While Maoists may feel their demands are reasonable, they should realise they are weakening their cause by continuing to hold Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon and Odisha legislator Jhina Hiakaka in captivity. If they think that by holding out threats they can force the government to submit, they are wrong. It is time they realised the futility of their misadventure. No government worth its salt will agree to all their demands. They would do well to follow Binayak Sen's advice to release Mr. Menon unconditionally. If they take an uncompromising stand, no one will come forward to mediate on their behalf — as is evident from Manish Kunjam and Prashant Bhushan's refusal to do so.
Enough is enough. Maoists have been a thorn in the flesh ever since they declared war against the state. The abduction of Mr. Menon and the killing of his two security guards show the rebels have an upper hand when it comes to security. How long are we going to take it lying down? We can't let them dictate terms any more.
K.G. Koru Kuttan Nair,
Maoists are facing a crisis. With the new generation of civil servants pushing the development agenda relentlessly, they find their constant cries of lack of development having few takers. With development, the residents of the red corridor are becoming more aware of their rights, and more capable of demanding them from the state. The ideals and methodology propounded and practised by Maoists are fast losing credence. The rebels are, therefore, redoubling their efforts to regain lost ground by hitting at the agents of state-led development. We must battle on.
Amna S. Tasneem,
It is futile to expect terrorists, law-breakers and rebels, fed on ideas of class struggle and religious fanaticism, to see reason or behave humanely. The difference between decadent human elements and cultured society lies in the respect shown for the existing social and legal framework. For rebels, everyone belonging to the organised society is a class enemy, even if he or she is humane. They understand only violence. Invariably, it is the underprivileged and the tribals who are killed in a crossfire between them and the government. Unless the government gets rid of red-tapism, lethargy and corruption in the implementation of welfare measures, insurgency and its violent consequences will be difficult to prevent.