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Reining in ‘Red rebels’ is vital

Left-wing extremism or the so-called ‘Red terrorism’ in India is not a new phenomenon. It spearheaded in 1967 from a village called Naxalbari (from which the term Naxalism is derived) in West Bengal. Naxalism has now affected more than 7,000 villages. The ‘Red corridor’ extends from Karnataka to Nepal-Bihar border.

Wherever conditions like landlessness, deprivation and alienation prevails in a backward region, it is easy for the Naxalites to lure people. They run a parallel government and give instant justice, earning a wide support among the downtrodden sections. The Red terror is exacerbated by three kinds of state failures. First is absence of effective civilian administration in several tribal areas. Second is when the state uses repressive measures which add to more alienation. Third is the state’s failure to be impartial. It is reflected in two domains:  policing and politics.

The government first needs to vitalise its footing in the Naxalite strongholds. Some suggest that the Army should be deployed to launch anti-Naxalite operations. The Army, however, is not that trained for guerilla warfare, which is a hallmark of the Naxalites.

The solution can be based on something called ‘Tripura model’ which almost has overcome a three-decade war by synergistically working with development and crackdown on extremists. The state government has been successfully raising the field forces by winning the sympathy of local people and inculcating them in combative operations.


Modi versus Modi

It’s a classic case of brother pitted against brother. Narendra Modi’s real brother plans protests against him over the state government’s decision to introduce the system of bar-coded ration cards. Modi’s younger brother Prahlad Modi, who heads the Fair Price Shop Owners' and Kerosene License Holders' Association, has threatened to launch an agitation if the state government does not fulfil his demands by May 15. Already in the eye of a storm over allegations of wrongdoing by the Opposition, Modi now has to face the allegations of his brother who is up in arms against ‘corruption’ in the government. Seeking an inquiry into the failure of the online Pandit Deen Dayal Grahak Bhandar (PDDGB) scheme, Prahlad Modi has alleged massive irregularities in the government initiative.

Prahlad Modi has maintained that the state government was implementing the bar-coded ration card system despite the fact that it was not yet fully functional. As a result, ration-card holders, fair price shop-owners and kerosene dealers were suffering a lot. The Chief Minister, on his part, has vehemently flayed the strike.


Fiscal crunch

With reference to news report ‘Cash-strapped Punjab yet to pay salaries to over 3 lakh employees’ (April 7), I would like to add that there are nearly 3 lakh pensioners and their families who are also waiting for payments.

This is not the story of Punjab alone. If one takes a peep into the “mismanaged financial affairs” of PSUs, one would come to know how the employers are playing with the lives of employees and their families. The Central and state governments are too busy running their coalitions. 

They have no time to look into the plight of employees who are groaning under financial hardship.  Corporate houses are underpaying their employees, citing financial downturn. Some companies in the private sector have not paid wages for months now.

The delay in payment of wages has made it tough for employees to meet their daily expenses. They are not able to pay their monthly house rent, electricity, water and telephone bills. The Union Government is requested to take note of this critical situation at the earliest. There is no point in gloating over tax collection of Rs10 lakh crore. The middle-class needs nurturing and not butchering.


Role model

The bond between a teacher and a student is a special one. This beautiful relationship thrives on compassion, concern and communication. A teacher who has no time for a student outside the classroom cannot become a role model. This is aptly evident in Harish Dhillon’s middle ‘The role models’ (April 12). Today, most of the teachers do not recognise this fact and wear a grim-faced cynical look.

It has to be realised that a teacher is trusted most when he is simple and full of care, caution and compassion. He then becomes a role model who has a life-long impact on his students.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula

Abolish death penalty

No punishment, including the death penalty, can effectively check crime. For that, good governance, which ensures the establishment of a conducive socio-economic order, is required. If at all, the harshest punishment to a person committing the rarest of rare crimes is to be awarded, it should, befittingly, be the imprisonment for life in a solitary confinement that makes him live with his guilt. Death penalty, in a way, abruptly shortens the punishment. Moreover, it is a savage act in itself and therefore must be abolished. The emphasis should be on wiping out the crime and not the criminal. We have adopted the life style and economic policies of the West. Why not follow them in abolishing death penalty too?

In cases where there is an inordinate delay in executing the death sentence of convicts, there is a justification for the sentence to be commuted into a life imprisonment. A convict, who becomes mentally sick due to a long wait for the final verdict, must not be hanged. We must understand that young influential minds are used by religious fanatics and terrorists for their vested interests. So, just punishing misguided youth is not enough. The fountainheads of terror need to be taken to task.

HL SHARMA, Amritsar



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