Monday, April 12, 2010

Editorial: Have political will, national resolve to finish Maoists till the last


THE Maoists have declared a war on the Indian state. Their victims, however, continue to be the hapless security personnel, poor farmers, innocent female farm hands, Vanvasi women and cradle-bound toddlers. They target and raze to rubble schools, hospitals, panchayat and block development buildings. They destroy telecommunication, railway lines, electric poles and obstruct building of roads and other infrastructure in remote Vanvasi areas which they consider their strongholds and liberated red terrains. They keep the illiterate, poverty-stricken peasants living in the areas of their mayhem captives and treat these people as their slaves. The Maoists are not only infamous and feared for their monstrous appetite for violating human flesh and blood, but their evil ideology sanctions macabre cruelty on human beings which could shame even savage beasts. Shamelessly, they celebrate their capacity for mindless murder, rape, loot, arson and chopping human limbs in the name of people’s war. And at the receiving end are, ironically, the toiling masses.

These are the modern-day rakshasas. They claim their war is against class enemies, against the state, to overthrow the democratically elected governments. Their ideological fraternity who masquerade as intellectuals, writers and human rights activists move in elite circuit, write columns, live in style and comfort. They rationalise, downplay and confuse the government and civil society. India is a soft state. No other country would have suffered or tolerated such barbarians in its socio-political milieu. But then, India is India. Our state is more oppressive to the civilized and law abiding and overindulgent, if not sympathetic to the organised criminal gangs under the fa├žade of red terror.

Is there a political leveraging between the Maoists and the state? Is the elite establishment cohorts of these dacoits perched in the dense forests of central India? They ruin the country’s march as a modern developed state. The suspicions become stronger because the victims of Maoist menace are not the rich and powerful but those who live a miserable, wretched life, eking out an income from hard labour like constables, farmers and as in many heart-wrenching instances, infants. This is no way to revolution. Such blinding cruelty defies all established records of mass struggle for emancipation. No corrupt politician, bureaucrat or exploitive tycoon has fallen victim to Maoist violence. Which means the Maoists have a cozy liaison with the so-called bourgeois set-up.

Where else their plush funds and sophisticated weaponry come from? There are unconfirmed reports that they have linkages with India’s hostile neighbours. What is confirmed is their easy access to huge cache of money to recruit, train and arm a large number of uniformed men and women. From where are the uniforms, vehicles, arms and ammunition coming? It is not possible they come only through extortions and loot, which they do in any case. Why is the centre repeatedly dithering and sending out confused signals? There have been a number of instances when the Congress and other political parties sought Maoist help at the time of elections. Today, in the UPA government we see union ministers openly justifying Maoist cruelties and advocating dialogue with these mass murderers.

Statistics is a boring business when talking about such a sensitive issue. But it shows that at least three times more civilians and security personnel have died in Maoist violence than that in the troubled Jammu and Kashmir.

The Maoists have been with impunity killing innocent citizens and policemen. They have not yet been retaliated or revenged by the state. Their casualty rate is almost negligible. The Maoists have not hidden their intentions. They repeat their havoc and get away, spreading terror and widening their network. Only the political leadership of the country and the civil society have failed to fathom and confront the challenge. It is no doubt the biggest threat to our existence as a civilized, progressive, modern democracy. It is time also for the country as a whole to resolve to value the lives of our soldiers, security personnel and civil servants-for we as a nation don’t even properly mourn their death. They get killed protecting us, making our lives safer. Our political leadership ignore and violate the fundamental rights of these men in uniform. Often they are made to fight the war against insurgency with both their hands tied. Consider the ridiculous human rights charges being levelled against our men in uniform in the Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir and in the Naxal combat zones. If we have to win this war we have to give a free hand to our security personnel. And demonstrate the political will to exterminate the insurgents till the last cadre.

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