Why the intelligence failed?
No place for egocentric “I know-all” policies!
Tribal India and the current Maoist upsurge calls for a more broad based policies and approaches.
Digvijay Singh’s alternative view needs some examination
Mr.Digvijay Singh, currently the General Secretary of the Congress and former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh have created some stir, a near revolt in the Congress party. He wrote an article in The Economic times about the need for a rethink on the anti-Maoist strategy.
This he did after the colossal tragedy of 76 CRPF personnel were gunned down in a brutal manner and the Central government looked almost helpless in the eyes of the people.
P.Chidambaram, the Home Minister, offered to resign and the resignation letter was not accepted by the Prime Minister.
Only when there was this lull, Mr.Digvijay Singh’s article came as a jolt for the party.
Mr.Singh who knows the terrain, the Dandakaranya heartland and he know also firsthand the whole tribal belt and the tribal peoples various problems.
So, he was only right and it was only natural he thought of writing the article and there was nothing wrong on the face of it. It was the immediate response to the article that was surprising. The Congress party was not accustomed to such expression of opinions, differing opinions, in the public foray.
So, an immediate rebuttal of sorts came out from the other office bearers of the party and that was about the need for the General Secretary not to open his mouth outside the party forums.
Where are the party forums?
The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest policy making and debating forum never for once met and discussed anything like a policy towards the Maoists threat, which in the opinion of the Prime Minister, is the greatest internal threat to the Indian polity. The larger All India Congress Committee (AIC) did set up a task force way back in 2004 but nobody knows whether the AICC published any report or debated the report or the issue.
It is no open secret in the party, the party never discusses any such basic issues for the party of the government, and there is no such tradition lately. So, what we have are intrigues of various sorts, coteries of various individuals and that is why the current even the moderate tone of Digvijay Singh is taken as an offence!
Now, the Maoists are here with us and any further delay in openly discussing the problems would prove to be too costly.
As per statistic, the situation has grown from year to year and today the Maoists are spread, from Dantewada after the Rajdhani Express was stopped near Midnapur and also after the “victory” in Lalgarh. Now, Mamata Banerjee says there is no Maoist threat in West Bengal!
The current Maoists are two parties merged into one. The Peoples War Group (PWG) and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) came together to form the CPI (Maoist).The death toll from Maoist violence is steadily increasing. 566 deaths in 2004,677 in 2005,678 in 2006,696 in 2007,721 in 2008 and 908 in 2009.
They are now spread from Nepal through Bihar to Dandakaranya where Dantewada is located.
Now, the tribals, advasis, have many problems.
Many steps that were taken to advance their welfare are not implemented as they should have been.
STs, as they are termed as the largest segment among other segments like OBCs and SCs and they are the largest percentage 47 per cent below poverty line.
The STs were entitled to their traditional homes, traditional land right and their forest produce.
In each and every step, from land acquisition for mineral exploration and other minerals based industries, some of the largest industries and companies, from foreign MNCs to Indian ones, from Posco to Tatas and Vedanta have set up shop and they are succeeding through various ways.
We had mentioned last month’s pointed out by B.G.Verghese, the veteran journalist, the how following the Supreme Court directions and other guidelines and agreements and negotiations, through the state and central government agencies, there are now genuine safeguards.
The investing companies has set apart core funds as a safety net, investments in education schools, health centers, hospitals and roads, water, power and rehabilitation is a serious commitment for these companies and by all accounts there are real problems.
But there are also serious failures.
Such a situation, such failures have only obviously contributed to the current violence and the seeming success of the Maoists.
But then, as pointed out by Digvijay Singh in his article the Maoists are not paragons of any high virtues, Singh says how the mining operations, forest contractors and other engaged in the tribal belt have their ways by paying off the Maoists who turn a blind eye for such exploiters! Even the sitting MP from Jagdalpur, a BJP veteran, bought off the Maoists! The Maoists supported him. Another BJP leader in Rajnandgaon District brokered a deal and yet he couldn’t pay off and so was killed!
So, there is politics here.
Politics of the worst kind!
This, everyone knows, the intellectuals, the right activists, the Arundathi Roys and Maheswata Devis!
So too the Central and the state governments!
Yet, as a governance agency, the Centre and, particularly, the state have to maintain law and order.
Digvijay Singh would have lots of support for the view that in the current scenario, existing in the Maoist belt, in West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and MP, India needs a broad based strategy.
Digvijay Singh’s positive suggestions for raising a separate battalion with the local tribals learn from AP how they contained the Maoists etc.
It is only when Singh seriously attacked P.Chidambaram for his arrogance and for his “I know all” attitude, Singh earned the wrath of the Sonia coterie!
But then, if PC is so sure of his strategy, then, his strategy proved a fiasco! And so no one can call his bluff?
Let us be all modest. There is no place for personal ago centric policies! That is Singh’s message. Let us take it in the right spirit!
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