By Dr Kallol Guha
The Naxal conflict has been a major question mark on the practices and policies of Indian government for decades. Every government, coalition or majority, has tried to resolve the issue, but with little success. Starting from a little village called Naxalbari in Darjeeling district of West Bengal in the 60s, the ‘red corridor’ today covers Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
The present day Narendra Modi led NDA government too is dabbling with the issue. Prime Minister Modi, during his recent visit to Burdwan, appealed to the Naxalites that the shoulders of youth should bear ploughs, not gun.
The problem of Naxalism has roots in chronic corruption and consequent underdevelopment and deprivation of a given section of population. Report on youth Employment-Unemployment scenario (2012-13) states that “Every 1 person out of 3 persons who is holding a degree in graduation and above is found to be unemployed for the age group 15-29 years”. Employment situation in the villages is even worse. No Government in this universe can possibly create jobs for the number of emerging workforce in India.
Naxalism is just a symptom of poor and inefficient governance, rampant corruption, total lack of justice and understanding of the problems of the peasant class by the Anglophonic ruling class. The symptoms are getting more and more serious despite media attempt to project it as the handy work of some unruly vandals. Since the sixties state machinery has tried to exterminate the movement by brutal force and the net result is that the Naxals have now spread deeper and wider into the heartland of India.
Sustainability of this movements shows that its leadership is far more capable and talented than the Anglophonic ruling class of India. Perhaps it is time that the new Government accepts this fact and with all honesty and sincerity invite the Naxalites for a dialogue.
General VK Singh once made a comment in the context of Naxalite Movement: “ Ye alag desh banane ke liye to nehi ladta. Ye apne haq ke leye lardta hai.” . Why not ask the General to handle this issue ?
(The writer is the President & CEO of Saint James School of Medicine headquartered in Illinois.)