Month: October 2009

Naxal Menace

Naxal menace grew when Shivraj Patil was Home Minister of India. He was soft on Naxals, called them sons of India, and dissolved Joint Co-ordination Committee between the six most affected states in 2005. Police forces that surrounded Naxals in a forest in Andhra Pradesh were told to call off the operation and let Naxalites go. The country is paying a heavy price for his follies.

After Chidambaram became Home Minister of India he has tried to tackle the problem of Naxal menace. For a long time terrorist activities of Naxals were ignored. For Sangh Parivar all terrorists were Muslims. Left Front allowed Naxals to grow till the Naxals became too powerful to tackle. Now states ruled by Congress & NCP, NDA, Left Front are affected by Naxal menace.
Lack of development is cited by some as reason for Naxal growth. Naxal’s want power through revolution. There is no revolution without violence. They are open about it. Poverty is an excuse. Poor people can not afford guns and ammunition. Naxals do not want to learn from history. Their ideology failed in USSR and many other countries.

On 8/10/2009 17 people died in a bomb blast outside Indian Embassy in Kabul and 17 people died in Gadchiroli fighting Naxals. Rahul Gandhi had mentioned Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa as states where there is no development. This happened in Maharashtra.

Chidambaram asked human rights activists to choose which side they are. The activists who spoke of state violence and never condemned Naxal violence were another face of Naxals. If the Naxals are popular they can win elections, form governments and reverse the policies. They have not done it.

There is a debate whether army and air force should be used against Naxals. Naxals have waged a war against India. If air force planes comes under fire they should have the right to self-defence or they should not be used against Naxals. Special forces need to be raised to tackle them.
Other problems need to be addressed. Governments should not acquire land for private industries. Media should not glorify Naxals or make them respectable by airing their interviews.

Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama

On 9 October 2009 the Nobel Committee announced its decision to award Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama. The announcement shocked people in Oslo who had gathered and they gasped. The spokesman mentioned many reasons for awarding Barack Obama like promoting intenational diplomacy, co-operation among peoples and world free from nuclear arms. Many were surprised and the news when first heard was difficult to believe.

The nominations to award closed on 1st February. Nobody can self-nominate. There are people and committees who can nominate. There were 205 nominations. Barack Obama was not mentioned among probable nominees to win the prize.

Many criticised the award to Barack Obama. Some felt it was too early. It should have been at the end of his term as president. Some questioned his achievements. TV channels held discussions whether Barack Obama should have received this award.

I do not remember TV channels previously holding discussions whether somebody should or should not have received this award. Barack Obama is well known all over the world. Previously there was no such controversy because the recipients were not much known outside their countries.

Some criticism was vicious. Some called the Nobel Committee eccentric. Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said the prize was for what he has done in the previous year. He asked “Who has done more than Barack Obama?”

Barack Obama is the third President of USA to receive the Nobel Peace Prize while in office. Previously Woodrow Wilson (1919) and Theodore Roosevelt (1906) had received the prize.
Few days back Barack Obama was in Copenhagen to appeal to members of International Olympic Committee to award Olympics 2016 to Chicago. The competition between Chicago and Rio de Janeiro was said to be tough and decided in the last round. Contrary to expectations, on 2 October 2009 Chicago was eliminated in the first round. It was an unpleasant shock. A week later Oslo gave Barack Obama a pleasant shock. Denmark and Norway are neighbouring countries.