30 July, 2021

The Hard, The Soft And The Medium

The government has realised that democracy cannot allow violence against our own

The Hard, The Soft And The Medium

On April 4, Union home minister P. Chidambaram flew into Lalgarh, the hub of Maoist activity in West Bengal’s West Midnapur district. Chatting with the villagers there, he asked what they wanted. “Unnayon (development),” they chorused, an official who accompanied the minister told Outlook. The minister’s response? If the people helped the government eliminate the Maoists from the area, he told them, development would come to Lalgarh. Later that day, he asked officials why the state government had not yet tackled the Maoists—after all, the Centre had provided the manpower, money and resources.

The home minister’s responses that day, a senior police officer engaged in anti-Maoist operations told Outlook, summed up the Centre’s approach to the Maoist problem—one that left 76 CRPF jawans dead in the jungles of Dantewada, in Chhattisgarh, less than 48 hours after the minister’s Lalgarh visit. “Mr Chidambaram is very sincere...

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