Another bad bargain
KPS Gill is right when he writes that ‘talking to Naxals is retrograde & dangerous, comes out of a Home Ministry thatâ€™s clueless’.
The Naxalite menace affects many Indian states, from Andhra Pradesh to Bihar and West Bengal. But there is also an external dimension to this threat, as the Naxalites have established links with Nepal’s Maoist guerillas. Given the multifarious challenges posed by the Naxalite menace, it is disturbing that the India’s home ministry has allowed, indeed supported, the government of just one state, Andhra Pradesh, to negotiate with the gun-toting Naxalites.
What is even more disturbing is that the ‘peace-process’ is the price the Congress government is paying for its pre-election pact with the Naxalites. It is tragic that the Indian government continues to believe that internal security considerations are subsidiary to political opportunism — negotiating with terrorists has never been anything but a bad bargain. Little wonder that the Naxalites have already gained the upper hand in the negotiations.
By agreeing to negotiate with Naxalite groups, the Government has only emboldened those who choose the path of violence to meet their political ends. In my view, any state, community, or a group of people who succumb to violence are abdicating their basic commitment to a civilised society.
Talks with Naxalite groups in Andhra Pradeshâ€”who have spread to 155 districts which is almost 25 per cent of the countryâ€”will have an adverse effect on the economy, particularly in contiguous areas like Jharkhand, Maharashtra and other states.
In Andhra Pradesh itself, the information technology success and all the development remained focused around Hyderabad while Naxalism spread to all other districts. It is clear now that the ruling party used these groups to win the election.
As a result of which a â€˜â€˜peace processâ€™â€™ has started that allows Naxalite groups to brandish their weapons in the open. They have not given up the path of armed struggle, continuing their politics through an antidiluvean ideology.
Never has a state returned to peace through negotiations with violent groups. Only when violence is put down firmly and strongly, is there any chance for peace. The prime example being that of Punjab and before that in Mizoram[IE]