The morale of Naxals has been bolstered when they succeeded in getting their associates freed by holding some VIPs hostage in Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Recently, they called for Bharat Bandh which partially affected the normal life in Jharkhand. The move spurred the enthusiasm and verve of the Naxals. It should not be considered as trivial matter. There may be ulterior motive behind it, as the Naxal menace has reached alarming proportions at the national level. It’s another matter that the Naxals are not active even in the one-fourth of the country. But the government’s lackadaisical attitude in curbing the menace may prove beneficial for the Naxals. Given the weak internal security and government’s halfhearted approach in checking red terrors, it does not seem that we can succeed in fending off security threat to the country in near future.

Naxals are still engaged in loot, abduction, levying, setting up parallel courts, holding innocent people hostage and killing them. Their audacity seems to be unbridled. In it special campaign “Aur Kitna Waqt Chahiye Jharkhand Ko” launched in the state, Dainik Jagran asked Naxal organizations several questions. Their impudence can be gauged with the fact that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) has given its responses by bringing out a booklet. Amazingly, they have termed their all claims justifiable. Naxal organizations proclaim that they have a concrete roadmap including political, economic, cultural and strategic perspective for the overall development of the common man. Exceptionally, some people might have been perverted by their claims but truth is that nobody is supporting the Naxals willingly. Whosoever backing the Naxals are doing so under their threat. Most of them are supporting Naxal stand fearing the loss of their public property. They either call poll boycott or mount pressure to the elected representatives to resign from their posts by playing pressure politics. This is evident from the abduction of BJD MLA Jhinna Hikka in Odisha. However, Hikka had promised to resign from his post to ensure his safe release from the captive of Naxals. No doubt, strategically he had taken judicious decision and did not tender his resignation. Most probably had Hikka not accepted Naxal conditions, the Naxalites would have killed him. Because such people who have no belief in the democratic system, rather engaged in anarchism, should not be trustworthy. Had BJD MLA fulfilled the promise made before the Naxals, it would have been dangerous. It might have sent the message that the Naxals have imposed serious challenges to the government. 

The conditions set by the Naxals before Hikka should not be taken lightly. They have already put such conditions before the government on many occasions. Several public representatives resigned from their posts in Vidarbha of Maharashtra. Those who did not tender resignations had to receive the bullets of Naxals. Should the interferences be drawn from the efforts that Naxals have compelled the government to accept their demands? No, it’s a part of the conspiracy against the government. They try to convince that we have no faith in our own democratic set up. Certainly, if they succeed in their motives, it will be great failure for us. Killing of panchayat representative, who turned down the demands of Naxals, should not be taken only as an incident. We should not forget that they have borrowed the ideas from the Mao Tse-tung whose ideologies are to grab the power by means of anarchy. They should not forget that India is a democratic country. We have been adopting democratic values for the last thousands of years. It will be impossible for them to confuse common Indian about the democratic governance. The government will have to provide adequate cooperation and safety to common man so that they cannot change their belief fearing the Naxals threat. Not only the Centre but states also should be alert in addressing the Naxal menace. Both the Centre and states should devise a joint policy to fight the Naxalism and terror act.

In fact, efforts have been made to formulate such policies but went in vain due to vested interest of the political leaders. That’s why we have to bow down before the anarchists. Remember that if it is disease, there will be remedy for it. Most probably, such remedy will be stringent and we have to accept it. We should take lesson from former West Bengal Chief Minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray under whose regime no Naxal was active in the state. The way Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh opted not to set free the prisoners for the safe release of District Magistrate is praiseworthy. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi will be remembered for her contribution in checking terrorism at the national level. We should take lesson from our own courageous leaders and hurl challenges to the Naxals and other terror groups. We can get expertise of US and Israel in this regard too. Whatever the condition may be, they do not bow down before the bad elements. India should opt for this strategy.

(The author is a Resident Editor of Haryana, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh editions of Dainik Jagran)