ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Government Folly

The People’s Union for Democratic Rights believes that the death of over 70 jawans in Dantewada in the early hours of 6 April is an unfortunate fallout of the government’s wilful policy of pursuing “Operation Green Hunt”. We consider the war against the so-called “leftwing extremists” as a wrong policy at a time when the country has been reeling under unprecedented drought, crop failure and price rise. We have been urging the Indian government that war at home against our own people, under any pretext, should be ruled out as an option, once and for all. The issues arising out of the tribal people’s opposition to memoranda of understanding signed by the state governments with mining and other industrial conglomerates, and the consequent land grab, forest displacement and river water privatisation need to be resolved peacefully rather than imposed on the people against their will. On either side of the divide, our own people fall victim to the bullets.

Since war remains the preferred option of the Indian government, it has no one else but itself to blame if and when combatants die. We wish to remind it that the security forces were returning from a three-day long operation when the ambush took place. As a civil rights organisation, we neither condemn the killing of security force combatants nor that of the Maoist guerrillas, or for that matter, any other fighters, when this occurs. We can only lament the folly of the Indian government – which lacks the courage and imagination to pursue a non-militaristic approach – that is pushing us towards a bloody and dirty war.

Moushumi Basu, Asish Gupta

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