She has been clear about her verbalised opinions on the Maoist issues with a few tantalising ifs and buts thrown in. It reveals the paucity of thinking in the electronic media that she is asked if she’d take on the role of mediator between the government and the Naxals. What prompted that query?
She said in a television interview that a ceasefire between the security forces and the Maoists was "urgent" and "unconditional". Have the security forces been given a carte blanche to make such announcements? Will the Maoists who have been waging this war for many years and many reasons suddenly give up their conditions? And if all this is urgent then why dilly-dally?
When asked if she would like to make a statement calling upon the Maoists to come forward for talks, she said, “No. Not when there are two lakh paramilitary forces closing in on the villages.”
Did she not mention unconditional? Why does she not wish to put her mouth where her mouth is?
“I would not like to be (a mediator or part of people’s committee to mediate between the government and Maoists). I don’t think I have those skills... I don’t think I am good at it. I am a maverick... I’ll try. I don’t know how to think about it.”
If she is good enough to go on lecture tours, meet the comrades, question the government, then why not? And she forgets that she is not the real maverick here – it is the Maoists who are, the ones she thinks should call for a ceasefire as though they can be herded like sheep for someone else’s intellectual high.
“I don’t think it should be one person. I think there should be a group of people who are used to taking decisions collectively…If you studied the peace talks process in Andhra, you see that this business of picking one person and announcing it to the media... both sides have done it. Home minister P Chidambaram has arbitrarily picked Swami Agnivesh. Maoists arbitrarily announced that they want this one or that one. That is not how it works.”
Indeed. For one, collective decisions can be taken when there is uniformity in thought and action. This has not been the case. Two, there will be individuals chosen arbitrarily because they are either the face of the movement or have a record of such mediatory roles. Interestingly, she herself has suggested that rights activity B D Sharma should be included in such a committee. And isn’t she the spokesperson of several causes? Whose arbitrary decisions are those?
If the Maoists send a peace envoy and he gets killed, then she believes the government does not want peace. So, why is she asking for this committee to be formed and why this sudden ceasefire talks?
Are the Maoists getting out of hand and doing their own thing, not quite concerned about who says what at seminars?