A grand reconciliation strategy is called for!
Prime Minister must hold dialogue with intellectuals and human right activists
In two years some 21 massacres!
Of innocent, unarmed civilians most of the victims!
Even the CRPF jawans innocent only!
Home Minister says only limited mandate
There is a serious rage and debate!
Sonia Gandhi writes an editorial in the party organ
The intellectuals and human rights activists take a line
What is the government’s collective thinking and response?
The Maoists over the past two years alone has started doing much damage to the many assumptions of a civil government. The latest, coming so soon after the Dantawade massacre of 76 jawans and the current one in which most of the deaths are those of civilians and even women and youngsters, all raise serious questions of ideologies, government policies and given the silence on the part of the government, the PM has no response, either in terms of actions or in terms of any ideological or policy articulations raises a host of issues.
The latest killings, as the home Secretary has observed as well as others including the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Dr.Raman Singh said, shows the Maoists are not only desperate and also are resorting to indiscriminate killings of innocent people too.
As for the Home Minister he seems to have entered into a new phase of hesitation and doubt about his strategy so far and now takes a rather cryptic or confused state of mind. He simply confesses that he has a “limited mandate” to tackle Naxals. What does this statement mean?
It means that his so-far pursued policy of chase and kill, a law and order approach has not obviously succeeded.
This is not a law and order problems. Nor is this like a “Jalianwallabagh” type simple and indiscriminate firing on the Maoists who are mostly adivasis and also misguided educated youth as well.
They, the Maoists seem to believe that the established state, a democratically elected and legitimately constituted government can be over turned by violence and indiscriminate killings of civilian population.
How long they the Maoists would carry on? Perhaps, as long as they have the means.
As they did in Nepal? But then Nepal is not India. India is a huge country and India is an open society, it is a society where legitimate grievances, even the perceived ideologically inequitable and exploitative features too can be rectified by legitimate means.
Another aspect is the foreign hand. Is the neighbouring unfriendly country or countries helping the Maoists? That is a question needs to be addressed.
Now, the thinking at some sections including in the very Congress party itself is opposed to P.Chidambaram’s approach. Now, Sonia Gandhi too seems to have differed from the Home Minister’s approach as seen from her latest writing in the party organ, Congress Sandesh. If that is so, she must have surely consulted the Prime Minister and the PM might have simply fallen in line with the Party President whose goodwill only keeps the PM going in his chair.
And also there is the neutral ground, namely, the intellectuals and human rights activists.
It is advisable for the government to directly engage with them.
There are some recent examples of out of the way reconciliation process.
As one has pointed out that in the USA, President Obama who used an impolite word against a white police officer when he behaved disrespectfully towards a black Harvard university professor, the President simply called the white officer and made him sit with him and the professor and sought to mollify the ruffled feelings of the police officer.
This, the President of the USA did. So, why not the mighty Indian state as represented by the Prime Minister.
In the UK, when the former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown used an impolite word against a humble lady (he called her in the heat of an argument or moment as “bigot”, the whole world heard that word. The UK saw it as a blunder on the part of the Prime Minister. So, again in the open view of the whole world the UK PM travelled to the humble lady’s dwelling and sought her pardon!
So, asks this columnist: why not something likes a grand reconciliation, even a public apology for the atrocities committed by the state, if it is really the wound that needs such soothing touch, who knows, it is when a leader is truly a leader and a great force such gestures are possible.
A Mahatma Gandhi would have attempted such a grand gesture. In one’s intuitive wisdom only such healing touch is possible. We don’t say this should be the only way or this should be done by the Prime Minister or others.
But it looks some sort of reconciliation process is called for.
As it is there is a gapping void in the relationships with the Maoists cadre and even within the country itself.
One is not and can’t be simply dogmatic or “intellectually arrogant” as Digvijay Singh described PC’s limitations as a minister.
Who know that men like Digvijay Singh and even among the Chief Ministers of the relevant states might come out with some new inputs and insights?
All we would say here is to see that the Maoists are taken seriously. Their blind approach might not stop at once. But they have to be stopped in their strides.
The intellectuals, the Maheswatha Devis and others, let them appraise the government; let their intellectual wisdom bear on the healing process.
As everyone says, after all the Maoists are the sons and daughters of the soil only. The country wants them to prosper and integrate.
Even raising separate battalions of adivasis, as suggested by Digvijay Singh, is a one more good idea.
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