By Manuwant Choudhary
The latest lethal Maoist attack on Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh has shaken up the Indian state and India's Home Minister says that now the Maoists are more dangerous than even terrorists.
But others in the Congress Party like Ajit Jogi and Digvijaya Singh still call it a `social' movement.
While Jairam Ramesh says India should stop romanticising the Maoists !
The BJP blames the Congress and says the Maoist sympathisers are in fact members of Sonia Gandhi's National Advisory Council.
But I am just waiting for the Outlook cover story by Arundhati Roy where editor Vinod Mehta generously hands her 20 pages to write in gory details about how the Maosists butchered the Congress politicians and how they deserved it after all.
I am not extreme in that sense.
But yet I would like to point that it is the Congress Party that has romanticised the Maoists ever since independence.
Its not surprising that they still have Maoist sympathisers as `advisors'.
In fact, India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was himself a stalinist.
He did not believe in property rights.
His second five year plan followed a socialistic path.
Had it not been for the Swatantra Party in the sixties...India would have been a full Communist State.
One of Nehru's best freinds turned critic was Minoo Masani.
And in independent India it is really hard to come up with an example where a politician gave up his friendship for the sake of India and for principles like freedom.
I was fortunate enough to meet Minoo Masani several times first as a student in Bombay and later as a liberal youth activist.
I recall in one of his interviews he told me how his freindship with Nehru came to an end.
Recalled Masani, "You know I used to have breakfast with Nehru every Sunday morning when I was in Delhi. So one Sunday in 1948 I told Nehru that he should reconsider Stalin."
Nehru instead banged the table, "You think I have no intelligence?"
Masani, "Yes, I know you are intelligent but on this point you are not being intelligent. You think Stalin is God but Stalin is no God."
Masani told me how he thought to himself that Nehru was unfit to talk to. "So from that day onwards I never spoke to Nehru in private. We spoke to each other only in Parliament !."
The only other time Masani met Nehru in private was when he was seriously ill in 1963 and Nehru sadly accepted that he had blundered on Kashmir. He told Masani to help him make a last attempt at solving Kashmir.
So Kashmir's Sheikh Abdullah flew to Pakistan and the Pakistan President Ayub was to come to India...but Nehru died on May 11.
Said Masani, "I cried not because Nehru died but because the last chance to solve Kashmir was lost."
Its some irony that Minoo Masani too died on May 11 !
Since Nehru India became more socialist..with Indira Gandhi nationalising banks and then finally the emergency...its an irony that VC Shukla, among those attacked by Maosists, was the I&B minister who banned Kishore Kumar songs because he refused to sing at a Congress rally !
India's land ceiling laws and abolishing private property as a fundamental right from the constitution and even banning liberal parties from contesting elections are all examples of why the Congress Party believes Maoists are leading a social movement.
In fact, Maoists never attacked politicians before....and the politicians were hand-in-glove with them.
Those who bore the brunt of Maoist violence were ordinary policemen ambushed while doing a patrol.
As a jouranlist I have covered several such attacks...and met teary eyed policemen who asked me why the Indian state has forgotten them when they are willing to lay down their lives to protect the people and India.
Many widows never even got pensions...they had to fight for even their basic rights for compenstation.
When Laloo Yadav and Nitish Kumar together readily divided Bihar..the Maoist attack in Jharkhand became deadlier...and one policeman asked me, "Sir, why did Lalooji do this..after all I am also from Chapra...."
This was long before the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Maosists as India's biggest internal threat.
But we still don't see this realisation being matched by any strategy.
The Maosists have a strategy, India doesn't.
In fact, the Indian government is now seen as a violator of private property..more dangerous than the Maoists.
In West Bengal the Maosists protected the private property being forcibly acquired by the State to be given to private industry.
If India has to win this war within..the government must be on the side of freedom and property...and only then will the people move away from the Maosists....
And please stop this hogwash about `social' movements......its all about violence, power and money.