Sunday, April 25, 2010

Reena's Woes

Reena Kangale is the District Magistrate of Dantewada. A District Magistrate - DM - as we all know is a big shot in India. But Reena has a different problem - Naxalites have made at least 108 villages in 23 panchayats of Dantewada inaccessible to her and thus to the local administration...if the Frontline magazine is to be believed. The article by Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta hits home at the crux of the problem - that "the tribal population has a deep and ingrained sense of injustice here." Reena goes on to state that "No contractor is willing to take up development projects in these areas. A health worker or a teacher who is not from the area refuses to go into the jungle."

So where in this quagmire, the security forces come into the scene? The role of the security forces in the counter Naxal operations will be to create conditions for the local administration to operate. The question is, will the local administration operate when they have not done so since independence in some of these areas?

It needs to be clearly understood that the security forces are not a magic bullet for solving this problem - in fact a situation of this nature cannot have a military solution - at best the forces can create conditions conducive for the government to operate - but a lasting solution can only come from good governance.

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