Kanan Jaswal's Blog on Leadership
Monday, November 23, 2009
How would I solve the problem of Naxalism?
I would take the following steps one by one :
i) Through an ordinance, declare all sales of agricultural land in the past ten years by the Scheduled tribals to non-tribals void and restore the land to the tribal owners. The state would compensate the non-tribal buyers by giving them the price they had paid with interest compounded, say, at 7% p.a. Also ban such sales in future.
ii) Amend the Forest Produce laws, with retrospective effect, to legalise the tribals’ picking up of minor forest products and withdraw all legal cases instituted against them in the past in this matter, just as the Jharkhand government has done recently.
iii) After these goodwill gestures, offer three to six months’ cease-fire to the Maoists and on their agreeing, invite them for unconditional and comprehensive talks.
iv) Make very clear to them that the state is willing to address itself to all their legitimate concerns and demands with honesty, transparency, and alacrity.
v) During the cease-fire, build rural roads, establish primary health centres and primary schools in the areas controlled by the Maoists and entrust their safety and security to them. Do this all in the full glare of the media, print and electronic.
vi) Make it clear to the Maoists that while the government would be more than willing to concede their legitimate demands, a revival of violence by them would be met with full force at the state’s command.
vii) In the unfortunate event of replying to the Maoists’ violence, take all precautions to avoid, at least minimise, collateral damage to the non-combatants and the crops and other property. As far as it is possible, let the media accompany the state forces on their operations against the Maoists to pre-empt any accusations of the human rights’ violation.
viii) Do everything possible to invite the Maoists and their supporters to take part in the democratic process, to stand for election and on succeeding, form democratic and Constitutional governments.