The television screens have scorched and the newspapers bled in ink with the ‘Maoist Menace’ that has gripped the Indian state as a whole and West Bengal in particular. There has been widespread violence and the Maoists have shown that they are tough customers to deal with.
Their plank for this bloody agitation and revolution is that the Indian state has failed its people in deep forests that are inhabited by the tribals. This surely is a dark reality that the state machinery has been made to come face-to-face with. But the question is : What would be achieved by taking the path of violence?
A little introspection into the modus operandi of the Maoist ‘revolutionaries’ would show that ideology and practice are two poles apart for them. They might swear by the Communist ideology, but they also swear by the campaign of terror and bloodshed.
Who is to blame for this situation?
The Indian Union has distinctly divided affairs of the state in the State List, that encompasses the duties of individual state governments, and the Central List, which encompasses the key responsibility areas of the Central Government.
The West Bengal government falls flat on counts of no development and pathetic living conditions that have existed in these tribal areas for long. The development of these areas is the responsibility of the state government and with 32 years of rule, if the WB government can’t provide even basic sanitation to the natives, their moral right to continue in office ceases to exist.
Are there any alternatives?
There don’t seem to be, at least any viable ones. The arch rival of the rulers of WB is the Trinamool Congress. This party is headed by a woman by the name of Mamata Bannerjee. She also happens to be the Railway Minister at the Centre. It is a strange situation that the people of WB would be confronted with in the upcoming assembly elections. On one side is a government that has done its best to retain WB in a time warp where that last 32 years have just gone by, without any one’s knowledge.
On the other side is TMC, whose leader swears by anti-SEZ ideas. She seems completely bankrupt when it comes to ideas about development issues and poverty alleviation, just like the incumbents.
But I guess Didi, as Mamata Banerjee is called by her followers, would bring TMC to power in WB in the coming assembly elections. The electorate have seen the worst. For them any change would be for the good, as the worst is what they are living in.
Oh, and the question of the Maoists. The Central government has declared them as a terrorist organization. They enjoy the same status as that of LeT and LTTE. The rulers of WB have, surprisingly, voiced their concerns against this action. Talk about proactively quashing peace!