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Hostage Script Goes Wrong?
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
Up till now the hostage drama in Bihar stuck faithfully to its prepared script as was expected. Two hard truths could help determine what was about to happen. The first truth is that there is close interaction under the table between the Maoists and political parties. The second truth is that Bihar assembly elections are around the corner. Add the two and – ergo! – the script became clear. Following is the bald chronology of events.
Four policemen were captured by the Maoists and held hostage. The Maoists demanded the release of their jailed compatriots as the price for releasing the policemen. The government dithered. To prove that the Maoist threat was serious public opinion had to be convinced. Therefore one policeman was killed. The Maoists released the name of a Yadav policeman as the victim. That suitably shocked the most powerful vote bank in Bihar .
But surprise, surprise! Of the four captive one was a Yadav, one a Muslim, one a Kayastha, and one was a tribal Christian from neighbouring Jharkhand. Any guesses who was expendable? Yep! The tribal from Jharkhand was killed. So the OBC, the minority and the forward caste vote banks – the latter represented by the Kayastha – could breathe easy.
Eventually the remaining three policemen were released. But before that the Maoists, ever concerned about the downtrodden, bypassed the government and sent an emissary to convey the good news to the family. So at the end of it all the Bihar government is happy because none of the powerful vote banks was harmed. The Maoists are happy because none of their downtrodden rural supporters had the right to be unhappy after the generosity displayed by the self proclaimed followers of the Great Helmsman of distant China . Only the grieving family of Lukas Tete, the tribal Christian killed by the Maoists, was unhappy. But Jharkhand is so far away from Bihar ’s electoral politics, isn’t it? All was well that ended well.
Unfortunately not! The Maoists are even stronger in Jharkhand and in Chhattisgarh than they are in Bihar . And the Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh comrades are not amused. So the drama script is taking an unexpected turn. There could develop a serious rift within Maoist ranks. Only woolly headed authors, foreign funded NGOs and silly armchair critics who seriously believe that Maoist terrorism is motivated by ideology and not inspired from abroad by India’s enemies to exploit the genuine grievances of a badly governed nation, have cause to be surprised. Hard headed analysts with ears to the ground will know that a serious miscalculation may have occurred when the hoodlums on either side of the electoral line, the Maoists and the politicians, were negotiating. Alas! Ideologues of global revolution remain prisoners of caste! We must watch how this drama eventually unfolds.
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09/08/2010 15:02 PM