Chidambaram needs to summon his will for dialogue
IMPRESSIONS BY UDAY SHANKER
India’s Home Minister P. Chidambaram owned “full responsibility” for the loss of 73 lives of Central Reserve Police Force in an ambush by Maoists in Dantewada, Chattsgarh, last week, and he had even offered to resign , the offer which was rejected by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Indeed , it is a gesture which was meant to offer consolation to the bereaved families and also to demonstrate a sense of accountability to a shocked nation.
There are many questions which will remain unanswered despite a probe as to what went wrong and how and why of it. The fact is that 73 CRPF personnel were massacred in the jungles of Dantewada. Their families will have to bear this loss for rest of their lives, but a larger question that needs to be addressed is not only about the training part of paramilitary forces , but also as to how those were being used and with what objective.
There is no clarity. The politicians are day-dreamers. They feel as if any problem on this planet can disappear with their one word. The Naxal problem is that of essentially class struggle, it grips at least seven Indian states and the Maoists who claim to be fighting for the rights of downtrodden, have gone in for one after another audacious attacks. They have killed informers and security personnel alike and they have not even hesitated to hijack trains and blow up the railway tracks. Their fight is against a system.
It should be addressed. Neither guns achieved anything for Maosists in Nepal nor would they in India . Today or tomorrow Naxalities will have to come to negotiating table and sort out the issues. Their use of guns is serving no one, and the least the poor sections of society which they claim to be representing or fighting for. At the same time, this also is a fact that the use of security forces against Naxalities is a futile exercise.
The dialogue is the only option . And, for any dialogue to succeed, it’s a must that the government should create an atmosphere for dialogue . Bullet for bullet, bomb for bomb policy has failed even in the hot spots of the world, be it Palestine, Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. These countries have experienced worst kind of violence where the troops of these countries and those of the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries have suffered huge losses. The United States has registered a new tragic milestones in getting body bags from the places where it claims to be fighting for liberty of the people from the clutches of terrorists , still the objectives are nowhere in sight.
Mr. Chidambaram is a well-meaning person. He wants to settle the issues and has demonstrated moral courage by offering to resign, a rare act in the modern-day politics in India, where politicians are willing to stick to chair whatever be the level of cases against them. But, he should have taken a cue from what happened in Kashmir, how his “ quiet dialogue and quiet diplomacy” failed to take off. He tried to initiate a process without doing a ground work. Kashmir of October 2009 , when he made this offer, which was grabbed in public by some sections of the separatist camps, is a forgotten chapter. Thereafter, chapters of betrayals have been written and the whole talk of talks, now seems to be a smoke screen , which had nothing behind it.
No solution can be taken for granted. No individuals or groups can be taken for granted Nor a particular situation at a particular time can be taken for a granted and whatever be the level of military might, the weakness of the motivated groups fighting for a cause, can be taken for granted only to nation’s own peril. Dantewada is a tragic example of that.
Had the work been done on Kashmir front through “quiet dialogue” or otherwise in Kashmir, that would have established a level of credibility of the government of India would have gone up. That would have also given a sense of confidence to Naxalities that Delhi means business and an atmosphere of trust would been set up. Such a situation and credibility would have gone long way in dealing with the issue and the nation today would have been talking of peace and not war against Naxals, and Kashmir would have become a beacon light.
A particular period has been lost. The clock cannot be reversed to pre-Dantewada massacre , or pre-October 2009 offer of talks to one and all in Kashmir. The clock is till ticking and an economist in Chidambaram knows how to utilize the time bet and how to do it. Indeed, there were setbacks , but it’s not the time to mourn over the setbacks. It’s time to move ahead , grapple with problems and issues. It’s never too late.
The Home Minister has a huge task at hand. It serves no one’s purpose if he resigns . No one can wish away the problems. Chidambaram has an understanding of the issues that confront people in different parts of the country. He has often been hailed for taking initiatives, treading the path which many fear to venture. His colleagues in the cabinet have not as much perception as to what ails Kashmir and what they wanted and how their day to day issues can be settled , with a larger issue to be talked through in a phased manner, both with the Kashmiri separatists, elected representatives and Pakistan . It is a firm view that unless Pakistan is spoken to and brought on board to agree, directly or indirectly, nothing will succeed in Kashmir as far as resolution of the crisis is concerned.
Naxal problem, too, has a solution. No problem is born without a cause and effect dictum. And, no problem is born without a solution. This s the way of looking at the things that can help resolve crisis or complicate problems. Chidambaram may not be having a magical wand, but certainly has a will to resolve the issues from the heartland of Nazal problem to the Kashmir Valley.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Apr 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Apr 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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