19-May-2010

Scanning Pro-Maoists

From Deccan Herald:
A Home Ministry circular alerts heads of paramilitary forces and police in the Maoist-affected states that the CPI-Maoist has 57 “front bodies” of peasants, labourers, women, students, tribals and trade unions who have helped the banned outfit raise the level of its tactical warfare, including winning court battles and getting their arrested leaders released.
Apparently one of the 'front bodies' includes a group that has a former supreme court justice as a 'key member':
Among the groups being watched include People’s Union for Civil Liberties that has Justice (Retd) Rajinder Sachar as one of its key members. The group was formed in 1976 by Jaiprakash Narain.
If that doesn't tell the Home Ministry that it is barking up the wrong tree by targeting these groups and 'intellectuals' in general, I don't know what will. It's not only ex-Justices who are in the government's spotlight:
Blaming “unrealistic judicial activism” as the main reason for increased Maoist activities, the [Law and Justice] minister said: “If the courts had exhibited restraint and gone according to ground realities in the forests, the situation would have been totally different today”.
Here's another former Justice speaking out in support of dialogue & addressing root causes:
A group of 25 intellectuals and activists, including Justice V R Krishna Iyer and Arundhati Roy, on Monday welcomed the statement by Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi that the ''root cause'' of naxalism has to be addressed while decisively acting against them.

“We welcome the public statement of Sonia Gandhi that the extreme neglect of the tribal areas is at the root of the present crisis in those regions.

“We hope that this appreciation of the need to go deeper into the question would lead to initiatives for immediate cessation of hostilities and dialogue so that the process of people-oriented development can be made feasible,” they said in a statement.
As B S Raghavan argued in Business Line:
The so-called war on Maoism has fast degenerated into a war of words. This phony war is entirely the offshoot of the political establishment, governing class and security agencies unleashing their combined might against those whom they castigate as the apologists, accomplices and sympathisers of Maoists, defined as any group of balanced, thoughtful analysts who have the temerity to argue that full-throated, blood-curdling cries of a ‘fight-to-the finish' with all the forces at the Government's command are no answer to Maoism.

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