It’s time for Chidambaram to go
Sri Chidamabaram is the Home Minister of a country that took on Khalistani extremist violence in Punjab head-on. A country that fought three wars with Pakistan and is battling hardcore terrorists in Kashmir every day. A country that battled LTTE militants in Sri Lanka. A country that rescued Maldives that was under mercenaries’ siege. Indian military flew 2000 kilometers, drove out the combatants and restored that country’s government.
Yet, the Home Minister of one of the most powerful countries in the world, yielded to a man who was on a phony fast and was not in any imminent health danger and who in fact was eager to give up his fast even if the central government winked at him.
Instead of diffusing the crisis in A.P., what did our esteemed Home Minister do? He found an opportune moment when two senior most leaders Manmohan Singh and Pranab Mukherjee, known for their prudence and wisdom, were out of the country. On December 9th he pressured Sonia Gandhi, despite her reservations about a hasty decision being forced on her in the middle of the night, that unless she agrees to split the State, Andhra Pradesh will go up in flames. The intelligence report allegedly sent by the State authorities sympathetic to separatists came in handy to impress upon her.
In 1937 C. Rajagopalachari became the Chief Minister of Madras. He skillfully managed to divide Telugus by giving the ministerial posts to Kosta telugus and none to Rayalaseema leaders. It took a great deal of effort and signing of Sribagh pact to undo the damage done to Telugu unity by Rajagopalachari. In 1949 as Governor General, Rajagopalachari visited Hyderabad and publicly stated that he is opposed to the division of Hyderabad State, which re-energized Telugus to fight for Vishalandhra. Later on in December 1952, after Potti Sriramulu’s death, Justice Wachoo recommended making Madras the temporary capital of Telugus. Rajagopalachari threatened Nehru with his resignation and ensured that Madras was robbed from us.
Home Minister Chidambaram, like C. Rajagopalachari, is playing a spoil sport with Telugus. In an article written for Indian Express May 18, 2003, Chidambaram wrote: “In my view, there is a strong case for the creation of…Telangana (out of Andhra Pradesh, population 7.57 crore).”
While Andhra Pradesh is the 5th largest State in India, Tamilnadu happens to be the 6th largest State in the country with over 6 crores population. Yet, when PMK leader Ramadoss, in light of Chidambaram’s December 9th announcement to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, demanded similar bifurcation of Tamilnadu, Home Minister termed the demand as “meaningless and absurd” and said that the idea should be nipped in the bud.
When it came to division of his home State, the Home Minister reacted emotionally almost in a knee-jerk fashion. Yet when it came to Andhra Pradesh he took advantage of every excuse to enable the division of Telugu people. He didn’t even bother to consult the cabinet, the parliament, nor the Andhra Pradesh State Assembly before eagerly and unilaterally announcing the decision to divide the State of Andhra Pradesh.
Chidambaram’s follies are not confined to Andhra Pradesh. Under his leadership Naxals are going on a rampage. Media has been idolizing Chidambaram as a Sardar Patel’s reincarnation. Looks like that got into our Home Minister’s head.
Our Patel wannabe Home Minister started “Operation Green Hunt” on Naxalites. He rolled in Central Reserve Police Force and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action against Naxals. What are the results of his high-profile offensive so far? 25 policemen killed in West Bengal, 76 CRPF and policemen killed in an ambush in Dantewada Chattisgarh, and another 26 CRPF men killed this week in Narayanpur district in Chattisgarh.
Home Minister Chidambaram should learn a lesson or two from late YSR. Andhra Pradesh was one of the worst Naxal affected States in the country. YSR didn’t indulge in any major “operations” or threatened to bring aircrafts to tackle Naxalites. He initiated developmental activities in Naxal infested areas. He strengthened the intelligence network, and empowered the police to do their job. This has effectively halted Naxal menace in the state. YSR didn’t make tall claims, nor held weekly press conferences, nor did he ever celebrate victory over Naxals.
If this is not enough, it is widely believed that the Home Minister played a chief role in the recent conflict between Manipur and Nagaland, wherein Nagas have blocked NH 39 and NH53 access for 65 days. This effectively denied the rest of the North Eastern States basic commodities like fuel, baby food, and medicine. It is widely believed that it is the Home Minister who opened the North East’s pandora’s box.
Home Minister Chidambaram during his brief stint has done enough damage to our nation through his actions. Under his leadership, Andhra Pradesh in the South, Kashmir in the North, and Nagaland, Manipur in the North East have gone up in flames. I hope the leadership of this country will wake up from its slumber and relieve Chidambaram from his public duties.
Save Andhra Pradesh!