The recent ambush by Maoists in Chhattisgarh, targeting Congress leaders, has triggered a debate on the options available to curtail the naxal menace. The option of coming down on the extremist forces is no solution. The government should adopt a more pragmatic approach to win their minds and hearts. Tackling naxalism through force will worsen the situation and invite a more violent backlash.
Terror activities of Maoists cannot be stopped by outfits like Salwa Judum or large numbers of police and paramilitary forces. Ensuring economic progress of the masses in naxal-infested areas alone will help. This can be done by proper planning in the spheres of infrastructure development, education, health care and employment generation. While there is a need for sufficient budgetary allocation, there is a greater need to ensure that the money is not siphoned off by unscrupulous persons.
Such measures will not only save the lives of our security personnel but also ensure that large amounts spent on tackling naxalism are utilised for development activities and economic uplift of the masses. Progress and peace go together.
Ranjit Kumar Paul,
Governments’ apathy to the rights and plight of adivasis is well known. Before finalising a plan to combat the menace of Maoism, the government should understand that it has failed to bring the naxalites and those who support them into the mainstream.
Virendra Kumar Kasana,