Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quicknote: Guns vs. Cash

The Communist Party of India (Marxist, CPM) has caught on to one reason why the Naxalites have been able to gain repeated footholds in the southwest of West Bengal. Lack of economic development.

Earlier this week the CPM announced that it would be expanding the annual budgets of the three Naxalite affected districts of West Midnapur, Puruliya, and Bankura. The plan is to raise the budget from Rs. 22 crore to Rs. 235 crore, with increases in social programs as primary education, healthcare and irrigation (The Telegraph).

One hopes that the government will also attempt to tackle the issue of local corruption, lack of efficient governance, and poor integration of the hinterlands into the Kolkata hub. Additional distribution of monies from the central government to the provincial government, further increasing rural spending would also be welcome.

Alternatively, the provincial and central governments could also take a lesson from Pakistan. Arm the locals and unleash them against the Naxalites (Huffington Post).

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