Dear Friends ,
Any nation can and will always be prepared for external problems - but it is the internal problems which lets any country down. And in India Naxalism has been one of the administrative nightmares and it needs highest administrative calibre to handle the same. The following article discusses about Naxalism by adopting Gandhian approach.You may have your own views - but this is an add on.
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Wars, it is said, arise in the minds of men and so they should properly be fought there. The same can be said about Naxalism. It too arises in the minds of men and so it should properly be fought there. Instead, we are trying to fight it with brute force, inviting further retaliation. Let us for a moment think how Mahatma Gandhi would have fought it. He fought the might of a colonial empire not with force but the opposite of it. And, here we are fighting our own people with force and having much the worse of it. To say the least our approach is not Gandhian.
Our disastrous experiments with afforestation with the help of eucalyptus every where and with exotic tropical pine in the saal intensive Bastar region tell their own sad tale of indifference to the lot of the forest dweller. He got nothing from these plantations by way of seeds, fruits or leaves towards his sustenance. Eucalyptus soaked up the surrounding moisture and tropical pine proved a dwarf beside the stalwart saal.
Used to deriving their water supply from traditional sources like ponds and rivers, forest people find them polluted due to atrocious mining and manufacturing activities. The waters of Shankhini and Dankini rivers joining together below the highly revered Danteshwari temple in Bastar area's Dantewara district have been unusable ever since the start of the iron ore mining operations. Nobody has a care. All our attention is taken up with fighting Naxalism mindlessly.
At the other extreme, government regularization of encroached forest lands has given rise to new vested interests like earlier commercialisation of timber interests. We are thus creating a situation where we either do not give anything or give it away for private use. Both ways, the common interest is not served and the dependent community is dislodged. The man looking for basic subsistence is uprooted. Where does he go? Therefore if land is at all to be given away to encroachers in forest lands, it may have to be outside forest areas, otherwise we are establishing a self-defeating wrong trend.
Subsequently trouble makers, criminals and commercial interests have jumped into the fray and taken short-term advantage of a bad situation. They find it a fertile ground. Over the years they have learnt to encash and exploit their nuisance value. They are even levying protection money and overrunning police stations. Look at Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Their nuisance value is acquiring an independent life as another vested interest. For the administration on the ground level matters are getting so mixed up that it is hard to distinguish genuine unrest from a created one. How do we tackle this situation?
To my mind, we have to begin at the beginning. As the seed of Naxalism takes root in the minds of men, so the battle against it should also primarily be fought and won in the hearts and minds of men. The task is of managing and assisting a society in transition in a fast commercializing world. We have a society faced with abrupt and sudden transformation and a crisis of confidence. That is why our Prime Minister does not see them basically as terrorists. Isn't our own right conduct and understanding behaviour then the correct response?