How many of us know what the Maoists are fighting for? From the civilian deaths in Chhattisgarh we read about yesterday, we know that they’re out there, somewhere, planning their next attack over a steaming cuppa. But do we know who they are and what they want with these attacks? Possibly only 1 out of 10 persons could make the right conjecture about the Maoists motives.
Let’s start from the beginning.
The Maoists are officially the Communist Part of India, which roughly means that they are the children of Lenin, Marx and Mao. (Could a political party have a more destructive ideological base?) Their political aspirations involve pulling India into communism, creating social anarchy in 20 of the 28 states they occupy, replacing one form of imperialism with their own self-justified version and ruling India with their own terrorist hand. And, how do they hope to accomplish this? The Maoists operate like a guerrilla group which means that they grow from the support of the people in their local areas; their military strength of 10,000 people is supported by the society of innocent civilians living in fear of this organization. Their methods of surviving are extortion, illegal taxation of people and stealing government money.
So, what is the Indian government doing about the Maoists? The official statement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is that the Maoists are “the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.” The government has, supposedly, extended the olive branch to the Maoists on several occasions to talk issues through but clearly the Maoists gave the olive branch as much attention as Indians give beggars on the streets. So, a peace conference or any sort of dialogue between the Indian government and the Maoists is not on the table, yet. Yesterday, Chidambaram said that the government was preparing to fight the Maoists with “paramilitary forces, intelligence and tactical assistance” and that means that the government was preparing to fight the Maoists with doodley-sqaut, more eloquently, nothing.
The Maoists have the Indian government cowering in a corner because Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has not the faintest idea or a strategy for defeating the Maoists. Our government cannot have paramilitary forces wage war against Maoist armies because the Maoists hide behind the civilians and if a war were to spring up between the Indian government and the Maoists, then, we are looking at thousands of civilian deaths. So it appears that war is out of question, but then again, so is peace.
How do we get ourselves out of this situation?
First of all, our Prime Minister needs to use his Oxford educated brain to devise a peace proposal that satisfies some of the Maoists demands. The Indian government needs to persuade the Maoists to outline their objectives and aims so that we can see whether we can meet them halfway in their political aspirations. Let’s listen to the man who said “The pen is mightier than the sword” and start writing peace letters to the Maoists. Sure, they might not listen at first but neither did the British when we first asked them to get out of our country. However, if absolutely no compromise can be reached, then let’s listen to the other man who said, “If you want peace, prepare for war” and give the Maoists the war they’re so desperately waiting for.
The Indian government is in a catch-22 situation, damned if they fight the Maoists and damned if they don’t.