Communism is no alternative to democracy
"Any campaign for struggle should have people's support and in the case of the Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh, that is lacking. There is really no socio-economic problem that the Maoist claims to have. From the very beginning the movement was a failure. Communism is no alternate to democracy. Over the years we have seen Communist countries switching over to a democratic form of government but nowhere it has happened the other way. Democracy is people's power while in Communism the power rests with a few individuals."This is the observation of Superintendent of Police (Visakha Rural) V.V. Srinivasa Rao on the Maoist movement in AP and democracy. Born and brought up in Vijayawada, he completed his B.Tech. from BITS - Pilani before joining Acharya Nagarjuna University for his MBA. He topped the university and was selected for fellowship by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kolkata. In 1995 he was selected for IPS under Andhra cadre in his very first attempt. Joining the police service was not what he desired in the beginning, he rather wanted to take up research in mathematics as that subject was close to his heart from his childhood. Nevertheless, after donning the khaki uniform, he had never looked back. After training in Karimnagar he was posted as the Assault Commander, Grey Hounds, at Chintapalli. "This is my second posting to this district. Before taking up the stint here I served as Additional Superintendent of Police, Karimnagar; Commandant of AP Special Police (Indian Reserve Battalion); SP of Khammam; and SP Intelligence-Hyderabad."
During his career spanning over a decade, Mr. Srinivasa Rao dealt the Maoist movement from close quarters. Apart from being in the thick of action he had been associated with two of the most elite forces in AP Police designed to tackle the movement, Grey Hounds and the Special Police. "The movement is dwindling on all fronts. There is practically no ideology to support the movement. The intellectual movement that was present in the 1970s is no longer there. Today the Maoists depend on the uneducated tribal base rather than the educated masses. They have even shifted their base from north Telangana to the tribal tracts of north coastal districts," he says.
"Our strategy is simple. We call it `Heart and mind'. We want to strike the base of recruitment. Our idea is to reach out to the girijan youth and inform them about the developmental programmes of the Government. We want to induce confidence in the heart and mind of the people. And to do that we plan to hold regular open house programmes, where we would be conducting programmes like debates, elocution, cultural shows and sports. We want to involve the tribals and bring them into mainstream."To start with, according to him, the Police Department has launched a weekly newsletter `Yuvatha - Bhavitha' to apprise the youngsters of the various job opportunities. "The State Government has already sanctioned 3,000 home guard posts and over 175 allotted to this region alone. Apart from that, we would be shortly recruiting over 100 special police officers (SPO) from the tribal areas to work for us. In addition, we would go ahead with the YES (youth employment scheme) to impart vocational training to the tribal youth. But this time we would be taking up the programme to their doorstep and impart training that would be ideal to their economic and environmental conditions, like carpentry, masonry and plumbing. We intend training at least 100 to 120 youth per batch over six cycles during a year."To get a first hand details of the problems in rural areas he has started a programme called `Mee seva lo' that is held every Monday at various rural locations in the district.
Mr. Srinivasa Rao has a philanthropic facet to his tough cop image. He was instrumental in starting the Khammam Police Eye Bank in July 2002. In a span of 18 months he could mobilise over 300 corneas and over 3.6 lakh pledge forms. "Probably this is the largest facilitation of eye donation in AP," says he. The Government felicitated him in recognition of his services.
On teamwork he says, "Nothing is possible without a team, and to gain the confidence of the team one should be an able leader. I should be able to do things that my constable does and then only I can gain their confidence and they would not mind giving 150 per cent for me." To strike a rapport with his force he has designed an innovative programme, `Mee to Mee SP' that is held on the third of every month.Apart from being a voracious reader, Srinivasa Rao is an avid movie watcher. He likes old English classics and would not mind seeing them over and over again. To continue his academic interests, he has registered Ph.D. in Andhra University to do research on `Quality control in police management'. SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE