Monday, April 12, 2010

Naxalism and Government Action

The situation has turned extremely grim after the killing of over 80 security forces by Maoists. While families of those killed wail and mourn, politicians are engaged in accusations of each other. Various questions being raised over the government strategy to tackle Maoists are becoming the subject of controversy.

In this context, federal Home Minister P. Chidambaram offer to quit followed by the rejection of his resignation can be termed part of this controversy. In certain quarters, it is being dubbed as a mere drama whereas some believe it to be a move emerging out of his helplessness.

Lack of Clarity and Firmness
Amid all this, it has come to the fore that there is an utter lack of clarity and firmness among the federal and state governments on the approach of dealing with the problem. Some governments of states where Maoists are active are being accused of lacking the necessary potential to counter the menace effectively. Recently, when Chidambaram visited Lalgarh, the stronghold of Maoists in West Bengal, there took place a lot of bitterness between him and West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya. An impression had gone around that no joint strategy was being formed by the federal and governments of Maoist-hit states.

The federal government would extend support to governments of Maoist-hit states, so that the regions affected by Maoist violence could be liberated from the clutches of these militant elements. Under the fresh joint strategy, the second step would be to address social and economic issues pertaining to the people inhabiting such areas, so that the administration machinery could be made effective in Naxal-affected (Maoist insurgency) areas of the states concerned. This will include construction of schools, health centers, roads, and provision of potable water. It clearly manifests that there still exist a large number of places where people are deprived of basic amenities of life.

In our view, the federal government has failed on this front because it could not succeed in creating influence in the Maoist-hit areas so far. The federal government ministers often issue statements on this issue at all levels, yet no impact has emerged. It seems the lack of cooperation among the defense forces, state governments, and the federal government is aired from time to time, yet nothing has come to the fore to this effect over the recent past.

Big Challenge Ahead
Maoists, meanwhile, have achieved a major success in enhancing their influence in major swathes of the country. In the circumstances, there is no scope for issuing clarifications and indulging in rhetoric, now. Instead, in the wake of the big challenge posed by Maoists in Dantewada, there is the need to show such performance as should succeed in overcoming the existing worrisome situation.

For, eventually action will prove results. Hence, the people of the country would feel satisfied only when positive impact will come to the fore through an effective anti-Maoist campaign.

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