TRS fanning Maoist scare, says Md Shabbir Ali (Leader of opposition in Telangana Assembly)
It is essential to understand the factors that turned Maoists against the government, instead of eliminating them
Maoist Regro-uping is the wrong term being used by the TRS government to justify the killings of suspected Naxalites Sruthi and Sagar in the first-ever ‘encounter’ after the formation of Telangana. While there is suspicion over the genuineness of the ‘encounter’, several independent groups have confirmed that both Sruthi and Sagar had actively participated in the movement for a separate Telangana.
By staging the Warangal encounter, K. Chandrashekar Rao has proven that he strongly believes in the dictum, ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun’. The so-called encounter was aimed at terrorising the opponents of the TRS government. This encounter should not be seen as an isolated case or spontaneous act of the police against suspected Naxalites. It is strongly linked to other developments that took place since TRS came to power.
On November 8 last year, the Maoists had called for a 24-hour bandh against the anti-people policies of the TRS government. Exactly a week later, the CM provided bulletproof cars to his ministers fearing attacks from the Naxalites. He was more concerned about the safety of his men than finding out the reasons for his government being branded as “anti-people” in less than six months of coming to power.
The Warangal encounter is nothing but a prelude to actions aimed at suppressing a possible movement against the TRS government in view of the increasing number of suicides by farmers. There is a lot of dissent and anger among the people against government for its failure to help the farmers.
The Chief Minister did not honour the promises of having a Dalit CM, giving 3 acre land for Dalit families or 12 per cent quota for Muslims and STs in jobs and education or 2BHK houses for the poor. In order to stall situations of common man questioning him, KCR is following Sun Tzu’s principle of ‘kill one, frighten 10,000’. Terms like ‘Maoist Regrouping’ are being used so that those in power can kill anyone by branding them as Naxalites.
The government has already terrorised Muslims with the Alair encounter in April this year. Five handcuffed undertrials were shot dead by nearly 20 policemen in broad daylight. The Chief Minister rejected outright the demand for a CBI or judicial probe into those killings. As an eyewash, one SIT headed by an IPS officer was formed. However, even after five months, that probe is yet to take off. Home minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, meanwhile, is playing a strange role.
He expressed regrets for both the Alair and Warangal encounters. But he did not take action against the guilty policemen. This shows the police has been given a free hand to suppress all those who oppose the TRS government. CPI Maoists, who were seen as heroes of Telangana movement, are now being projected as extremists. Violence, by Maoists or police, is not the solution. We are a democratic country and it is essential that we understand the factors that turned Maoists against the government instead of eliminating them using terms like ?Regrouping?.
Reds must give time to state, says B. vinod kumar (TRS MP from Karimnagar)
Maoists must raise their grievances in a lawful and democratic manner and there is plenty of scope for redressal.
The recent encounter killing of two Maoists raises the question: why is the Maoist movement attracting the educated youth of the state? To understand this, we must examine its historical trajectory. The Maoist movement began in the late 60s in the village of Naxalbari in Siliguri, West Bengal. This is the genesis of the term ‘Naxalites’. The movement spread like wildfire across the country and the ideology of Charu Mazumdar had tremendous appeal to the educated youth who were socially conscious and wanted to bring about a positive change in society.
By the late 1970s, the movement had a presence in virtually all the districts of undivided Andhra Pradesh. The universities were hotbeds of such activity and large numbers of students pursuing engineering, medicine, law and social sciences enthusiastically participated in what they felt was an effort to bring about a more equal society.
Leading cultural figures and social activists such as Sri Sri, Cherabanda Raju, Varavara Rao, M.T. Khan and Gaddar also supported the movement. The downfall of the Congress and Indira Gandhi gave rise to the famous JP Movement and led to the imposition of the Emergency in the mid 1970s. The Naxalite movement by then had spread across the country. It later split into several factions and the People’s War Group took base in AP in the 1980’s under the leadership of Kondapalli Seetharamaiah.
As always, there was strong support for the PWG from the educated youth in the universities, especially Osmania and Kakatiya. When the democratic movement for a separate state of Telangana was started by TRS leader K. Chandrashekhar Rao, the statehood movement attracted the support of a large number of educated youth.
During the struggle, there was an apprehension that the Maoist movement would become stronger in a smaller state. This is largely unfounded. It is not the size but the inequality and deprivation in a state that swells the public’s support for Maoism. Telangana was suppressed all these years and therefore had a strong Maoist presence. Now that it is in charge of its own destiny, efforts are on in full swing to end this deprivation. Already, we have come out with Mission Kakatiya to revive the state’s tank irrigation system and ensure water availability for all. The power crisis has been solved. Serious planning is underway for ensuring a robust health and education system.
The youth who participated in the Telangana movement are conscious about the development of their state and are eager to engage in state-building activities. The government will deliver on all its promises and ensure that the youth of the state are fully tapped into. The Maoists on their part should give the government time to fulfill its promises. They must abjure the path of violence as every life lost, whether that of the youth or the police, is a loss to the society as a whole.They must raise their grievances in a lawful and democratic manner, for which there is plenty of scope for redressal.