Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stained with Blood - The Red Corridor

Maoists brutally kill 75 soldiers in Chhattisgarh. Kanu Sanyal commits suicide.

The naxal menace has once again emerged as the most pressing issue in national media and politics. No one, myself included, in their right senses can support the Naxals for launching a war against their own country. But a lethal offensive by armed forces, either of the state or the Center, alone may not be sufficient to solve this crisis.

40 years after Naxalbari, adivasis and other down-trodden masses are still taking up arms. Why? The Home Minister claims the Maoists are terrorizing the villagers to take up arms. That may be true when applied to a small percent. But thousands and thousands of people? Spread over 16 states?

Politics and development are the twin centers of this deadly movement. Only after that would come the threat of weapons and ideology to force or lure people into armed revolution. The establishment succeeded in killing Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal. And what happened? Kishanji and Khobad Ghandy came up. If they are killed, others will take their place.

At present a massive re-distribution of wealth from the poor to the rich is taking place in the country. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Unless the economic issues are resolved and development reaches the lowest strata of society and the poorest of the tribals and adivasis are empowered politically the Maoist menace won’t end. Ministers and bureaucrats sitting in AC offices in metros please sit up and take note. In the not distant future Maoist guerrillas will come out of the forests and engage in urban warfare. And then the cost this country will pay for ignoring the oppressed voices – might just be too much to recover from.