What started as a peasant rebellion in the village of Naxalbari, in 1967, has today taken the ugly guise of Naxalite – Maoist insurgency. With its root in West Bengal, the movement has spread its tentacles into the lesser developed areas of Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Concentrated in an area, infamously known as the “Red Corridor,” the Naxalite Maoists have, for years, been engaged in various notorious activities, in the name of revolution.
In recent years, civilians have been the most affected, in the ongoing differences between the Maoist rebels and the Indian government. The recent shocking events include the massacre of 76 Indian soldiers, in the series of attacks on security convoys in Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh, on the uneventful day of April 6th, 2010. Following it was the destruction of a bus, on May 17, 2010, killing atleast 44 people, including several Special Police officers (their target) and civilians. On May 28, 2010, officials claim the Maoists were responsible for the derailment of a Kolkata – Mumbai bound night train that killed at least 150 passengers.
These incidents and many more (according to statistics-more than 6,000 people have lost their lives, during the rebels’ 20 year fight) puzzle the common man as to the intentions of the Maoists. People who have no respect for human life have claimed the development of poverty struck areas in various Indian states. This contradiction brings us to the conclusion that it is not the ideology that is to be blamed, but it’s the execution of it.
In the name of improving the lives of the poorer sections of society, their faulty and mindless revenge against the government shakes up our very economy, each time there is an attack of this stature. The government has to compensate the injured and the dead, apart from the reconstruction of the resources lost in the attack. In addition, there is loss of life (families and individuals) and subsequently the loss of the nation, in the form of human and financial resources that are the assets of the country.
Now, the million dollar question is – How to curb this form of internal terrorism?
The most difficult part of this is the realization of the fact that, “These are our very own people with a few legitimate grievances but of course the illegitimate demand of a separate Marxist state and the inhumane means to attain it.” The consequence of not addressing to their problems, for all these years, has led to this situation today. It is now the responsibility of the government, as well as the upper and middle crust of society to mend this situation.
The first step could be to address the basic problems existing in these areas – mass education, employment, access to their land and produce and development with their consent. But, before these could be implemented, we need a dynamic personality who could address them of the real and noble intentions of the development plans. Nobody is ready for change. Neither are we nor are they. We are humans, after all. Unless they see sincerity, in the intentions of the government, they won’t mend their ways. But, if the peace talks or strategic plans of development do not work, the government will sadly have to go through the “Diamond cuts Diamond” way.
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