The penchant of Narendra Modi to go unconventional and enter untested political and administrative spheres is a well-established fact. However, the latest move by the home ministry tops all out-of-box ideas people have experienced so far. And the move left bureaucrats of home ministry perplexed and scratching their heads. If implemented, the government would call it “Barkha Counter Insurgency” scheme, crediting the originator of the idea the renowned journalist, liberal, social activist, lobbyist, feminist, author, speaker, manipulator, influencer and much more.
It all started when someone brought one innocuous tweet by Barkha Dutt to the notice of Prime Minister. Putting her entire ingenuity into utilisation, Barkha had suggested sending Gau-Rakshaks to Sukhma area so their ‘protection’ skills may be used for things better than beating innocents. In fact, this tweet had reminded Narendra Modi of the comment made by general public during the Mumbai attacks by Kasab & Co., that why MNS was not given charge of chasing away the visitors from Pakistan. As MNS cadre were experienced in chasing away the Bhaiyyas from Bihar, their experience could have come handy in dealing with foreign visitors.
Immediately Modi had called for an emergency meeting of home ministry officials, NSA, heads of CRPH, ITBP, BSF and of course the Army to discuss this issue. Though the IAS babus could not get the essence of the scheme, the men in green were in favour of adapting the scheme, albeit in much elaborated version.
Army has suggested to use Gau-Rakshaks in Kashmir against stone-pelters, which may further motivate the Gau-Rakshaks. A new force called GRF (Gau-Rakshak Force) would be created. Even the home minister of J&K found favour with the plan. As Gau-Rakshaks don’t use any form of bullets but handle stone-pelters with only wooden clubs, the contest between Stone-Pelters and GRFs would be a fair one.
Taking it to further was the CRPF head, who suggested to use Stone-Pelters against Naxalites. He reasoned, “After all, they pelt stones for only ₹500/- a day. We spend much more than that on our CRPF jawans. We can easily pay ₹1000/- a day for each stone pelter. Even then, it would cost us very much less than what we spend on maintaining our force. I suggest along with GRF, we may form Stone-Pelting Force (SPF) too.” Though all men in uniform seconded this idea, it was opposed by the home ministry of Chattisgarh, fearing they may lose chance to swindle money in the name of anti-naxal operations.
The ever enthusiastic Kiren Rijju proposed using the rebels from North-East area too. He explained how the Nagas, who were experts in guerrilla warfare would suit more to handle Naxalites, given the area of operation is forest. Given free hand, he felt Nagas will wipe out Naxalites in the entire red corridor ranging from Bihar to Nallamala forests in Andhra Pradesh.
Chidambaram, former home minister in UPA, who was specially invited for the meeting considering his experience seconded Kiren Rijju’s suggestion. According to him, Stone-Pelters may be employed in urban areas to tackle ‘Urban Naxalites’ i.e., intellectual sympathisers of Naxalites.
Though present home minister Rajnath Singh has condemned this new plan in strongest of words, this plan found favour with Arun Jaitley, who termed it as another epochal scheme on the lines of MNRGA. The new scheme would be promoted as ‘Rehabilitation And Providing Employment” to ‘Reds & Other Society’s Extremists”and will integrate them in main stream of the society.
Thus, the policy of handling red terrorism has been finalised as ‘RAPE of ROSE”.