Naxalism — A well-fed pet that now bites
On May 25, 1967, in Naxalbari village in Darjeeling district, northern West Bengal, local goons attacked a tribal who had been given land by the courts under the tenancy laws. In retaliation, the tribals attacked landlords and claimed the land. From this ‘Naxalbari Uprising’ came the word Naxalite. Naxalism — A movement that reminds us of the duck — silent outside and speeding under the waters….Never did anyone realise that once a revolution, will turn out to become an issue beyond the control of world’s largest democracy. And the irony is that Naxalists were never Bad people. They were like any other justice denied, deprived bunch of common men. Power changed hands at the state and central level but what remained constant was an upsurge in Naxalism. From merely a dozen of students protesting to countless fierce gorilla fighters, we have witnessed it all. The government is in yet another firing line on this front. And they have a stand which acknowledges naxals as our own people. On the other hand, it is duty bound to secure the security forces as well as the common man that lives dangerously in those areas. Indeed, a tricky situation. What needs to be found is a well-thought, long lasting solution which will require the government to walk a tightrope. And this solution needs to be there sooner than later. It amazes us to see the stand of the ruling party, the opposition questioning them, and the others trying the most of it as well. Little do they realise that this is a moment which requires solidarity, support and taking a unanimous stand. We cannot have a party member pledging to resolve the issue and his colleague begging naxal support during elections. We also cannot have a war on naxals. They need to be listened to. After all, all this mess is a resultant has been due to long lived ignorance on the government’s part. In the meantime, the rebels should also hold on and give peace a chance. Using force will only result in a bloodshed and the ingredients are going to be Indian. I am not considering the facts and figures available with regards to Naxalism, as I reserve suspicion on the data. Further, this is not a balance sheet to discuss numbers, it is an issue that involves sentiments and can be resolved only by lending ears. Fighting was never an option. My humble request to all of you is to kindly think on the issue, come up with discussions, your suggestions, any other form of help that you might be able to render. You never know who might be listening !!