It is amazing. And it can happen only in a free democracy that India is. A whole lot of so-called socialites, opinion-makers and journalists coming on TV and writing in newspapers defending, supporting and promoting violence by Naxalites! Are they enemies of the nation, why should our Army and Air Force be launched against them? they ask. As if Naxals have a licence to kill. Their macabre blood-letting has the holy veil of ideology. To our mind they are barbarians, inhuman savages, threatening all tenets of civil society.
The Naxalites themselves have declared a ‘war on the state’. They attack and kill legitimate citizens of this country. As a state committed to protecting all its citizens, the state is duty bound to use all means available to it to carry out this duty. If their logic was extended, then ‘Khalistan’ would have been a reality today and so would have been an ‘independent Kashmir’.
Social parasites who thrive on newspaper headlines and chat shows shed crocodile tears on the plight of the deprived. But they are the first to cry foul when any development project is launched, whether it is bauxite mining or a multi-purpose dam. These are the people who want to keep the Vanvasis and the poor as showcase pieces, as in a zoo for periodic recreation trips. It is interesting that all these people who claim to speak up for the poor live in the thick of luxuries, enjoying all modern amenities possible and thriving on the fancy products of the development they scorn. They are the ones who use poverty as a way to get even richer.
Vanvasis are not people from another planet. They are very much part of this milieu of the population, who desire drinking water from taps and electric light from bulbs. To canvass for their ‘enclosure’ in the name of protecting their identity is to deny them their opportunity to move with times.
The Naxalites, who maim and kill people in the name of class war, are exploiting these natives. Stories on recruitment of girls into the ranks for carnal comfort of the cadres and for doing menial jobs do not hit the headlines of mainstream papers, nor do the charming TV anchors run a debate on the issue.
On the political side, the Left finds itself in an unenviable position of having to denounce the Frankenstein it created. For decades now, the Leftists have used the Naxalites in elections, romanticised them in theatres and films and have behaved as their upfront office. Now that the monster they created wants to eat them up, the Leftists have jumped to the other side of the table.
When Salwa Judum was launched in Chhattisgarh, the people in the region welcomed it because it offered an organised opposition to the Naxalites who till then had a clear field for hit and run. But the so-called intellectuals and public (read visible) personalities vociferously opposed it, accusing the government of dividing the Vanvasi communities, pitting them one against another. The logic is not clear. If Naxalites mobilise Vanvasis against the state, it is acceptable, but if the state mobilises people against Naxalites, it becomes human rights violation!
The growing threat from Naxalites is real. Not only because they are standing in the way of development and are attempting to mislead the people, but also because they are increasingly getting funds and arms from abroad, not to mention training. It needs no great IQ to guess which nation or nations are doing this. The need now is to send a strong message to the armed killers, hiding behind a failed ideology, that they would not get away with stopping the trains and waylaying and blowing up trucks carrying security personnel. The government needs to let them know that our patience has run out.