Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crush the Naxals

The recent massacre of paramilitary personnel in hands of Naxal Insurgents has brought forward certain basic flaws in our system. There is also a strong reason to believe that our security set up is nothing but a crisis management infrastructure. The comments of Union Home Minister are well understood but he has a lot of work to be done and begin from the basics.

From a layman's point of view following deductions can't be ignored:
  • That there is virtually no coordination between the state and the central administration.
  • That there is virtually no political consensus on the issue.
  • That there seems to be no respect for central authority by the states.
  • That our policy makers are not aware on the principles of the of use of armed forces in such conflicts.
  • Certain quarters of Indian Air Force also seems to be confused in the use of air support.
  • Naxals appears to be better trained and organized.
  • Our state and central para-military forces seems ridiculously ill trained and organized.
  • That police leadership seems to be completely unprofessional in tackling such issues.
  • That there is too much of freedom of expression to people in India.
Series of events over the years have taken place that brings us to the above deductions. Our people are dying as cannon fodders and there is a sympathetic wave for these killers in the heart of our Capital. Imagine if it could happen in Delhi which part of country is safe. You cannot allow people on the name of democracy to speak against the very fabrics of democracy by justifying brutal killings.

Mr. Chitambram has a lot to begin with. He cant' afford to wait until the monster becomes too ugly to be tamed. Certain key areas where he can emphasise are:

  • Create a core team of battle hardened ex soldiers, Territorial Army officers, scholars, ex bureaucrats, ex police officers, ex intelligence operatives and prominent citizens. Why ex is because they would have no personal interests in the bargain. This team should work as a think tank to the minister in evolving a clear strategy.
  • Tell the states that their political agendas can not come in the way of national interest. Nobody should be allowed to speak against the national interest in the name of freedom of expression.
  • Reorganize all our central para-military forces in a single force with various wings into it. We have plethora of forces and all confused on the specialist role to be performed. Create a centralised leadership, ethos and values. Pull ex short service commissioned officers of the armed forces to create a nucleus of junior leadership. Utilise the services of Territorial Army members in the entire endeavour. Create a system of lateral transfer of armed forces officers into the para-military force after colour service. This was also recommended by the Kargil Review Committee.
  • Create an operational command head-quarter to coordinate all operations in Naxal affected states. Utilise military infrastructure for training the forces.
  • Put all counter forces under a single commander who should also be fully empowered to deal with the issues. He should initially be an ex army commando.
  • There should be no political interference in the operational functioning.
  • Every state to have a state advisory committee to coordinate with the operational command but that should only be advisory in nature.
  • Operational Command should have a dedicated media management cell to control any propaganda by the Naxals and also effectively using media in correctly disseminating information.
  • Not the least, re-analyse the intake of Indian Police Services (IPS). It is not a bad idea that all IPS entrants should made to serve in the army initially for five years before being inducted into the police cadre. Another option is to allow them to serve as part time army officers in the Territorial Army along with the police service.
Naxalism has become such a menace that can't be ignored. It should be tackled with an iron hand and for that "National Will" is a must. We need to tell these forces that India is not the China of early twentieth century where state authority was brutally defeated by the Marxists. The Geo-Strategic reality has changed and India is out to play a leading role in the current world order.

(Picture: Google)