Wednesday, April 07, 2010

76 jawan shahid...

"76 jawan shahid" was what the headline of one of the local newspaper screamed and everything else was the same in this part of Chhattisgarh. The life was going on as if nothing had happened.

The local population was more interested in when will the herd of wild elephants that have come to this part of Gharghoda leave and they were more concerned with how much price they will get this year for Mahua produce.

And it was only when my dad messaged me about the ambush and I got calls from my concerned friends that I came to know that not more than 4 hours away from here our security personnel were being culled like a group of birds. And I instantly thought about how many of them will die.

76 is the official figure that has come out from the dense forests of Dantewara. 76 family have lost their close one but lets not get into the emotive aspect. .

Emotions can never be a great ingredient when you are discussing naxalism.

How many of us remember that on 12th July 09, in Rajnandgaon 29 jawans including an ASP died, on 5th March 07, in Rani Bodli 55 Jawans died ? There have so many such attacks. The figures are high, they always are. But like in any other terror attacks, with every passing day, the number starts fading. And finally there are forgotten, until a new set of number crops up.

The recent trend has suggested that the attack on India's effort to tackle naxalism is from two sides. In the first one, arms are used and in the second type of attack, Pens are used.

Pens are used by the naxal sympathizers who are doing their best to put an ideological pressure on the Indian establishment so as to stop the 'excessive use ' of force on our own people ( read naxals) who have taken to killing because the have been exploited by the government machinery.

One perfect example of this 'intellectual pressure' can be seen in one of the recent "collector's issue" of an English weekly, The Outlook. Every page, every word of its cover story that goes by “Walking with the Comrades" emits this smell.

The writer of this cover story has done a brilliant work. She has left no scope for even thinking that the naxals are brutal killers. Infact she has made sure that by the time we turn the last page we too start sympathizing with the comrades. Infact the weak hearted may even start shedding a tear or two.

The term "romanticize" has been aptly displayed in this cover story. Start romanticizing Naxalism or you too are a bloody heartless capitalist bourgeois.

Now I just want to ask this booker award winner intellect author that when will she start on her precarious, dangerous journey of sympathizing with these jawans who too are fighting for their death. Or maybe she is aware of the fact that no one will be interested in the life of a small low ranked jawan. Maybe she is correct and practical, none of the national magazine will make a cover story out of a piece that is based on the life of a CRPF jawan.

Another amazing ability of these intellects is that they have developed a very effective way of going into a shell whenever something that will make them appear like a faceless buffoon happens. Search for them after any such terror incident and they will disappear, only to appear after 10 days, more refreshed than before and with more fire in their belly to support naxalism and show their intellect. "The Intellectuals".

I have started to hate this word so much. And it is just because of people like Arundhati Roy who wear this very type of intellect on their sleeve and express through their pen.

The only positive that has come out after this attack is that both the national parties have reiterated that they are one when it comes to tackling naxalism. And the current Home minister too has started talking tough as can be gauged from his statement that the Indian government in the past has been lousy while dealing with the naxalites.

The use of air force and army is being delayed on the ground that it will be unethical to use our military might against our own people. This argument though doesn’t stand much ground. The army has been used and still being used in Northern and Eastern sector of India and they have been successfully able to control the local form of terrorism.

The reach of naxals has penetrated every sphere of social life. There are numerous illutrations of this. In Chhattisgarh , the naxalites annual income in expected to be 1000 crores, chiefly though extortion from local traders.

According to forest officers with whom I have been interacting ever since I came here, the naxalites along with the ever present politicians are equally responsible for the lack of development of this newly born state.

It has become very difficult to carry out developmental activities in the interior parts of the state because of the naxal terror and because of this very terror the government is not able to extend its activities into the remote areas, thus providing for a fertile fodder ground for naxals to recruit and expand. It is kind of a circle.

“Operation Greenhunt” has taken a long time to materialize; maybe we are two three years late. But now when it has begun it should only stop when it has completely wiped out this gravest internal threat to Indian security.The fact is that naxalism needs to be eradicated at all cost and I hope Chidambaram and Company will make this sure.

Till then keep praying that you are not affected by the intellects like Roy who say that killing of these jawans is a legitimate act on the part of the naxals so as to defy the rule of Indian government. Maybe she has taken a cue from the history when a dude called Gandhi defied Britishers by using non-violent methods. This lady sure has a wild stretch of imagination

And in between all this, life goes on in Gharghoda, like it is going on in Delhi,Patna or Mumbai.

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