When it came to proving himself, Home Minister Rajnath Singh showed how wrong his critics are in analyzing him. He quietly did his job and let his achievements do the talking.
Earlier this week, more than 50 Naxalites had assembled in Maharashtra’s Gadhchiroli district for a wedding celebration. Sensing a golden opportunity, the gutsy C 60 commandoes of the Maharashtra police attacked the area with full force. Initially, a warning for surrender was given, but when the Naxals began firing, this turned into a ruthless encounter. There are no exact figures of how many Naxals were actually present, but as per the latest reports, more than 35 bodies of Naxalites have been recovered, which proves that this encounter was a massive success.
A top Ministry of Home Affairs official has also stated the following:-
“…Recent attacks on forces in Chhattisgarh are an aberration and the operations like the one in Gadchiroli are the real measure of the government’s success in tackling the Naxal problem.”
However, this is only the trailer, for Rajnath Singh is doing the same as what Bruce Wayne did in ‘The Dark Knight’: a silent, watchful protector for the Indian peninsula. He is brilliant, but without any fanfare. Much as we would criticize him for his alleged inaction in suppressing the anarchical protests of Bharat Bandh or the antics of ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’, we can’t afford to ignore the achievements he has brought about as the incumbent Home Minister of India.
It all began in the very first year, when Jammu & Kashmir was struck by devastating floods in the month of September, 2014. As was the norm, the concerned Ministers would issue condolences and do the paperwork, without even analyzing the implementation on ground, but not Rajnath Singh. Together with PM Modi, Rajnath did the rare gesture of actually reaching the devastated areas, and lending an active hand in the rescue efforts, something that was till then only seen abroad. It’s another matter that most of the denizens of the Kashmir Valley never really paid back in gratitude.
Rajnath Singh also oversaw a massive overhaul in the police administration, ensuring reforms that would ensure more gender equality in the para military and police forces, with active combat roles for women. It was due to the combined efforts of the Home Minister, as well as the then Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, that the President of India back then, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, decided to open the armed forces for women, especially in active combat, albeit on a limited scale.
In the run up to the legislative assembly elections in Meghalaya, BJP had promised that if promoted to power, they would make sure that the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act is repealed in the state. True to their word, hardly had two months passed since rise of the NEDA to power in Meghalaya, when the AFSPA had been removed from Meghalaya and had been restricted in Arunachal Pradesh with immediate effect.
The Gadhchiroli encounters have proved that the Naxals is fighting a futile struggle to stay in relevance and is not far away from its brutal extinction. The days of the Maoist terror are numbered, and if we want to thank someone, apart from the para military and police forces in action, it is the Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh, who deserves the honors for cornering the Naxals.