Disbanding Salwa Judum not in public interest
By Surya Narain Saxena
In all humility and due apology I dare say that the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s recent verdict ordering dismantling tribals’ own self-defence movement, with little but much needed aid of the Chhattisgarh State Government, is flawed. The Hon’ble Supreme Court doesn’t seem to have been touched by the massacre of hundreds of dutiful security personnel, poor and unarmed tribal men, women and children, destructions of school and hospital buildings, roads, bridges, post offices and other infrastructure of public good and benefit and inhuman extortions going on for several decades in about one third of country’s 602 districts by the Maoists/Naxalites. To a common man the Hon’ble Supreme Court is the protecting shield of his life, dignity, rights and all that a democratic system of governance has given him and also an instrument of righting the wrongs, when and wherever they occur in the system. One wonders why the same all powerful authority under our Constitution is so lenient to those who don’t believe in freedom, democracy, Constitution, judiciary and civility and are ideologically committed to overthrown the Indian state and capture power by preaching and practicing bloody revolution.
First, allowing bail to a hard core terrorist backer Binayak Sen and soon demolishing a peoples’ anti-terror, self-defence force Salwa Judam and its SPO’s. Their Lordships haven’t yet fathomed the magnitude of the threat and menace, that Maoism is. They realise its gravity only when the Maoists start exploding IEDs and the courts in any part or parts of the country, which undoubtedly they are capable of.
A battle unfinished
Anyway all is not yet lost. As they say ‘a battle is lost only when the last ship sinks’. And the last ship of Chhattisgarh State Government, a revision petition in Supreme Court against this verdict, is still afloat and they should use the option with full force and determination. Reversion of their own verdict by the Supreme Court, though rare, is neither unheard of nor without precedent in country’s legal history. Legal practitioners know better. Win or loose, the BJP Government of Chhattisgarh would be setting an shining example that despite Centre’s kid glove and directionless policy in dealing with Maoist threat to nation’s security and whole hog anti campaign by the vanishing tribe of Left liberals – Indian and foreign – against the tribal’s own Salwa Judum movement, there are people who are determined to fight to the last on all fronts.
What is to be pressed in the Hon’ble Supreme Court is that what is known as ‘community policing’ meaning having citizens’ own security guards in homes, shops, mohallahs. colonies, bazaars, offices, factories, banks and the like even after the existence and lawful protection by the mighty police force everywhere, is a system, say an institution, in vogue throughout the country and the world. The private security guards, are also equipped with licenced fire arms/guns, when and where required. On this analogy why should the SPOs in the forests of Chhattisgarh employed for the protection and safety of the peaceful tribals be viewed against law. While a gun licenced by a competent authority in the hand of a security guard say in my residential colony is permitted and lawful and a gun sanctioned and supplied by a competent authority a State government, be treated unlawful and banned. Moreover, does the judiciary want the poor tribals to resist the Maoist marauders armed to the teeth with most sophisticated weapons, with lathis only and in turn be brutally killed or alternatively be a bit armed and alert to defend themselves and also serve the State authorities as their eyes and ears to some extent.
However, rendering over 5,000 SPOs jobless will be troublesome to the state administration and Dr Raman Singh government, while fighting the legal battle stoutly, they should and I believe they would provide alternate employment to the demobbed lot in the State police force or as homeguards.
A clear cut agenda
Some ideologues blame the massive expansion of Maoist rebellion on the economic new liberalism, that has created more rich and at the same time more poor, in Manmohan Singh led UPA-I and UPA-II Governments. This assumption is flawed since Maoism under different names like Naxalites and Peoples War Group had established itself in various parts, especially east and south of the country decades earlier than the advent of economic liberalisation. Merger of such Red radical groups and formation of CPM (Maoist) with clear cut policy and objectives of capturing political power by means of armed revolution – bullet and not ballot – should leave no doubt in anybody’s mind including judiciary’s that the Maoists want to rule the country and development or removal of poverty is nowhere on their agenda. In Maoist rule there shall be no courts. Lower or higher, like the present, but only Kangaroo Courts.