Sunday, August 27, 2006

Banning is no panacea

Following the killing of 24 CRPF personals in the landmine blast, the Chhattisgarh government has brought an ordinance to ban the naxal outfits operating in the state. By doing so Chhattisgarh became the second state after Andhra Pradesh to ban naxal outfits in the country.

A critical question which needs to be addressed is whether banning the right step in the right direction? An eye for an aye and a tooth for a tooth is an easy game, a game in which no one wins. By imposing the ban the state has made the naxal problem a much bigger issue, it has ruined any chance of resolving the age old problem through talks. Prohibiting naxalsim would further aggravate the problem; growing resentment will force them to adopt more desperate measures, which in no way would solve the problem. They have been banned in the past too, but what was the result? Did it solve the problem?

Naxals unlike the Islamic terrorist don’t follow or fight for the purpose of any particular religion. It is totally different from the present Kashmir problem or the former Punjab trouble. It should not be looked as terrorist problem, but as a socio economic problem.

Naxalites are composed primarily of youths, and through them they carry out their operations and activities. Isn’t it important to look into the issue that why the youths, particularly the tribals join naxalites outfit? After all the life of a naxal is not a bed of rose.

The youths seeing no hope of improving socio economic condition are delineated from the mainstream society. They are disenchanted and share a feeling of discontent against the society, a society which is nothing but the creation of the state. A society which has offered them nothing and took many things.

No employment, increasing poverty, government machinery which has failed, failed to deliver even the basic amenities; and machinery in which everything comes for a cost, laws which prohibit them from using their own resources, all these factors have contributed towards changing the mind and transforming a common youth to feared naxalites.

It is a false genereal impression that the illiterate mind of the rural-tribal youth is easily susceptible towards adopting a lifestyle of a naxalites. All naxalites are not illiterate. It has been observed that many of the members of the “Dalam” (a group of naxalites operating in a particular area), are very ably educated, some even have completed their graduation. The core members of the Dalam have been found to highly qualified. Why blame them instead of blaming a system which doesn’t give the opportunity to utilize the education that they have been imparted?

Naxals like any Indian citizen are part of the same country in which we live. They are not foreigners but they too have evolved from the same civilization from which we have evolved. So why view them differently?

The roots of this problem are in the bleak socio-economic conditions of our country, especially the deep rural areas which have been neglected, and have seen either no or very little developmental activity. Development of not only the naxal infested area but the other interior remote part of the country should be given its due attention. Perhaps then only this age old problem will gradually disappear as it once appeared. Till this happens the slogan “Lal Salam” will continue to inspire fear even in the strongest of the hearts.

There is no shortage of Security personnel’s, innocent villagers, and disoriented youth in this huge country, but letting them die for a cause which is not justified, either ethically, morally, politically or economically is not acceptable.


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