Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Naxals or HAVENOTS?

"Naxal menace"? Is TOI editorializing or is it reporting the facts? Is TOI an unwitting mouthpiece of the Indian government? Watch your words, TOI or you will find yourself becoming an arm of the government. Your professional responsibility is to engage in critical thinking to collect and disseminate information on behalf of the diverse Indian Polity.

Of course I am not supporting acts of terror against civilian populations by other civilian groups and individuals. Violence against civilians and destruction of public property, and even violence against the nation-state is never an efficient and productive answer.

The hard evidence is that so-called Naxals, Maoists, etc. are drawn from India's desperately disadvantaged HAVENOTS. Their handlers may have political party affiliation and are exploiting the havenots for their own narrow political gain, by promising and not delivering on basic needs which are HUMAN RIGHTS. However, the rank and file in Lalgarh, Chattisgarh and other areas, are HAVENOTS. So let us call them what they are -- HAVENOTS.

Let Manmohan, Pranab, Chidambaram and crew provide SOCIAL JUSTICE FIRST and We The People of India will have less DOMESTIC TERROR.

Cross-border terror in the form of jihadist and separationist activities causing public terror, (again exploited by handlers in the form of clerics and politicians), is also caused mainly by havenots of Pakistan, Bangladesh Afghanistan, respectively. Similar conditions exists in Nepal and Sri Lanka.

SOCIAL JUSTICE through food security, healthcare, education, land equity, employment etc. is key to dismantling terror in South Asia.

India's burgeoning MIDDLE CLASS is largely apathetic towards the Havenots. Middle Class APATHY is Indian Democracys' greatest impediment. Our middle class, instead of being apathetic and contributing to official corruption and injustice, should butt-kick the Govt. into implementing social justice projects ASAP, immediately, pronto. It is the middle class, heavily subsidized by the Govt, that is the only social stratum that has the resources to deliver the butt-kick to the collusional Government ass.
India's middle class is part of the PROBLEM, NOT part of the SOLUTION. That must change now, in order to circumvent, outmaneuver and dismantle domestic terror. Ethical Democracy through Social Justice.
16 Jul, 2009 l 0354hrs IS
Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice
City University of New York
TOI copyright
We underestimated Naxals: Chidambaram
TNN 16 July 2009, 09:11am IST

NEW DELHI: Home minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday forthrightly admitted that the naxal menace had been underestimated for several years by allowing Left wing extremists to spread their wings even as he promised that the battle against Maoist ultras would be joined in full earnest.

Replying to questions in Rajya Sabha, with the massacre of 30 cops in Chhattisgarh's Rajnandgaon district providing the latest reminder of the firepower amassed by the Maoists, Chidambaram told the House, "Regrettably, for many years, we did not assess the LWE challenge correctly. I think we underestimated the challenge."

Indicating that it will now require sustained efforts to contain the Maoists, the minister said, "Left wing extremists have extended their areas of influence. They have entrenched themselves. Today they pose a grave challenge to the state." The message was clear enough: a massive overhaul of planning and coordination, alongwith arming and training of specialised forces would be required to take on the Red ultras.

Even though his junior colleague Ajay Maken in a Parliament reply dismissed "liberated zones" carved out by Naxals as baseless propaganda, Chidambaram did not mince words. His grim assessment is borne out by latest statistics that Naxal incidents this year are more than those of terrorist violence in J&K and northeast put together. While Naxal affected states reported 915 incidents, J&K and N-E witnessed 810 incidents till May. Of these, 624 took place in the N-E and 186 in J&K.

The minister, acknowledging the ability of Maoists' to launch military-style attacks and overwhelm police detachments, revealed that the government had appointed a military advisor to help out in operational matters. "Plans are being drawn up in close consultation with state governments... we have also appointed a military advisor (Brigadier D S Dadwal)." The Maoist expertise in executing ambushes and mine blasts has only added to the problems.

Making it clear that cooperation of the states was essential in tackling Naxals, the home minister said he was in close touch with chief ministers of LWE-affected states and was looking forward to a meeting with them in August. State-level plans were being drawn so that they could be integrated with the Centre's, he added.

Brigadier Dadwal, a senior Army officer who was serving as deputy GOC with the 11 infantry division, will be responsible for coordination of police forces. He was appointed in February mainly for advising security agencies on specialised training but is also expected to help out in operational procedures. The manner in which police parties are being repeatedly targetted in ambushes makes it necessary to constantly assess and improve tactics.

The movement of visible forces along roads makes them a target and while there are operating codes, they are not dynamic enough while a militant outrage needs speedy, and possibly unconventional, responses. V K Choubey, the SP-level officer who died in the Mandawa attack, was a veteran and had survived two previous assaults. A closer examination of events was needed before it could be concluded that an experienced officer had ignored safety procedures.

The poor maintenance of police stations, lax training and low motivation have led to police in several states simply not challenging the ultras. In Orissa and Jharkhand, the state is seen to have retreated while Chhattisgarh has expressed the resolve, it has not implemented it in a focused manner.

When asked by CPI leader D Raja about the status of Salwa Judum (anti-Naxal people's movement) in Chhattisgarh, Chidambaram said, "We are not in favour of non-state players taking on extremists. That could be a political party... that could be Salwa Judum or any other organisation. We are for states dealing with Left-wing extremists."

On BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu's remarks that Salwa Judum movement was headed by the leader of Opposition in the Chhattisgarh assembly who is from the Congress, Chidambaram said he was in close contact with chief minister Raman Singh. The CM has "more or less accepted my line", Chidambaram told Naidu.

During his reply, the home minister also took on the Left Front government in West Bengal on a different ground - of poor handling of development demands that helped provide recruits to the LWE and resulted in incidents like Lalgarh. Claiming that alienation of sections of people was a factor in the rise of left wing extremism, he said, "A recent example of this is Lalgarh incident. Frustration and alienation builds up when state governments neglect development needs."