Naxalism, if not put down ruthlessly, will spread like parthenium plants. When external threat is looming large, Maoists are creating internal turmoil. The poor and downtrodden, with their hungry stomachs, give in to the attempts by naxals to make them join and sympathise with their forums. To wean people away from this misguided group, welfare schemes for their uplift should be implemented immediately. Stagnant water is a fertile ground for mosquitoes to breed. Non-implementation of welfare schemes for the poor and their utter neglect are favourable for naxalites to grow.
G. Mahabala Rao,
Naxalism, which has been in existence since the 1960s, has now spread across India. The factors contributing to its growth have not been effectively addressed by successive governments. Welfare schemes have not reached the targeted sections. Red-tapism, corruption and a callous official attitude come in the way of development. Poverty and illiteracy constrain socio-economic progress. Natural calamities such as famine and floods add fuel to the fire. With no hope of even a hand-to-mouth existence, the marginalised fall easy prey to the naxal movement.
All political parties should join hands with the government to find a lasting solution to this menace.
Naxal violence is not just a law and order problem. It has social and economic roots, which is why the naxal movement is successful in tribal regions. The government’s approach to tackling Maoist violence by force will not yield much. On the contrary, it will increase the problems of the poor. We all know the working tactics of the security forces. The government should concentrate on improving governance in backward areas. It should ensure people’s participation, transparency and accountability.
Maoists hardly listen to the repeated government appeals to lay down arms. For them, violence is the only means to achieve their goals which are best known to them. One fails to appreciate the government’s reluctance to use decisive force to stop them.
How many more lives, including those of policemen, will have to be lost, railway tracks blown up and public property destroyed to awaken the sleeping beauties in the government?
Waging a war against the state, which represents the people of India, is tantamount to waging a war on the people. No sane person in a democracy would be willing to be ruled by gun-toting ultras. One has to understand and accept that in a democracy with such a huge population, development is bound to be lopsided. It will take more time for the fruits of development to reach the peripheral regions.
Who funds the Maoists and helps them sustain their actions against the government? They have blasted rail tracks, destroyed public property and killed people over the years. From where do they derive the means to keep operating? The only way to suppress them is to destroy the sources from where they get money.
It is all very well to say “we will talk but only when you lay down arms.” History tells us that this is the path to nowhere. Remember Angola, Ireland and Nepal? Engaging in unconditional talks led to peace (and the giving up of arms). We should tell naxalites: “Let’s talk and resolve all issues, suspend violence for one month when we talk.” As Winston Churchill said, “It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.”