Friday, April 16, 2010

Editorial, 'HUNTERS GET HUNTED' in Law Animated World, 15 April 2010 issue


Combatants – on which side? Bereaved family of a killed CRP A Maoist commander addresses tribal masses
That is what exactly happened in Dantewada on the fateful day of 6 April 2010. By all accounts it was a carefully planned ‘blitzkrieg’ by the Maoist fighters actively aided by local tribal militants. It was not an ambush of course but more than that – a heavy mobile war raid on three flanks of a poorly trained state force taken completely by surprise. And this occurred within days of our Home Minister Chidambaram denigrating the Maoists as cowards for their bloody attack on a police camp in Lalgarh, West Bengal. The Minister, however, was astute enough to find fault mainly with the State Government saying the buck stopped at the chief minister’s desk. Well, after this massacre, he admitted the buck now stopped directly at his desk since it was the CRPF that was involved and offered to resign even. Well, this attack is a part of the running civil war in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal tribal regions and we know civil war is the cruellest form of any war. The Government must have anticipated such deadly attacks and should have properly prepared for those but we see nothing but braggadocio from their side. The Maoists on the other hand may have to admit that it is not just the ‘green hunt’ but their ‘red hunt’ too is responsible for the ever worsening situation in those states. Ideals and ideologies no doubt look great or romantic but the baseline facts are that in those regions they carry but a Robin Hood image among certain or major sections of the downtrodden people and that by itself may not reach them to portals of power. This initial victory would certainly make them suffer a protracted encirclement and suppression campaign and now no wonder if the government openly says and acts, ‘all is fair in love and war’. The poor tribals will get sandwiched and ardent Maoist followers like the Gotti Koyas will face a hell. The poorly trained, ill equipped and ignorant, if not totally innocent, policemen will also face a hell and more may die due to lack of timely medical aid than to the Maoist bullets. How we wish both sides care more for their professed ideals than for the quest for power and pelf and sit across the table to talk than to shoot across the fields.