A Kolkata court’s declaration that nine suspected naxalites arrested in an illegal arms manufacturing case be treated as “political prisoners” is a step that will have a tremendous impact on our country’s war on insurgency. Maoists are not just people with different political ideologies; they are gun-toting criminals who are enemies of the nation. The argument by some that they are part of our society and we should make attempts to bring them back to the mainstream is misguided.

This is war. And, as Erasmus said: “War is delightful to those who have had no experience of it.” There are no half measures in a war. Before giving naxalites the status of “political prisoners”, it would be apt to spare a thought for our security forces fighting the rebels in the cruel jungles.

Prabal Mukherjee,


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