At last, the Orissa police has launched an all-out war against the marauding Maoists. This follows the bloody Maoist attack on three police stations, two armouries, a police training school and a police outpost in Nayagarh last week when they looted arms and killed 14 policemen and one civilian.
This was not the first such attack by the Maoists. So a befitting retaliation was long overdue. The leadership of the security forces in the state has vowed to give back the Maoists in the same coin. It is not possible in a decent, civilised democracy, to match the rogue, beastly Maoists in blood-thirsty brutality.
The best the state can do is to fight them to the finish, flush out these enemies of the nation from their rat holes and put them to trial for sedition, murder, loot and mayhem.
The Indian state has for long been coy about fighting the Maoist menace. Their strength is hugely exaggerated by the media and complimented by sympathetic sections in the bureaucracy and civil society. There is no dearth of Maoist cohorts masquerading as civil rights activists and journalists. Their inhuman brutality and barbaric passion for loot have long been given the veil of political ideology. An economic reason was added to this weird definition blaming the authorities for exploitation of tribal areas and lack of development. But in all areas where the Maoists found a foothold they stood in the way of development.
They systematically stop electricity, water supply and education reaching the tribal population. Their so-called hold on the tribal belt is limited more so because they keep the helpless illiterate villagers in captivity, using inhuman methods like chopping off their limbs and maiming those who fail to dance to their tune. The Maoists by all accounts have proved to be the biggest exploiters of the people who fell into their net.
In democracy any grievance can be redressed through dialogue or the ballot. The Maoists do not believe in the power of the ballot. They want to satiate their greed for power by shifting the goal post to their convenience and by taking power by the back door. India has suffered the maximum Maoist violence under the UPA. The well entrenched Left, the Marxists in particular, are sympathetic?they take it as a division of labour. The CPI(M) faith in the constitutional process is equally superficial and the Maoist violence so far has not been recognised as a threat to the country'ssovereignty. These people owe their allegiance to hostile foreign powers. They get funds and ammunition from countries wanting to subvert Indian independence. They are working for the last many years in tandem with the jehadis and in some places even liaise with Christian evangelists active in Vanvasi areas.
In spite of all this they are mainly confined to the Vanvasi belt between Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. They attack like dacoits in one state and cross over to the other state all within the Dandakaranya belt. Beyond this area their striking power is limited. That is why the super cop KPS Gill recently said the Maoists can be eliminated within a month if there was political will. It is lacking. In many states, the Congress has a cozy entente with these murderers and benefit politically.
In a recent by-poll in Dantewada in Chhattisgarh where 82 per cent people voted despite a Maoist boycott call and the BJP handsomely won it was effectively proved that the Salwa Judum, a socio-political movement to expose the Maoists has been largely successful. Such armed people'smovement is needed in all these states. It will give a big boost to the efforts of security forces in fighting the enemies of the country. Maoists like terrorists cannot be isolated and fought without local support. That is why the Maoist and terrorist fellow travellers always take a stand against Salwa Judum and such people'spatriotic initiatives arguing that it is the job of the security forces to fight terror. Chhattisgarh or Jharkhand police has not so far demonstrated the same kind of determination to fight the Maoists as Orissa. It is a mission worth emulating.