Red corridor

Red corridor

The Red Corridor is a term used to describe an impoverished region in the east of India that experiences considerable Naxalite communist insurgency. These are also areas that suffer from the greatest illiteracy, poverty and overpopulation in modern India, and span parts of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal states.[1][2][3]

Naxalites have been declared as a terrorist organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of India (1967).[4][5][6][7] According to Govternment of India, as of July 2011, 83 districts (figure includes proposed addition of 20 districts) across nine states are affected by Left Wing Extremism[8][9] down from 180 districts in 2009.[10]


Economic situation

The districts that comprise the Red Corridor are among the poorest in the country. Bihar has the lowest per-capita State Domestic Product (SDP) of any Indian state (see main article: States of India by size of economy),[11] and Uttar Pradesh and Orissa are also among the poorest states in the country. Other areas encompassed by the Red Corridor, such as Chattisgarh state and the Telengana region of Andhra Pradesh, are also either impoverished or have significant economic inequality, or both.[12][13]

A key characteristic of this region is non-diversified economies that are solely primary sector based. Agriculture, sometimes supplemented with mining or forestry, is the mainstay of the economy, which is often unable to support rapid increases in population.[14][15][16] The region has significant natural resources, including mineral, forestry and potential hydroelectric generation capacity. Orissa, for example, "has 60 percent of India’s bauxite reserves, 25 percent of coal, 28 percent of iron ore, 92 percent of nickel and 28 percent of manganese reserves."[17]

Social situation

The areas encompassed by the Red Corridor tend to have stratified societies, with caste and feudal divisions. Much of the area has high indigenous tribal populations (or adivasis), including Santhal and Gond. Bihar and Jharkhand have both caste and tribal divisions and violence associated with friction between these social groups.[18][18][19] Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region similarly has deep caste divides with a strict social hierarchical arrangement.[20][21] Both Chattisgarh and Orissa have significant impoverished tribal populations.[22][23][24]

Districts affected

State # of Districts in State # of Districts Affected Districts Affected[25]
Andhra Pradesh 23 16 Warangal
East Godavari
Bihar 38 15 Aurangabad
East Champaran
West Champaran
Jharkhand 24 18 Hazaribagh
East Singhbhum
West Singhbhum
Saraikela Kharsawan
Madhya Pradesh 50 1 Balaghat
Chattisgarh 18 9 Bastar
Maharashtra 35 3 Gadchiroli
Orissa 30 15 Malkangiri
Uttar Pradesh 72 3 Sonbhadra
West Bengal 19 3 Bankura
West Midnapore
Total 83

The Orissa gap

The Red Corridor is almost contiguous from India's border with Nepal to the northern fringes of Tamil Nadu. There is, however, a significant gap consisting of coastal and some central areas in Orissa state, where Naxalite activity is low and indices of literacy and economic diversification are higher.[26][27][28] However, the non-coastal districts of Orissa which fall in the Red Corridor have significantly lower indicators, and literacy throughout the region is well below the national average.[26][29]


  1. ^ "Armed revolt in the Red Corridor". Mondiaal Nieuws, Belgium. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  2. ^ "Women take up guns in India's red corridor". The Asian Pacific Post. 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  3. ^ "Rising Maoists Insurgency in India". Global Politician. 2007-05-13. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Sukanya Banerjee, "Mercury Rising: India’s Looming Red Corridor", Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2008.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation - Publications". Government of India. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  12. ^ Magnus Öberg, Kaare Strøm, "Resources, Governance and Civil Conflict", Routledge, 2008, ISBN 041541671X. Snippet: ... the general consensus is that the insurgency was started to address various economic and social injustices related to highly skewed distributions of cropland ...
  13. ^ Debal K. SinghaRoy, "Peasant Movements in Post-colonial India: Dynamics of Mobilization and Identity", Sage Publications, 2004, ISBN 0761998268.
  14. ^ Fernando Franco, "Pain and Awakening: The Dynamics of Dalit Identity in Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh", Indian Social Institute, 2002, ISBN 8187218460. ... Land deprivation is the major cause of mass poverty especially in view of the low level of economic diversification in rural areas. Amongst all major states, Bihar has the second highest proportion (55 per cent) of landless or quasi-landless households in the rural population ...
  15. ^ Dietmar Rothermund, "An Economic History of India: From Pre-colonial Times to 1991", Routledge, 1993, ISBN 0415088712. Snippet: ... Eastern India has been bypassed by the 'Green revolution' to a great extent ... Instead of urbanization, we can find rural areas with an amazing degree of overpopulation ...
  16. ^ Rabindra Nath Pati, National Organization for Family and Population Welfare, "Population, Family, and Culture", Ashish Publishing House, 1987, ISBN 8170241510.
  17. ^ "Forbes India: industry vs tribals in battleground Orissa", Forbes India Magazine, 03 July, 2009
  18. ^ a b "Bihar: Caste, Politics & the Cycle of Strife". Mammen Matthew, SATP. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  19. ^ Smita Narula, "Broken People: Caste Violence Against India's untouchables", Human Rights Watch, 1999, ISBN 1564322289.
  20. ^ A. Satyanarayana, "Land, Caste and Dominance in Telangana", Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 1993.
  21. ^ Tulja Ram Singh, "The Madiga: A Study in Social Structure and Change", Ethnographic & Folk Culture Society, 1969.
  22. ^ Ajit K. Danda, "Chhattisgarh: An Area Study", Anthropological Survey of India, Government of India, 1977.
  23. ^ Gyanendra Pandey, "Routine Violence: Nations, Fragments, Histories", Permanent Black, 2006, ISBN 8178241617.
  24. ^ Oliver Springate-Baginski and Piers M. Blaikie, "Forests, People and Power: The Political Ecology of Reform in South Asia", Earthscan, 2007, ISBN 1844073475.
  25. ^ "83 districts under the Security Related Expenditure Scheme". IntelliBriefs. 2009-12-11. Retrieved 2011-09-17. 
  26. ^ a b "National Family Health Survey". International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai, Maharashtra. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  27. ^ B. B. Jena and Jaya Krishna Baral, "Government and Politics in Orissa", Print House (India), 1988. Snippet:... The literacy rate of the four coastal districts is much higher than that of other districts ...
  28. ^ Sanjoy Chakravorty and Somik V. Lall, "Made in India: The Economic Geography and Political Economy of Industrialization", Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 0195686721. Snippet:... and Punjab are considered advanced regions, while Bihar and Orissa are considered lagging regions. With the district level data used here, it is possible to create new data driven definitions of advanced and lagging regions that are distinct from politically defined regional ...
  29. ^ Sevanti Ninan, "Headlines from the Heartland: Reinventing the Hindi Public Sphere", Sage Publishers, 2007, ISBN 0761935800. Snippet:... This one state (Madhya Pradesh) alone, taken together with Chhattisgarh, accounted for 17.9 percent of the total decadal decrease in illiteracy in India in the 1990s ...

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