Every time Naxalites strike, the state wakes up to the problem of their menace. Yes, it’s true that today, the actions of Naxalites are looking similar to those of terrorists and I have often condemned their actions in the past. And in a democracy, such killings can’t be justified. Yet, let’s get into some facts. In Chattisgarh, more people get killed of hunger and curable diseases than gunfights. That’s actually putting it mildly. Forget hunger and the poor, more state CRPF jawans posted in the region get killed by mosquito bites than by Maoists! Yes, that’s the irony. In the last few years, more have died of malaria than have been killed on duty. These figures do tell a big story.

Of course, on one hand it tells the pitiable story of our CRPF jawans. The other side of the story is the story of India’s reality today. The story of how we neglect about 60 percent of our population and condemn them to die of hunger, curable diseases and mosquito bites. That’s roughly about 650 million Indians who live below the internationally accepted poverty line standard of 1.25 dollars per day. While India and the Indian media celebrate the rise of its billionaires in the Forbes lists, the poor die penniless out of hunger – unknown and unheard.

And despite the perception that the government wants to create of Maoists as terrorists, the truth is also that Maoists are from these very poor families who are marginalised and left to die of hunger. Worldwide, when leaders have kept such huge sections of masses marginalized, there have been revolutions. You ignore human beings and condemn them to die, they will one day believe that picking up arms is a better option than to die without a fight. History is full of heroes who have killed. Those who kill for a cause are celebrated and those who kill without a cause are called murderers. And the cause is also determined by history; not by today’s media and their judgement. When the army kills, it’s not considered a murder; similarly, very often, when you kill for a cause, the same is absolved by history.  Read More....

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In Chattisgarh, more crpf jawans get killed by mosquito bites than by Maoists! Yes, that’s the ironic piece of research my friend Prasoon dug out for his article in the last issue of The Sunday Indian! It does tell a big story. Of course, on one hand it tells the pitiable story of our CRPF jawans, as Prasoon pointed out in his article last week. Thanks to the Maoist attack recently, which left 75 dead, the government suddenly is feeling concerned about the jawans’ lives! However, before this incident, in the last two years over a hundred of them had died of malaria, which was more than the numbers killed on duty. But previously, of course, the government was not concerned about the lives of jawans because malarial deaths obviously don’t happen in a dramatic newsworthy manner.

Is it not ironic that our paramilitary forces die more of curable diseases than of bullets? Well, that’s the crux of India's problems. That more CRPF jawans are today scared to die of malaria than of Maoist bullets tells just one side of the story. The other side of the story is the story of India's reality today. The story of how we neglect about 60 percent of our population and condemn them to die of hunger, curable diseases and mosquito bites. That’s roughly about 650 million Indians who live below the internationally accepted standard of poverty line of 1.25 dollars per day. While India and Indian media celebrate the rise of its billionaires in the Forbes lists, the poor die penniless out of hunger – unknown and unheard.

And unlike the perception that the government wants to create of Maoists as terrorists, the truth is that Maoists are from these very poor families who are marginalised and left to die of hunger. Worldwide, when leaders have kept such huge sections of masses marginalized, there have been revolutions. You ignore human beings and condemn them to die, they will one day believe that picking up arms is a better option than to die without a fight. History is full of heroes who have killed. Those who kill for a cause are celebrated and those who kill without a cause are called murderers. And the cause is also determined by history. Not by today’s media and their judgment.     Read More....

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