the destruction caused by anti-national elements.
  • To safeguard the nation against the threat of conventional and non-conventional weapons.
  • To apply the principle of panchsheel and to enhance co-operation with neighbouring countries to work together on various threats and violence.
  • To strengthen India’s strategic arms and systems to neutralise threats and for counter-attacks. Indigenisation will help the nation to be independent from others.
  • To carry forward mutual co-operation and dialogues with major powers of the world.
  • To defend the country’s border, the land as well as the coastal border.

India’s Security Interests

India’s security interests are as follows

  • Prevention and elimination of crisis and issues that endanger the national security and the security of our allies.
  • To strengthen south Asian and pan Asian security and partnership.
  • To support the values of universality of human rights and democratic ideals, and to promote global acceptance of international laws and reduce income disparity among people.
  • Facilitation of free trade with no discrimination to the developing nations, which ensures free communication without any interference across sea lanes, and free global trade is without any hiccups.

Present Security Policy Situation

The responsibility to handle external security threats lies with the Centre. The Ministry of Defence is the nodal ministry for India’s defence. The Ministry of Home Affairs controls paramilitary forces such as the Border Security Force, which exclusively guards the border areas, the Indo-Tibetan border police in the border of Nepal and Bhutan, the Central Reserve Police Force, etc. Therefore, the Ministry of Home Affairs also plays a very important role in securing the nation from external threats. Generally, the security policy comes under the defence ministry’s purview, but it is finalised by the cabinet. The Prime Minister plays an important role is shaping the security policy, assisted by the National Security Advisor.

The internal security situation comes under the purview of the states. Police forces are under the control of the state governments and any sort of internal disturbance is first controlled by the state’s forces. Our constitution has given that it is the responsibility of the centre to protect the state from any sort of aggression; thus, in cases where the situation goes out of hand, the centre deploys armed paramilitary forces such as the Central Reserve Police Force, BSF, ITBP, NSG, etc. The security policy is formed by the centre to control crises such as dealing with Naxalism when it extends beyond the boundaries of a single state, and then the state governments tend to adopt it. The centre may provide the services of the paramilitary forces.

Lacunae in the Present Policy

There are various factors that make the security policy ineffective. The police, under the state government, are empowered to deal with local situations, but the constitution has provided the union government with the rights to intervene, and this has caused many problems in power sharing between the centre and the states.

Economy is the major reason for the emergence of threats to internal security but is never considered to be a part of the security policy. The lack of coordination between the centre and the state affects the security policy. This lack of co-ordination affects the implementation process of law enforcement making it totally ineffective. Inefficient governance also affects the framing of the security policy. Less participation of the members of civil society, non-governmental bodies and people from grassroots levels lead to such policies that do not reflect the actual reality and the true aspiration of the people, which is more likely to fail.


To formulate an effective internal security policy, we need to include the following elements in our internal security doctrine

  • political situation,
  • socio-economic consideration,
  • governance,
  • police and other security forces,
  • co-ordination between the centre and state,
  • collection of intelligence,
  • border area management
  • cyber security management.

Political Situation

The political situation is some areas is disturbing. Identifying the nature of challenge is important, and it can be on the basis of regional demands or secessionist, separatist tendencies. Identifying the cause of such movements is the key and it has to be made sure that the demands are within the constitutional framework.

The state should deal secessionist movements with a heavy hand, and separatist movements should not be engaged in dialogue. The government must have a proper policy to handle such situations effectively. Measures have to be taken to heed regional and ethnic demands if the demands are within the legal and constitutional framework.

Socio-economic Consideration

It is generally argued and sometimes accepted that socio-economic consideration forms the basis of many internal security threat scenarios. The discontent of the people is genuine as they face shortage of jobs, money and food. These cases should be handled using a different approach. The reason of the agitation should be analysed, and grievances should be addressed. It has to be ensured that the fruits of development are spread without discrimination, and the value of equality enshrined in the constitution is upheld.


Anti-state movements launched by some motivated elements are due to the lack of good governance. The people develop ill feelings towards the state because of bad practices like nepotism, corruption, etc. Mismanagement of government funds, inefficient implementation of laws and misappropriation of schemes act as a trigger. To bring in accountability and transparency, it is highly essential to ensure people’s participation in governance.

Police and Other Security Forces

Analysts point out that, in most cases, police and other security forces are not sensitised. These forces do not understand their role as a public servant and do not work towards the attainment of a common goal. They act piecemeal under a regimental system. Sometimes they are poorly trained and not motivated to face armed extremists, which in a number of occasions ends in police excesses and custodial deaths.

These are few amongst many that are to be included in the new security policy. Therefore, it is essential to make amends to the police and other security forces to make it effective in addressing the people’s need in a transparent and neutral manner. Co-ordination is essential between the security forces in order to face internal security threats.

Co-ordination Between the Centre and State

It is arguably the lack of co-ordination which is the recurrent theme that magnifies threat situations. This affects the supply of, which is necessary for the functioning of the security apparatus of the state. Thus, the security policy needs to address this issue of lack in coordination and co-operation between the centre and the states.


Intelligence it is one of the key components of internal security. Correct and timely intelligence is essential to keep in order both external and internal security threats. Without the backbone support of the intelligence, no mission can succeed. Intelligence of both forms, defensive and offensive, is needed to forewarn and to take proactive steps to the impending threats and to ensure that the situation is under control. A nodal agency is the need of the hour to collect, gather and effectively utilise all vital strategic information effectively, which contains any threat.

Border Area Management

Border area management is an emerging area. India has large and porous borders with neighbours. These regions are exploited by various insurgent groups from Kashmir and the northeast region, who hide in jungles across the border. There is huge trafficking of drugs, arms and ammunition since India is located in the middle of the Golden Crescent and the Golden Triangle. The porous sea borders of India like the coasts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are conducive for smuggling. Complete coordination is necessary between various organisations and agencies to protect the border region. Co-ordination of the Navy, Coast Guard and the Marine Police is necessary for the effective management of sea routes. The Government of India has brought out a Coastal Security Scheme since 2010 to strengthen the coastal defence of the nation. The state police force is given responsibility of coastal defense.

Cyber Security Management

Cyber space is considered the next ground of warfare, which is the most vital instrument to prevent or cause a threat. The proper cyber security policy is essential when we encounter the likes of the Edward Snowden issue. Threats come from anywhere and any form and cyber threat is one of the most distressing security threats. Thus, an effective security policy is needed, and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology has formulated the National Cyber Security Policy 2013 in the best interest of India.

Internal Security Policy Doctrine – Essential Aspects

All these policy measures serve to protect the nation against the threats which could have an effect on internal functioning. Only an internal policy doctrine that covers the overall defence and security system is competent to manage the threat.

Each and every group has its own uniqueness and ideology, which makes it tedious to formulate an internal security doctrine. We can separate it into two categories, viz. the physical and the psychological.

  • Physical
  • military capability,
  • intelligence gathering,
  • good governance
  • economic growth.
  • Psychological:
    • readiness of the people to support the government in its initiatives
    • ideological counter-measures.

Physical Component


It is the capacity of the military to counteract the threat. It includes traditional military and internal security forces like the police, reserve police forces and other paramilitary forces. It is necessary to modernise these forces to counter escalating threats. They must also be motivated to deal with civilian population because without their support any counteracting measure will fail.


Intelligence gathering is an important constituent in dealing with any sort of threat. Intelligence means information, which is useful and important. Thus, intelligence provides an insight in to dealing with insurgent activities. Counterintelligence measures entail military action and also help us analyse the ideology of anti-state movements and counter it effectively. Central intelligence agencies like the Intelligence Bureau and the State Police Intelligence are set up in India, and the key to fight terrorism is to collect accurate information and share it among stakeholders.


Good governance is necessary to counter the internal threat by involving grassroots organisations and civil society bodies. The voice of unheard populace will be heard only if concerns of grassroots people are addressed so that we can create an atmosphere of trust. Corruption, nepotism, etc. alienate people, and political and bureaucratic accountability is in question. Our security policy should address these governance lacunae so that these will not be the reason to wean away people to carry out anti-state activities.


Economics determines the status of people, their condition and the activities they carry out. Economic development and wealth distribution have a vital role in determining the internal security policy. Economic growth has not reached the targeted section of people; thus alienating the vast population. Such alienated people are swayed away easily to take up anti-national activities. The main reason for youngsters to join them is a lack of a job and a lack of their place in the economic ladder. Thus, when a government creates an internal security policy, it must not forget the inclusion of the implications of economic development.

Psychological Component


The role of people is very vital that it should be considered in the security policy; else it is bound to fail. Without the support of civilians, any insurgent movement is short lived and can be easily shattered by the state. Enlisting civilian support is not a physical component; it is a psychological component as it involves the change in the mindset of the people. The effort of the government to secure civilian support is time consuming and can be achieved by providing them with the fruits of growth and good governance and employment. This effort of the government sensitises officials who deal with the people directly and ensure that they serve the public honestly. Winning the hearts and minds of the people is the beginning of ensuring support of the people towards government initiatives.


Anti-state movements have to be countered ideologically rather than adopting traditional counter-insurgency measures. This is considered as a minor component and generally does not have a special focus in the internal security doctrine. Strong state doctrines that counter Maoist ideology are necessary to completely eradicate anti-state movements like Left Wing Extremists. These measures can create a huge psychological impact on militants and civilians, who can be involved in the governance process and is the only way to growth and success.

Development and Spread of Extremism

The enhancement of human capabilities and entitlements, which includes education, health, infrastructure and the liberty of people is termed ‘development’. Therefore, development efforts should seek to improve human capabilities, knowledge and financial resources of the civilians thereby providing them with an opportunity to come out of poverty and deprivation and to lead a healthy, happy and honourable life.

The term extremism refers to the political or religious principle and actions of an extreme group that are unreasonable and unacceptable to most people. Extremists often condemn these with conflicting new points. The term extremist is subjective as one person’s freedom fighter may be another’s extremist.

Webster’s English dictionary defines extremism as “belief in and support for ideas that are very far from what most people consider correct is reasonable.”

There are time-immersed arguments on the relationship between development and extremism. They have a negative cyclical as the lack of development leads to extremism, extremism renders development efforts useless.


The lack of development in the country creates discontent among the people, which in turn leads to extremism. This discontent and violence have been steadily mounting despite the numerous statutory and institutional mechanisms in place to address poverty deprivation thereby ensuring development to sections of people who are not touched by the developmental efforts.

  • Corruption and poor, new provision of essential public services such as primary healthcare education, etc.
  • Incompetent, ill trained and poorly motivated public personnel who are mostly absent from their place of posting.
  • Misuse of power by the police and violations of the norms of law.
  • Perversion of electoral politics and unsatisfactory working of local government institutions.

Poor and lack of proper socio-economic infrastructure among the tribal community is identified to be the main reason for their disempowerment.

A committee of concerned citizens in 1997 grouped the activities of Naxalites as strugglers of the rural poor and tribal people. It recognised it as a political struggle and not merely a law and order issue.

The above situations have therefore caused a feeling of alienation and anger among a large section of the population.

It is thus essential for the state to address these causes of anger and discontent in a human and democratic manner.

Underdevelopment has thus been a major cause of violence and extremism in the red corridors of the Naxal areas and northeastern states. It must be noted however that underdevelopment is not the cause of extremism and insurgence in Jammu and Kashmir. Historical and political factors are behind extremism in Jammu and Kashmir. But the extremism in these areas has continued to the underdevelopment of Jammu and Kashmir as with the northeastern states.


  1. India’s security policy is founded on the bedrock of its constitutional values of secularism, democracy, pluralism and peaceful coexistence. Substantiate.
  2. “India as a country with 1.2 billion population has its own inherent problems.” In the light of the statement, discuss the internal security challenges faced by India.
  3.  ‘Terrorism is emerging as a competitive industry over the last few decades.” Analyse the above statement. (2016)