As Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said, Maoists themselves have no apparent wish to enter into a dialogue (editorial “Looming war,” Oct. 26). It is for the leaders of CPI (Maoist) to prevail upon their cadres, whom they claim to represent, to lay down arms and bring them to the negotiating table. LTTE chief V. Prabakaran did not heed the call of the Sri Lankan authorities for a dialogue and we all know the result.
It is surprising to note that an outfit wedded to violence has the courage to declare war on the state. With the huge paramilitary force pressed into service to combat the Maoists, it is clear that the situation is really bad in many States. It is disheartening to note that some intellectuals have extended support to Maoists. Thankfully, the Centre has woken up to the grim challenge posed by the ultras.
We should stop glorifying Maoists who are nothing but a band of terrorists. The fact that some of their leaders want to wage a war against the state shows that they are flush with arms and funds. We have to choke their supply route as effectively as possible. There is no alternative but to intensify the fight against them as they have become a law unto themselves. No government can tolerate armed gangs roaming the countryside and dictating terms for talks.
Arundhati Roy’s call for unconditional talks between the government and Maoists is strange. She justifies the naxalites’ act of taking up arms, if that is the only way for them to defend themselves. Is not the state, then, justified in resorting to force to defend itself when lawless elements take up arms against it? Can a system be corrected or fought using arms?
Ms Roy’s suggestion that the government hold unconditional talks with Maoists is absurd. It is the Maoists who should give up violence and accept the government’s invitation for a dialogue. But, unfortunately, fighting and losing a war seems to be the only option left for them — they just do not seem to learn that violence and extremism have never won or promoted a cause, however just.