Of late, Rajnath Singh has been going on about left-wing extremism, the official nomenclature for Naxalism, having been overcome under his watch.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh is at it again, banging away on the drum of self-glorification, in a bid to shout out from the rooftops what a “strong” home minister he is. This is the same delusion L.K. Advani and the late Charan Singh suffered from in their desire to appear as exalted as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, our first home minister, remembered as the “Iron Man”, without having the deeds to match.
Of late, Mr Singh has been going on about left-wing extremism, the official nomenclature for Naxalism, having been overcome under his watch. It started when he spoke in the Lok Sabha during the no-confidence motion debate, and hasn’t stopped since.
On Sunday, speaking in Lucknow, Mr Singh said LWE will be a thing of the past in two-three years. He suggested that Naxalites could now operate in only 10-12 districts, against the 126 when his tenure began, giving figures of Naxals killed by the security forces. “The situation has turned,” he underlined.
Evidently, Mr Singh is ignorant of contemporary history. In the mid-1960s, Naxalites were wreaking havoc in parts of India. By the mid-70s, they disappeared, but resurfaced by the mid-1990s.
Narrow and sterile ideologies like theirs survive where unremitting grinding poverty exists, as in Dandakaranya, and the government offers little succour. Over-use of military means may make the Naxalites quiescent but will not remove the fertile ground that gives rise to them.
Either no one has told the home minister this, or he’s doing some chest-thumping to be in the reckoning for the PM’s post, should it be available in the post-election scenario.