On 6th April, all of us woke up to see the news channels scream out the news of what may be the deadliest attack on the Indian security forces by the Naxalites.
“76 CRPF policemen killed and 8 injured in a series of attacks on the security convoys in Dantewada district in Chattisgarh.”
We changed channel after channel and saw the same story over and over again. Finally we got tired of the same clippings and decided to mind our own business. Many of us would have had heated discussions with family, friends, colleagues, auto drivers, chaiwalas, co-commuters and God knows who all, but at the end of the day, our lives haven’t (thankfully) changed much. After a good night’s sleep, all of us have moved on in life and today is like any other day.
But for a moment put yourselves in the shoes of the loved ones of those policemen. Imagine waiting at the airport for the arrival of the dead body of your Dad/husband/son/brother who were mercilessly killed at the hands of some insurgents. Their kids might not even know why their father is not yet home, because for them, their dads are policemen and policemen shoot people and its not the other way round. How did they spend these few days? How will they spend the rest of their lives? Heart rending isn’t it?
As Mr.Chindambaram said, all of us knew, the moment we saw the news that, “something had gone wrong”, (obviously) but where? Where did we go wrong? After all, the naxals are trained in hide outs where as our policemen are (supposed to be) formally trained for fighting. But this incident only reflects one hard truth, that perhaps the naxals are more trained than our men. And if it is so, didn’t we make our men scapegoats by pushing them into the scene?
We have always considered some lives unimportant and some very important. On one hand we escort our leaders in A/C bullet proof cars, on the other we let our army, our policemen fight a dying battle with insufficient training and ammunition.
Today the Government speaks of posting more security men in the affected area. Why? To let them die too? The Government says that it’ll help the families of the deceased; what exactly is this help? A cheque of 10 or 15 lakhs ? Can it buy their son/dad back?
A job in CRPF for their sons? But what if the son DOES NOT want to join the CRPF and die like his father?
The Army has offered to train policemen although its not willing to get involved directly. So far this is the most sensible suggestion, although we should have thought of it before the loss. But better late than never.
Our lives are in NO WAY less valuable than those in the bullet proof cars. We have sacrificed many heroes already and the story should not repeat. If we die, it will be after a good fight, we refuse to let our men walk into death, for us. Are you ready?
What do you think? Where did we really go wrong?
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.