Radicalisation refers to the process of an individual’s transformation from a moderate, law-abiding citizen into an active, anti-state, violent extremist.

It is the process by which people come to support terrorism and violent extremism and, in some cases, then join terrorist groups.

Causes of Radicalisation

  • People become increasingly motivated to use violent means against members of an out-group or symbolic targets to achieve behavioural change and political goals.
  • Radicalisation develops gradually over time and may occur at individual, group or mass public levels.
  • It also involves changes in attitudes, beliefs, behaviour, ideals, goals, ideology, and willingness, which become extreme.Those extreme aspects are related to political, social, religious, ideological, economic or societal issues.
  • Feelings of discrimination can evoke radical thoughts and actions.

Stages of Radicalisation

  • Various stages of the process of radicalisation-pre-radicalisation, self-identification, indoctrination and jihadization stages.
  • The first stage is the foundation and occurs when individuals are placed in environments that lead to being receptive to extremism. The drivers can be either intrinsic or extrinsic. Commitment is constantly calibrated and re-calibrated.
  • Be it the left-wing extremism, right wing, North-East insurgency, Kashmir militancy or the separatist Khalistan movement, the perceptions of injustice play an important role in pushing someone to extremism and the radicalisation process.
  • Many individuals who join radical groups do so because they have the feeling that they have not received the treatment they deserve. 

De Radicalisation

  • De-radicalisation is a process in which people reject the ideology they once embraced.
  • To better deal with feelings of relative deprivation and injustice, experts suggest empowering individualsby helping to increase their perceptions of efficacy and self-esteem and fostering the creation of a strong self-identity.
  • Focus should be on supporting families in preventing radicalisation and in de-radicalisation.
  • Educating and equipping families becomes essential to recognise vulnerable individuals who are at risk or are in the early stages of radicalisation.
  • Focus should be to train and educate professionals, and to stimulate disengagement and de-radicalisation.
  • At the primary level, the government needs to reinvest in educational institutions.
  • The aim should be to decrease prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination and to increase knowledge about democracy. Collective sports and citizen programs based on exchanges have been found helpful.
  • There are links between extremism, social exclusion, and radicalisation.
  • Sociological interventions to prevent or counter extremist behaviours are needed.
  • Success of Kerala and Maharashtra programs of de-radicalising indicates how community-based programs may work in vulnerable states.
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