The menace poised by naxalites and Maoists in ours country is assuming colossal proportions. As the centre and the state governments get engaged in protracted recriminations the innocent citizens are left in the lurch. The nonchalance and the desultory approach of our government in handling this scourge has allowed it to fester.
Let me explicate our government’s perfunctory response to this problem. First the centre earmarks huge funds (currently its more than 1000 crore rupees) for tackling naxalism. It may go further to ban the naxal outfits whose atrocities become too notorious and arrange anti-naxal co-ordination committees once a year with state governments. After this the central government assumes its role to be over. The state governments utilize the huge funds to deploy more and more security forces who get little or low standard training for antinaxal activities. But deployment can’t be in each nook and corner of the affected areas. So the naxals strike at will and kill innocent security personnel who are very ill equipped .And as the number of naxal cadres continues to increase exponentially, the government finds itself more helpless in dealing with the problem. It can’t go on recruiting security forces commensurate with the exponential growth of naxals. Now to woo away the naxal cadres, different state government announce rehabilitation packages. But the local administrations have so awkwardly bungled with these rehabilitation programs that, even the few felons who had returned back to mainstream society feel helpless and discriminated. They are forced to relapse into their previous violent stints. Evidently it won’t be wrong to say that the government stratagem in dealing with the naxals has proved to be a complete failure.
I don’t think that proscribing naxal outfits or use of force and perfunctory rehabilitation packages are going to prove effective in any way. For subverting this menace we need to understand its roots and genesis. It is very much apparent that the most naxal affected states namely Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and some North-east states are also the most underdeveloped states in the country. Bihar is an exception because it had its home grown naxals in the form of goons of Lalu-Paswan duo. But developed states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Gujurat have not reported any incidents of naxalism. It can be interpreted from these facts that the sole reason spurring Naxalism is unemployment, penury, lack of education and infrastructure in underdeveloped areas. It is because uneducated and unemployed youths are easy targets for being inveigled as naxal cadres. We can say that every impecunious, uneducated youth is a potential naxalite. So we have to consider these things when we attempt to adopt any anti-naxal strategy.
A pivotal point in this context is that naxals are not same as terrosists.They don’t kill innocent people indiscriminately. We have only heard of naxal attacks against security personnel, naxals abducting government officials or naxals vandalizing police posts but we never hear of naxal opening fire in a busy market place to kill innocent people. So, clearly their grudge is against the government and its apathy. Their only complain is that why are they treated so unfairly and callously. In Moa’s words, only the language of bullet is universally understood. So, the Maoists are trying with the help of bullet to make the government understand the problems they face, the hunger they bear and the agony they live with. If we want to rein in naxals we have to heed to their problems.
If we go by statistics our Central government spends more than 1000 crore annually on anti-naxal operations but all these expenditures goes into drain as there is little success rate of such operations. If we simply distribute this fund among all the naxal cadres(a total of 10,000 approximately) each will receive a sum of 10 lakhs annually and I am sure on receiving this sum they will renounce their violence path. Ofcourse , this is a bizarre proposition , but what I intend to say is that rather than wasting 1000 crore for abortive anti-naxal operations, if the government invests this huge sum of money for generating employment opportunity for the naxals or for envisaging concrete rehabilitation packages , then the naxal problem will automatically cease to exist.
The medical dictum “Prevention is better than cure” becomes very pertinent here. That is rather than proceeding to exterminate naxals, it would be much effective to prevent its further spread and to woo away as many naxal cadres as possible by implementing fool proof welfare schemes and investing in education, employment and infrastructure. Well educated youths ingrained with ideals patriotism cant be coaxed away by Mao’s ideals. Furthermore, the help the Naxals receive from beleaguered unemployed youths in the form of tacit support will also vanish.
It is high time the government wakes up from its slumber, shuns its “only rhetoric, no action” attitude and changes its flawed naxal policy. Otherwise our peaceful country will delve abysmally into the quagmire of anarcy, bedlam and violence created by naxalism.