Saturday, April 10, 2010


The ruthless killing of the CRPF jawans by the Maoists in Jharkand have caused great sorrow in the country. While the Union Home Minister says that the Maoists will be wiped out in three years and media is clamouring for strong action to defeat the Maoists, there is also widespread apprehension amongst the people as to whether the government can do this.

The fact that cannot be ignored is that the Maoists have some sort of support amongst the local population in the areas where they have entrenched themselves. The local population in these regions are impoverished lot and have been taken for granted by the politicians , government machinery and the business houses. These poor people have been exploited in variety of ways and feel helpless and angry. Their mood is such that they would support anyone who would promise to improve their living conditions by whatever means.

Perhaps, most of these people think that the government is the villain and the politicians and police men and bureaucrats are seen as representatives of the government and therefore are equally hated. Under the circumstances, it would not be possible for the government to defeat the Maoists without the government getting closer to the local population and winning their trust and confidence.

The government has, no doubt announced number of well meaning welfare schemes to improve the living conditions of the poor people including educational and medical facilities etc. However, the ground reality is that while such schemes are discussed with great fanfare in the media and the conference halls in star hotels, very little benefits really reach the poor people. Most of the funds allotted for the welfare schemes are siphoned away by the politicians, bureaucrats and the government officials at various levels as well as the contractors. The level of corruption amongst these sections including the contractors is so high that with every governmental welfare schemes and fund allotment , the politicians and government officials at various levels become richer with the poor people remaining without any change in their conditions.

With such prevalence of corruption, the Home Minister of Government of India sitting in Delhi and the Chief Ministers in the affected states are only talking in vacuum, when they lecture about solving the Maoist problem. It is high time that we should recognize that the corrupt politicians and government officials are the cause for rising of the Maoist movement and the Maoists cannot be defeated without eliminating this cause. Obviously, these corrupt elements should be defeated and thrown away which is a pre condition for throwing out the Maoists.

The media , which is increasingly coming under the control of the business houses and are no more representative of the people’s thoughts and preferences particularly that of the poor people, is criticizing the NGOs for asking the government to speak to the Maoists and convince them about the well meaning attitude of the government , instead of approaching them with a war like attitude.

The NGOs who understand that the Maoists have gained strength only due to the frustration of the poor people and characterlessness of the governmental agencies and the politicians who deal with such poor people, are being painted by the media and the government as sympathizers of Maoists which is not true.

The government should improve its image , get rid of corrupt elements and identify people who are honest and who can win the confidence of the poor people for dealing with the issue. The bullet cannot be the ultimate answer for the problems caused due to disparity in the national income and denial of opportunities to the poor and downtrodden.

Article by:
N S Venkataraman

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