Today I had interesting debate with a dear friend and colleague at lunch.
We talked about all kinds of stuff - the Shashi Tharoor - IPL soap opera, the Maoist insurgency and how the IPL controversy had suddenly riveted the country's eyes to it, taking our attention off the bigger picture which threatens the Indian way of life, the Maoist problem.
My friend said that she agreed that the root cause of the Maoist issue lay in the lack of development and all the problems the tribals face. Get development done and the Maoist problem will be solved.
That to me, is a fanciful idea, which is what I told her.
How do get development done in the Maoist areas, when the administration has collapsed, doctors are shot, bridges blown up, schools are demolished?
It's ironic and rather strange that the very people who stand for rights of people in the Maoist infested areas, and for their development, ignore these very facts that prevent development from happening.
Now what comes first - development or crushing the Maoist menace?
The Indian state cannot focus on development if security remains a big issue, if all the social and physical infrastructure built is blown up every day.
The might of our state, of our values as a country have been challenged by Maoists. It's high time we took up the challenge. The might of the Indian state's machinery has to be focused on eliminating the highly indoctrinated Maoists, for they are biggest challenge to development - there can NO development without peace. There are no two ways about it.
Once eliminating, the might of the state has to be and should be used for development, no doubt about that.