Maoist Menace in India and Aamjunta

The recent kidnap and hostage drama of the district collector of Malkangiri (Odisha), Er. R. Vineel Krishna and Jr. Engineer Pabitra Majhi has once again opened the Pandora’s box of democracy and governance in India. It is unfortunate that the Maoists had targeted Er. Krishna who has been working effectively and honestly for the Tribals of Malkangiri and that to, after the inauguration of electricity connection to a village after 63 years of India’s independence. On a serious note, this incident once again has proved the lack of coordination between the police and the civil administration. However, on a positive note, the kidnap drama has initiated food for thought among the Tribals for whom the Maosits are working (claiming!), the Politicians – both at the Center and at the States, the Government machinery, the Intellectuals – both anti-Maoists and the sympathizers, and the aamjunta like you and me. If some one carefully observes the reaction of people of Odisha and that of the people of Malkangiri in particular, then certainly one can understand the concern, love and respect of the people for the Collector who has been working selflessly there. In addition, it has increased the frustration of the people against Maoists and their day-to-day interference on public life – by killing, blocking roads, kidnapping and using tactic of bomb-blasts. Overall, the episode of 9-days rather seems to be a positive development. Moreover, it is a learning experience for the Government, corrupt Politicians, Maoists and the Intellectuals.

Killing and kidnapping by the Maoists is not new. They have done this before during their Nayagarh (Odisha) attack in the fateful night of 15th Feb 2008 and other instances. They took the entire town by surprise and nearby villages in their captive for hours, killing policemen mercilessly. Their action on that fateful night and the killing at Nayagarh, Nuagaon and Dasapalla on their way to Phulbani jungles is very much similar to that of Talibans in Afganistan during their march towards Kabul in late 1990s and early 2000. This is just barbaric; no one can justify this kind of barbaric activities. Who gave them the rights to kill innocent people just because they supported the system in place? Interestingly, their leader Mr. Sabysachi Panda under whose leadership Nayagarh attack was hatched, was a local BJD leader before joining Maoists. His father Mr. Ramesh Panda was a long time MLA of Ranpur in Nayagarh. With this kind of background if he does not feel to be a part of the system, then there are many other ways in which he can take part and motivate the people for their rights. Taking the Maoist ideology is not at all the right way. He should have taken a positive clue from the Praja Andolan of Ranpur (to which he belongs) during the independence struggle of India.

Not only Nayagarh or Malkangiri, Maoists are very active in various parts of other states like Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh. The numerous killings at Dantewada or the land mine attack on Chandrababu Naidu’s convoy, or the sabotage of train lines leading to numerous accidents or kidnapping police men, doctors, engineers can never justify their means of struggle.

On an ideological view, the socialistic aim of the Maoisim or Naxalism might be right, but the means of their struggle cannot be justified. Violence, killing people – be the policemen or the aamjunta, just to show strength, calling frequent bandhs and stopping the development activities in the tribal areas cannot be justified as right paths to achieve a socialistic society. These only delay the development process ! Moreover, the Maoists have failed to notice some of the substantial work undertaken for the upliftment of the tribals by some honest men of the land.

Violence alone can never solve their issue; history has proved again and again – in Arab, in Sri Lanka, in Libya, in Myanmar and in many parts of India too. Contrary to that, peaceful struggle with human base and mass agitation can definitely uproot the corrupt government and the officials. It has happened in India in 1947, in Bangladesh in 1971, in South Africa in 1990s and very recently, in Egypt. However, peaceful struggle does not mean to keep silent all the time and to be a silent spectator to all misdeeds of the government; it should be a strong and honest opposition with human base. One has to remember that if the common man can make the government, then it can definitely throw the government out of power.

If development of people is the core issue of Maoist movement, then we need to look at it from all angles – from the Government’s angle, from the NGOs’ perspective and from the people’s view. One will not disagree to the fact that most of the regions where Maoists are active are mostly undeveloped – no road, no education, no sanitation, no electricity and no development for the last 60 years. But, who is responsible for this?….. Only the Government and babus? How can you discount the indifference of the aamjunta of those regions for decades? And how can you discount the politicians of those regions and let them go scot-free for ages? Are not they accountable? Of course, they are… Then why are we silent on that? Moreover, it is not that funds have not been sanctioned for development, rather sanctioned funds have been siphoned to foreign banks, luxury estates, villas and flats in cities. A very small fraction of the sanctioned amount actually reaches there, and some times money also returns without being duly spent.

In addition to funds, Government also encourages its employees by giving extra remuneration for working in those remote areas. But how many of them have worked and how many of them are working? Most of them never go there; the teachers, the doctors, the engineers and even the VC of the Central University works from Bhubaneswar (citing an example in Odisha). All of these are open secrets. It is a collective failure of aamjunta and a conspiracy or callousness of corrupt babus, politicians and greedy middle-men.

It is late, but better late than never. The development programmes have started as evident from the trips of Collector Er. Krishna. Most of the development programmes are directly monitored by officials, the political leadership has realized its mistake and aamjunta of those regions are vigilant. Then why anymore the killing and kidnapping drama? Let every one fight for the common goal – development and continuous development. Let the law of the country takes its own stand – to punish or to reward; we can definitely be a part of the system and expedite the development process. If the babus and politicians are corrupt, then we should be blamed first; we only made them corrupt for our “chalta hai” attitude. Can we stop bribing, start using RTIs, file PILs and keep an eye on our development programmes? Every one should be answerable, and we need to change the method of our opposition and struggle.

The other major change required in this area is the communication of this part with the rest of the world. Other things will come automatically – be that education, sanitation or electricity. Road blocking, bandhs and life-threats will only delay the development process. There is a need for drastic change in the education system in those areas. Remember – education can bring all changes in life as in Chanakya’s era or in Bangabandhu’s era or in Mahatma’s era; history repeats every time.

In addition to all these, there is a strong need of robust reformations in the State defense mechanisms of the Maoist-hit regions. Policemen should also be very well-equipped with modern arms and ammunitions, technology and information system; not with out-dated guns or batons  only as seen in many parts of this region (note: Most of the policemen posted in Maoist regions even do not always keep arms and ammunition with them, and they are advised informally to keep safe of their own.). Medics and para-medics must reach them promptly. Good rewards, citations and recognitions at public ceremonies must be duly commissioned as a salutation of their acts of bravery and priceless sacrifices in protecting the lives of the aamjunta.

As for the surrendered-Maoists, proper rehabilitation centers must be set-up and the State must find suitable employment for them.

The media and the aamjunta have very crucial roles to play in the system, right from creating social awareness and motivating people to guard against an otherwise corrupt and ungrateful system.

Very sensibly and collectively, let us stop politicians, bureaucrats, miscreants, middle-men and goons from hijacking the entire development programme of the land. At this stage, our internal malices, stigmas, and huge corruption with the public funds are menacingly large to enable us to stand as an united India against any external aggression/threat, or to take further leaps towards even pursuing a world-class economy. Its high time for all of us to act in a matured manner… There’s absolutely no more space left for any dilly-dally! Unless we realize and take care of ourselves, no one can do any thing for us. It is an wakeup call for the aamjunta and then the rest.

Jai Hind!

Note: For the benefit/reference of interested readers, this article is a sequel to “Odisha Assam me Hai na!“, an article published by aamjunta.

12 Responses

  1. Fight between the Maoists and the Police is not new. it is an age old practice of both. The problem now the states are facing is due to the arms the have – mostly received from foreign countries. Tackling this is a headache of the government. Then what is the solution? Loss of life is the only result we are witnessing at this moment!

  2. Prime Minister Mr.Manmohan Singh had stated that Naxal terror is the severest of all internal threats to the country ! But whether J&K-1989 or Kandahar-1999 or Malkangiri-2011, where do we see a cohesive national security strategy ?

    Whenever there is a hostage crisis, the State succumbs to the wish-list of the terror groups and releases dreaded militants or terror detainees. The State buys temporary peace and at the expense of priceless lives sacrificed by the Defense/Police forces in once capturing those militants. These released terror detainees then unleash deadlier attacks on the State. This kind of episode keeps repeating…

    After Kandahar, the Centre amended the Anti-Hijacking Act of 1982. It proposes no negotiations, to treat hijacking as an act of aggression, to shoot down hostile plane if evidence emerges that it would be used as a missile, etc. There is no dearth of policies. But as many senior Intelligence Officers have mentioned – the State miserably “lacks in implementation” of the same.

    So, there is also the need for defining all hostage crises as a federal crime, training officers to handle hostage negotiations and a leadership that would allow the Security Forces to implement the rule of law.

  3. Thanks Anoop and Ryka.

    @Anoop : Yes, the fighting is on and today only we lost 3 policemen in Jharkhand. Only God can stop this kind of killing.

    @Ryka : Hostage drama is always person specific, different for Mufti’s daughter and different for Krishna. It is the power game and weight that rules 😦

  4. +, More than the maoists, I feel the poor governance and the scams are more dangerous in Modern India. Not a single day you will be spared!

  5. This kind of educational drive (if truly implemented) will not only fill the general gap in our education system but also be a fundamental key to tackling Maoist issues or menace in regard to a long-term solution !

  6. Well read, quite insightful. Without industrialization, we cannot rise, but industrialization should not kill the agriculture completely. A balance is required; not in the way our politicians are opposing and supporting. Odisha is always sidelined in the national politics. May be we all Odias should educate our friends and colleagues more about Odisha and take the pride to other states.

  7. Rightly said aam junta, was looking for some recent developments on maoist movements in India, and directed by google to this. Thanks to google and thank you.

    Actually, for the benefit of the country and for the benefit of the tribals in particular, I think a central anti-maoist force should be formed under the NIA. That can only handle and wipe out the entire maoists from India.

    Surprisingly, Odisha and AP have learnt from their past mistakes and working mostly jointly on this. Do not understand why Chattisgarsh is unable to handle maoists? They had started salwa judam and they well established central force at place. Is there any gap in coordination and intelligence? Dr. Raman Singh must take it seriously and work for a ‘clean up’ drive.

    We al should condemn these barbaric attacks. Other point I wanted to put here is the maoist sympathisers. Strictly speaking, there is no place for the sympathisers of the these kind of maoist movements.

    See, what has happened today in Chhatisgarh. Very very sad. How can they say that they are fighting for the people? They are in fact killing their own people.

  8. Thanks, Sandip for your insightful comment. I agree that Odisha and AP governments are now moving closely hand-in-hand to handle the Maoist issue, especially in the Malkangiri belt. The success they are smelling is only due to the “sustained” efforts by the new Odisha DGP Mr. Prakash Mishra. He is well aware of this situation, a man of iron-hand. Moreover, he is using the ground force along with the air-force backup as and when required. It seems that is the only option left to tackle the Maoists there, as peaceful talks and even social initiatives favouring them are beyond their (Maoists’) comprehension. In my opinion, Chattisgarh government is not utilizing this effectively. One thing I do not understand- why do we have different methods in different states ? We have one problem – ‘Maoists’, there should be only one solution and it should be centralized.

    Coming to the recent attack in Chhatisgarh, I think it is failure of the Intelligence and the casual approach of the leadership there, including the Congress party members. It is really an attack against the democratic set up of India. It should not be tolerated at any cost.

  9. Our President said, the country cannot be intimidated by these barbaric acts of Maoists. But, do not you think we are actually intimidated ? It is happening and will happen again, unless all the states take it seriously. It is a war like situation. Just imagine- a policeman working in these areas carry an age-old gun whereas these Maoists carry advanced arms and ammunition !! How can you match ? It is as if we are fighting with China in 1962. Gone are those days, please wake up.

    An appeal: killing has to be stopped. Else, the land of Subhash should teach a lesson to the internal problem creators !

  10. It goes on, and on, and on………. The Govt. does nothing other than paying once-in-a-while VVIP visits at the cost of the exchequer….. Fed up !!!!

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