Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Government's unlearnt lessons on Naxalism prove costly


Maoists engaged in violence the government's reaction by means of setting up a counter-offensive was immature and something which has exacerbated the situation in the forests.


CJ: Abhirup Bhunia
Tue, Apr 13, 2010 12:00:50 IST


THE MASSACRE by Maoists in Chhattisgarh that killed as many as 74 CRPF jawans is an indication of a severe undercurrent that has the potency to lead to a civil war ahead. The central government is adamant with its decision of waging war against the Maoists.

The Shilda massacre could have been an apposite lesson for the centre to revert its way of tackling Maoism. But, it is either due to the fact that the lives of Central Reserve Paramiilitary Force are of no value to the bureaucracy or because the Centre is certain that it has not erred in its assessment of dealing with Naxalites that the government decides to go on with war.

The face of uprising is almost always violent and it is triggered by excessive inattention towards a particular faction of society. In this case, lack of trust has been an important cause. People sometimes commit the mistake of comparing Taliban of Iraq or Afghanistan with Maoism in India.

It is a flawed judgment chiefly because the very foundation of rebellion in these two cases hugely differs. Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist outfit, whereas Naxalism cropped up on the belief that they are deprived, both enormously dissimilar. Secondly, while one is external, the other is homegrown. The latter exhibits the government's failure to appease a certain section.

It might be na├»ve of the Maoists to consider violence as the approach and they are perhaps entitled to lack of discretion, whereas the government is not. While Maoists engaged in violence the government’s reaction by means of setting up a counter-offensive was immature and something which has exacerbated the situation in the forests. The blood flowing in the veins of rebels is that of revenge and it is known that vengeance can spread like fire. Something which started out as unrest in a particular area has now spread to more than 200 districts of the nation like an epidemic.

The Maoists have something to complain of and they themselves might find justification to their cause despite it being pointlessly brutal. However it is the duty of the government to address what exactly coerced them into taking up arms and there cannot be any rationale that could validate the resolution of the government to enter into armed conflict in a bid to kill people who are actually using attacks as a means to shout out their discontentment at the fact that they are terribly underprivileged and sane civil benefits do not reach them. Another unsound term is ‘Maoist sympathizer’. It is an absolutely wrong way of labeling since terming someone a sympathizer of the Maoists automatically means calling him/her backer of violence.

Fact is that nobody is pleased at carnage and bloodshed. However since the tribal people are a part of India, they deserve every right like any other citizen of India. One of the most uncared for in the country, the tribal people, had to find out a way to give vent to. While the Maoism menace rages, the onus is on the government firstly for not being able to appease them and secondly declaring war against them and creating furthermore mistrust. Working considerably for the welfare of tribal people is the need of the hour, although it could be too late.

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