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food for thought

In a bizarre move, the Centre has revised the stipend and fixed deposit for the surrendered militants of the Northeast. The earlier stipend of Rs 3,500 per month has now been fixed at Rs 6,000 per month while the fixed deposit has leaped from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh for three years. This is a huge bonanza for the erstwhile men in jungle with blood in their hands who later on decided to join the ‘mainstream’. We do not want to discuss the ‘mainstream’ of the SULFA kind here, but the steep hike in the stipend and fixed deposit in question warrants deep thought as to what kind of culture the government seems bent on promoting.
The story is fascinating: You choose to pick up an AK-47 one fine day because you want to stage a revolution for your people. In the name of revolution you indulge in extortion, intimidation of innocents, and rampant and senseless killings. You do not spare even women and children (recall Dhemaji, August 15, 2004 – schoolchildren were blown to bits by an ULFA-triggered blast on Independence Day!). Then all of a sudden you realize the futility of violence. Abruptly you discover merit in Indian democracy. It is as if the drunkenness of ‘sovereignty’ leaves you with a hangover of ‘democracy’. Then you decide to surrender. And you do it actually. And the reward? Well, you have a monthly stipend, now Rs 6,000, and a fixed deposit in your name, now Rs 4 lakh for three years. This is huge, unprecedented – after a diabolic innings of cowardly violence and bloodshed.
So, what business the government is up to? It is promoting militancy – nay, terrorism. It is as if the government is encouraging the unemployed youth to join some militant outfit and then surrender with arms so that they may be able to sustain with a handsome pay package without having to work at all! And don’t worry. This pay package will keep increasing too, as it has now.
Ponder a while: Is the government itself not adding to the vast architecture of non-state actors? What more wrong a message there could be to the youth, that too in such a volatile region as the country’s strategic hinterland?