Since the last few decades of economic liberalization, India has been experiencing a civil conflict threat by communist insurgents known as Naxalites. Because this group desires to separate themselves from the state through violent means, they began occupying themselves in some of the least developed districts in India. Coincidentally, because of low human development, the Government of India created an infrastructure program known as the Backwards Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) that targets a selected set of districts that lack basic infrastructures such as roads, sanitation facilities, and electrical grids. This study aims to question the notion that government assistance should lead to a decrease in civil conflict among rural and impoverished areas of a country. While it seems reasonable that further human development should decrease terrorism, as shown in (Fetzer, 2014; Hoelscher et al., 2012), other literature also shows opposite findings, as in Khanna and Zimmermann (2017), where government assistance leads to an uptick in conflict levels in the short run. In this paper, I focus solely on infrastructure development since the literature lacks a district-level analysis of this conflict in regards to government infrastructure programs. I find that more funding towards infrastructure in impoverished districts may be loosely related to an increase in fatalities due to insurgent-related issues. Contrary to other literature results, I find that the BRGF increases the likelihood of fatalities in this insurgency.
"Infrastructure in India's Internal War: A District-Level Analysis of the Naxalite-Maoist Conflict,"
Undergraduate Economic Review: Vol. 18:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/uer/vol18/iss1/3