Maoist rebels killing people, bombing official vehicles, or exploding trains or railway tracks is a routine event. These children of their Naxalburi fathers seem to be bemused, of late. Yesterday, whole country heard about a threat to kill Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar issued by naxals if one of their leaders, jailed in a Bihar prison, was not set free. On the same day, there was, in a reaction to Indian Air Force seeking permission to back fire at naxals in self-defence, a statement from them: ‘we’re citizens and patriots’.
Though there exists a wave of public sympathy for the changes these rebels insist on and even some people would even go to the extent of justifying their violence blaming governments, both central and states, for not doing enough to alleviate poverty, to eliminate exploitation, to develop backward pockets and so on that could possibly put a tab on spread of the violent movement, yet these rebels can hardly be pardoned for their sins.
Yesterday’s statements show a sort of confusion among naxals. It’s simply ridiculous that rebels of a region or outfit threaten to kill a state chief and that of other put forward their citizenship and patriotism to save gun shelling of fighter air crafts. It’s like one party is entitled to violence to whosoever or wherever it intends but other shouldn’t even fire in defence. So far it’s been rebels firing at system, which is, according to them, cruel, unjust, dishonest but which they expect not to fire.
Indutibly, anybody taking to arms after extreme exploitation or being marginalized by a state policy deserves to be called a citizen and a patriot if his revolution is confined to evils of system alone, but he is still neither entitled to violence nor to put his patriotism as shield to escape a backfire.
Indutibly, anybody taking to arms after extreme exploitation or being marginalized by a state policy deserves to be called a citizen and a patriot if his revolution is confined to evils of system alone, but he is still neither entitled to violence nor to put his patriotism as shield to escape a backfire. On the contrary, there is no reason to believe that government is unsympathetic to rebels with a majority of politicians belonging to all parties seeing talks as a solution of the problem rather than a military offensive.
Rebels should try to capture this, must respond to government’s approach of a peaceful solution. There is already an example. Some rebels have renounced violence, joined politics and are contesting elections. The key to any change they envisage is either a talk with the government or the participation in politics. If they keep on killing people and issuing threats, there will be scarcely anyone fighting for their cause. For patriots don’t kill fellow countrymen.