In terms of terrorism and political violence in recent times in India, the world thinks of the Sikhs and their demands for an independent state, especially after the Golden Temple incident in June 1984 and the assassination of Mrs Gandhi in October that year. Nevertheless, there are other illegal movements, many of which are separatist, and mainly represent communities or are extreme left-wing. There is also a profusion of legally existing political parties, both at national and at state level. Divisions of existing parties, defections from these parties and formations of new parties have been frequent.
Hindu movements are well-established in origin. The All Assam People's Struggle Council was set up to oppose the inclusion of aliens, or Muslims who had fled from East Pakistan in 1971, when that territory seceded from Pakistan and became Bangladesh. Many atrocities have been committed against Bengalis and three massacres were reported in 1985. The All Assam Students Group actively campaigns against Bengali immigrants in Assam. On a broader scale many Hindus have been attracted by the paramilitary nature of the National Union of Selfless Servers. It is a communal group functioning as a secret society offshoot of the Hindu Jan Sangh sect that provoked street violence with Muslims. It is estimated to have up to ten million members. Less paramilitary but equally extremist is the left-wing Hindu group known as Ananda Marg. It wishes to establish global unity on the basis of a new social economic theory, and regularly uses suicide as a way of expression. It has been active in Australia against Indian diplomats. The political wing of this movement is the Universal Proutist Revolutionary Party. The word Proutist is derived from the 'progressive utility'' theory developed by one of its members, P. R. Sarkar.
The most well-known of the left-wing movements are the Naxalites who originated from an armed revolutionary campaign launched in North Bengal in 1965. This extreme faction of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) was formed as a result of disagreements over operational strategy for the spread of communism in rural India. The Naxalites were committed to Maoist principles of people's liberation warfare. In the 1970s some members led by Satya Singh rejected revolutionary Marxism and support parliamentary democracy. Nevertheless, extremists continue to carry out attacks in over half of India's provinces, with membership numbers of around 15,000. The Naxalites support the upholding of both armed struggle and all other forms of struggle complementary to it. The other chief Left-wing movement is the Dalit Panthers, who appeared in the late 1960s as an organisation of young militant untouchables which took its inspiration from the Black Panthers in the USA. They have been active in encouraging conversions of Harijans to Islam, as a means of escaping from the caste system.
In addition to the Sikh and Kashmiri separatists, other separatist groups are active in other parts of India. In Manipur the People's Liberation Army is active. It is a Maoist organisation operating mainly in Manipur, but advocating independence from the whole north-eastern region of India. Support comes from tribes who have rejected