Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Gadchiroli, LOC Within the Country!

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”… G.K. Chesterton.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, KC*SG (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936), better known as G. K. Chesterton, was an English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, lay theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic. Chesterton is often referred to as the "prince of paradox". Indeed there is no paradox in his above sentence as this must be the feeling of every man who wears uniform & carries a gun which is aimed at the so called enemy in-front of him or her! When I get to read the news about nearly thirty plus naxlites killed in a battle between State’s C 60 police force, Chesterton’s quote came to my mind, not that I am an authority on the subject & no way this is something I ever had written about; yet my good friend Dr. Abhinav Deshmukh who is an IPS officer & is SP of Gadchiroli district ie where all this action happened, so thought of writing him on his success. But then while writing to him, I started to think about the subject & started realizing the complexities of this success! Those who doesn’t know  (and most don’t know), Gadchiroli is a district in very State of Maharashtra at the eastern end of the State. Known just as punishment posting for “sarkari babus” I wonder how many residents of our State from Pune Mumbai has ever visited to Gadchiroli & even knows how to go there in first place! And I don’t blame them as after reading the news about this part of State no sane person will be interested to visit Gadchiroli considering it as no less that Palestine or Syria, a sad statement but truth. Well it’s very much a place just like any other district in Maharashtra’s rural parts, with some more forest & illiteracy as well poverty! Few decades ago a movement started by the locals (read tribal’s) in the triangle of three States ie Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh (now Chattisgarh too) & Andhra Pradesh against the establishment which now has taken a violent face called as Naxlisum run by group of men & women named as Naxlites. In nut shell this is the story & as usual there are people who speak for both sides of this story.

I don’t want to enter in debate about naxlites as enough is going on that front but one thing is sure, this is a war which is being fought in our very backyards & not on border of the country, is an alarming thing for every one of us which we are ignoring. And this war is not for just police forces, every one of us has a role to play in it as police alone won’t be able to win it! Because recently one more news I read & that was unemployment rate getting doubled, especially in rural parts of the country! On face these two things i.e. naxal issue & unemployment may not seem to have anything in common but will put forward one age hold Hindi fraze, “Khali dimak, shaitan ka ghar hota hai” i.e. “An empty mind is devils residence’, need I write more to explain further? The entire life in these parts moves around three “J” ie Jungle, Jal & Jamin (Forest, Water & Land) as the life of the tribes here is attached to all these three factors. In these parts there is nothing to live for except the three J’s, not even education & even if you have education then no front to use & no jobs too & this is scene in most eastern districts of the State. In no way this means every unemployed boy or girl should take gun in hand & become a naxlite (which actually for most is a dakait in the mask of robin-hood) but this situation on the social front is making job of the policemen difficult, is a bitter fact!

Sharing my letter to my friend i.e. SP, Gadchiroli just to make us realize that each of us has a duty towards this war which is going on right within our borders & if we can’t actually go & fire a gun (that’s last thing though to win a war), we can surely contribute in our own way so that no gun should be required to fire in the first place as that’s the only way to end the war!...

24 4 18

Dr. Abhinav Deshmukh, IPS
SP, Gadchiroli.

“Do something every-day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”  Mark Twain.

Dear Abhinav,

Well, what better quote I could have chosen while writing to you about the achievement (though I am sure you won’t be considering it as an achievement) yet above words of great writer who is more famous for his humor, you must be definitely living them! When I open news paper specifically on 23rd April, the front page carried news of Gadchiroli, a rare thing unless something about death is there Pune-Mumbai news papers hardly cares about places like Gadchiroli. No wonder this news also was no exception but for a good change this time the news of death was that of bad people & not of policemen! Again I am no authority to call the died men as bad or good but then we do have thing named law & any segment (group of men/women) fighting with the men who are there to maintain the law itself, are considered as bad people & so were the died ones!

Abhinav, first of all let me congratulate you for not losing a single man from your force in this fight & for the first time (as the media has claimed) nearly 26 plus naxalites has been killed in this action & the figure increased to nearly 37 by next two days. While all the media & society is busy in congratulating your team as well entire police force involved in fighting naxals in eastern part of our State, I am very sure the people over there in uniform must not be considering this as victory or achievement as it’s a war where victory won’t be decided on a day’s fight! And then any war is bad, especially when fought within the border of our own country, which you guys are fighting! I am not taking side of naxals, no sane man can do it but when I get to read your name along with Mr. Sharad Shelar, IG as well Mr. Ankush Shinde , DIG , the first thought came to me was what must be going through your mind! Indeed no law & order job is ever easy & it becomes very tough when you have to kill another human being (many will ask do these men deserve to be called as human beings?) while doing your duty & my respect for you & your team grew more after thinking on these lines. My native place is Nagpur & I had been to these parts of the State which very few Pune-Mumbai residents ever care to visit. Because all the so called progressed citizens here know about Gadchiroli is its punishment posting for govt officers! Well, if it’s so then what must be the life for a person who has been born there & supposed to live his or her entire life in Gadchiroli & surrounding area? Again, who cares, as for the person living in city where problems are very different for e.g. petrol prices, traffic jams, property taxes & home prices, I wonder many even have time to think about place like Gadchiroli!

And this ignorance of our so called civilized world towards life of places like Gadchiroli is what makes your duty hundred times more creditable & yes dangerous too! As while even a constable on his Bullet (bike I meant) when roams on streets of Pune, good people look at him with respect & bad people gives way with fear (though that’s fast vanishing from here also). When an officer of your rank DCP or SP arrives at any place with his official car with Amber (now Blue) light on top, people admires your post’s power here in Pune. But how many knows the risk or danger of wearing that “khaki wardi” in naxal areas & how it feels when someone has put a prize on your head or one has to swipe the road ahead for land mines before passing your vehicle from any road! Well, I know this situation as I have seen it & that makes me respect you as my friend in uniform hundred times more than any other job!
Do mind, our country is strange, as one day if they praise you for killing naxals & success of this fight but very next day they will condemn you for the blood shade & question you only, was there not any other way to control the naxals or is the gun-war only solution to end the naxalisum? And I am sure you know all sides of the coin named duty in naxal area (here coin don’t have just two sides) & are prepared to face it as true war is not with naxalites but true war is with the system named our society which instead doing something concrete by themselves to fix this problem expects few people in uniform will find the solution for it!

My all wishes with you & your team, I agree right now I too am not much different than the society as I also do nothing by myself on the front of naxlisum or the situation which generates them yet I felt to share my feelings with you & do convey my heartfelt wishes to your entire team for the most difficult job you are doing, fighting a war with your own self!
Do let me know by any way I can assist, though I will be sending some goodies to your C 60 team , not for celebration but just to let them know in this war somebody do thinks about them & understands the burden they carry along with the gun & ammunition on their shoulders!

Proud to be friend of yours dost, take care of yourself as well every member of your team! Do share my feelings with all you team...

Warm regards.

Sanjay & Team Sanjeevani


Friends, if you can’t do anything for the police forces in places like Gadchiroli then at least don’t think that this is war of police only! Rather try to think how you can contribute, even you can write to the personnel in the forces & increase their moral because ammunition & guns can be bought but moral has to be built, as that’s what wins the wars finally!

Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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