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Chidambaram's idea of India

Last updated on: October 6, 2009 19:20 IST
Image: Chidambaram's heart cries out for Tukaram Omble

The ordinary police constable is the 'most abused' part of the police force and the 'most reviled public servant', said Union Home Minister P Chidambaram while delivering the fourth Nani Palkhiwala memorial lecture in Mumbai on October 5.

"Self-esteem of the average policeman is very low. And this average police constable is a frontline force for the internal security," Chidambaram stated, adding that when the occasion demands, "he rises to great heights".

Chidambaram paid tributes to Tukaram Ombale, a Mumbai Police Constable killed during November 26 terror attack here while capturing Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab alive.

The Home Minister said nobody can forget the brave policemen who held barrel of the AK-47 of the terrorist and took bullets in his stomach so that his colleagues could capture Kasab.

Why can't Naxals contest elections?

Image: Chidambaram dares naxals to fight elections

Chidambaram also said India, which is facing serious terror and Naxal threats, has an ill-equipped police machinery, especially at its lower ranks.

Referring to Maoists in Nepal who participated in Parliamentary elections, Chidambaram wondered why Indian Maoists do not follow this example.

"There is no logical answer to this (why Naxals do not take part in democratic elections) from Maoists, from human rights activists who support them, or the left-leaning intellectuals," Chidambaram said.

Terming Naxalites as "anti-development", he said, "In 2009 alone there have been 183 attacks on economic targets, such as railway stations, panchayat buildings, schools, etc."

"If Naxalites accuse the elected governments of capitalism, land grabbing, exploiting and displacing the tribal people, and denying rights of forest-dwellers, what prevents them from winning power through elections and reversing current policies and putting in place policies that they think will benefit the people?"


Chidambaram's idea of India

Image: Chidambaram talks of inclusive growth

Chidambaram also stressed the need for "inclusive growth".

He said that "faster" reforms are necessary for inclusive progress and mere high rate of growth is not a cure-all.

For inclusive growth, measures such as subsidising transport fuels, fertilizers and food grains, were necessary, "though pundits may disagree", the minister said.

Defending the loan waiver granted to farmers by Congress government in the previous term, Chidambaram said between 1999 and 2004, banks wrote off Rs 47,123 crore worth loans in the industrial sector. This benefited only a few hundred industries and their workers, whereas farm loan waiver helped 36 million farmers, who are debt free in the face of this year's drought, he said.