Empower tribals to root out Naxalism: Aiyar

Noida: Only ad-hoc solutions have been attempted to end Naxalism which have not succeeded and unless the State gives a "clear alternative" in the form of empowerment of tribals, the problem will not be resolved, former Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said on Thursday.

"Since 1947 when modernisation really hit upon India, the number of tribal people who have been displaced amounts to a cumulative total of 60-65 million. As a result of which frustration, anger and fury grew among the most quiescent tribal people of India," said the Rajya Sabha MP addressing a seminar.

Aiyar noted that 1/3rd of the districts are either partially or very severally affected by Left Wing Extremism.

More recently there has been a pairing down of these figures. There has also been an exclusion of the expression "partially affected LWE Districts" and the current figure that is broached upon by Ministry of Home Affairs is 78.

While expressing doubt at the figures, he said that "there is a plan under which money is made available for such districts and politicians have started claiming with considerable pride that they have LWE districts so as to access the money."

At the same time there are districts which ought to be declared LWE affected but are perhaps not included in that category, he said.

On dealing with Naxalism, Aiyer said, "It`s not a problem which is new. It`s a problem which has been boiling over the years and many ad-hoc solutions have been attempted and none have succeeded. We need to recognise that the spread indicates acquiesce of the people, the reluctant acquiesce of the people, rising to the active collaboration of the people. Unless and until, the State gives a clear alternative in the form of empowerment to the tribal people, the problem of Naxalism can not be tackled properly."

The seminar on the topic `Problem of Naxalism in India: Ground Realities and Strategic Challenges towards Conflict Resolution` was held at Amity Campus here.