Summarise the key differences between Naxalism and Maoism.
Naxalism and Maoism are two different ideologies and movements, although they share some similarities. Therefore, the two terms (Naxalites and Maoists) should not be used interchangeably as they are not same and their ideologies have different roots.
According to a source from DNA India, Naxalism originated in the late 1960s in the Naxalbari region of West Bengal, and is characterized by its focus on land reform and the empowerment of peasants and tribal communities. Naxalites aim to establish a Communist society through armed revolution and guerrilla warfare. On the other hand, Maoism is an ideology developed by Mao Zedong in China, which emphasizes the importance of peasants and rural areas in revolutionary movements. Maoism focuses on the need for a protracted people's war and a strong Communist Party to achieve revolution.
The main difference between Naxalism and Maoism is their origin and context. While Naxalism emerged in India as a response to social and economic inequality, Maoism originated in China as a political ideology. Additionally, Naxalism is primarily focused on local issues of land reform and tribal rights, while Maoism has a more global and theoretical perspective on revolution and Communist ideology.
Both movements share, in varying degree, a commitment to armed struggle, guerrilla warfare, and the establishment of a Communist society. However, Naxalites take part in elections and some of them are registered parties with the Election Commission of India, while Maoists do not support elections at all. Additionally, Naxalites may have an armed wing, but the existence of Maoists depends on their armed militia. These differences reflect the divergent approaches and strategies of the two movements.