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Scourge of Naxalism - The Observer

Editorial ()
June 17, 1998

Title: Scourge of Naxalism
Author: Editorial
Publication: The Observer
Date: June 17, 1998

Home minister L K Advani has, with his characteristic lucidity,
postulated how best to tight the menace of Naxalite violence. It
is a welcome development that some constructive steps have been
taken in this regard at Monday's high level meeting in Hyderabad,
attended by the four Naxalite-infested states - Andhra Pradesh,
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa. Home minister, who
presided over the meeting, has made a significant and deliberate
departure from the past in declaring that Naxalism is a threat to
not only to the civil society but the very 'Indian dream'.

It has been a singular mistake of the previous governments - both
at the Centre and in states - to treat the extreme Left wing
violence as a result of 'socio-economic problems'. This reasoning
implies, wrongly though, that as long as the socio-economic
problems persist, individuals and groups are justified to take
law into their hands. Therefore, their 'struggles' - i e wanton
killings of people they brand as 'class enemies' or
'revisionists' are meant to create a heaven on earth. And nobody
cared to question whatever would happen to the constitutional
governance the nation adopted as a way of life as well as the
only method to manage civil society. Opinion makers, politicians
and media have had their own share in according legitimacy to
Naxalites. They might be condoned for getting carried away by the
romantic perception of the Naxalite who vows to establish a
classless society . But they cannot escape responsibility for
turning a Nelson's eye on the indiscriminate violence and anarchy
Naxalites unleash. Naxalism has to be defeated first on the
ideological plane, as Advani rightly suggested. Once its
ideological and moral hollowness is established, defeating
Naxalites will be only a formality.

That the Centre has agreed to share the financial burden of
fighting Naxalism, along with the affected states, is an
indication that the Union government treats the issue as a
national problem. It is hoped that the other measures such as
setting up of a coordination panel and encouraging these states
to enact tougher laws will help the nation to get rid of this
scourge.


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