Editorial

Editorial: Take the Call

Nothing seems to better the situation. And our government still doesn’t have an effective plan to tackle constantly increasing violence of Maoism. Just in a week, within hours, decapitation of a cop in Jharkhand, the first killing of this barbarity ever in India, and then killing of 17 cops in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, is a massive bolt to the nation. The rebels want their commandos to be out of prison and forthcoming assembly elections out of gear, at any expense. With already an open declaration to face even an all out army offensive against them, there’s nothing left to read their mind. Our PM Manmohan Singh, nonetheless, has ruled out any use of military against them, within days of a statement from Indian Air Force, which yet cannot backfire at Naxals in self defence, not to initiate any ‘Rambo operation’ against Maoists.

Back in June, when the rebels laid siege to Lagarh and an army offensive had to be launched to take the West Midnapore district back in control, there was a wave of sympathy against the rebels. The West Bengal government’s apathy and atrocities of police had reportedly led many people to joining the violent movement. The rebels who are now bravely daring to face a military offensive were knocked down like a pack of cards in their citadel and one of their leader was caught when he was in a TV studio explaining his position to people. Those particular scenes filled our heart with sympathy for them. And a lot sympathy that has to be found for them across various sections of society, poor, hapless, intellectuals and human rights groups, is suddenly missing. You cannot behead someone for any reason or purpose.

A government that really deems Naxal violence as a problem and aspires to solve it, with rebels already having denied an offer of talks, there’re two options it can go for: an all out military offensive; or, preparation of a strategy to successfully break the grip of the rebel ideology in places where it gets ground to prosper and grow.

After decades of Naxalism, Maoism and all such communist violence that has claimed thousands of lives hitherto, country expects some concrete, permanent stoppage to it. Rebels have made their intentions amply clear not to come to a table for talks and make violence more vigorous weapon for cowing government down. Is PM Manmohan Singh’s approach not to use army against them and IAF’s decision not to launch a ‘Rambo operation’ right, and if yes, sufficient?

A government that really deems Naxal violence as a problem and aspires to solve it, with rebels already having denied an offer of talks, there’re two options it can go for: an all out military offensive as Pakistan did in the case of Taliban, finishing most of them and all of their base (it took the step against public wishes); or, prepare a strategy to successfully break the grip of the rebel ideology in places where it gets ground to prosper and grow. With this ideological support gone, Maoists will have no ground to operate on and from. Sadly, our establishment has refused to choose the first option which it can easily execute and there’re not signs of second, the difficult one, shaping up.

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