There’s no room for violence | comment | Hindustan Times
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There’s no room for violence

One thing that the Maoists have not learnt so far is that whatever the level of strike power they may have achieved, they are not in a position to take on the Indian State, which has not yet gone to the full extent of its strength.

comment Updated: Apr 07, 2014 15:30 IST

The Maoists have been pushing their agenda of disrupting the poll process through all means, the latest of which are the bulk SMSes they are sending to the electorate in Bihar.

The ultras have already written to the Election Commission, asking the panel to make not voting in elections a right.

They have given a threat to all voters who come to the polling booths with the help of the police. This shows how out of line the Maoists are with the world communist movement, or the remnants of it.

Even in India, people who took to armed struggle in the wake of Spring Thunder in Naxalbari have repudiated the line of bloodshed.

Everywhere the move is towards unarmed mass movements and mass organisations, through which alone the empowerment of the dispossessed can take place and concessions can be legitimately wrested from the privileged classes.

Though the red corridor in India is long, the states in which the Maoists are likely to strike are Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar, where serious preparations are afoot to tackle the red brigade.

In Jharkhand eight of its 14 constituencies have been declared ‘very sensitive’ because they fall within the ambit of the Maoist strike zone.

Adequate forces have been deployed, induction programmes for the uniformed people who are being made familiar with territory are on, and combing and sanitising operations are taking place in all areas.

In Odisha eight of its 21 constituencies are considered highly prone to Maoist violence, whereas in Bihar the figure is 10 of the state’s 40.

Chhattisgarh, where the Congress lost a substantial chunk of its leadership to a deadly red attack in May last year and 15 policemen died in an ambush in March, is also highly vulnerable.

In Odisha things have become more complicated because MLA Jhina Hikaka, who was abducted by the Maoists in 2012 and released on condition that he would resign from the assembly, reneged on his promise.

One thing that the Maoists have not learnt so far is that whatever the level of strike power they may have achieved, they are not in a position to take on the Indian State, which has not yet gone to the full extent of its strength.

The 2009 Lok Sabha elections were virtually violence-free, and so were the assembly elections in Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh between 2009 and 2013.

They should also ponder what they have been able to secure for the people for whom they are carrying on the fight.

Similarly it is now time for the Indian State to adequately make up for the years of neglect.

Else, how is a woman who has to walk 5 km for a bucket of water expected to know who her actual friend is?