Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dealing with Maoist Insurgency

Since 9/11, one talks of old and new terrorism and modern and post-modern terrorism. The reference is to the modus operandi (MO) and tactics used by the terrorists and their ability to use modern scientific and technological innovations for planning and committing acts of terrorism. Their use of modern innovations increases the lethality of their acts of terrorism, but, at the same time, increases their vulnerability to neutralisation by the security agencies. One saw in Mumbai in November, 2008, how the terrorists' use of modern means of communications facilitated not only their acts of terrorism, but also the investigation by the police.

After 9/11, the Neo Taliban of Afghanistan, headed by Mulla Mohammad Omar, has emerged as a modern insurgent force capable of planning and launching conventional-style attacks as well as sophisticated, complex, multi-target and multi-MO attacks involving the use of modern means of communications and weaponry. This should account for its successes against the NATO forces and the Afghan National Army (ANA) in certain areas and its vulnerability to neutralisation by the NATO forces in other areas due to the interception of its communications.

As compared to the Neo Taliban, the Maoist insurgents of the tribal belt in Central India are an old-style insurgent force still using tactics and MO such as ambushes, attacks with landmines and conventional weapons etc of the kind used by the communist insurgents of Malaya in the 1940s and of Myanmar and Thailand in subsequent years. Their strong points are not their weaponry, but the support from large sections of the tribal community in whose midst and on whose behalf they operate, their superior knowledge of the terrain and their non-dependence on modern means of communications.

The support of the community and their non-dependence on modern means of communications should explain the difficulties faced by the intelligence agencies in collecting human and technical intelligence about them. Their superior knowledge of the terrain gives them an advantage over the security forces. Clandestine, undetected movement through the terrain comes easily to them, but not to the security forces heavily dependent on modern means of transport for their movement.

The objective of any counter-insurgency strategy against the Maoists should be not to defeat them, but to deny them successes through better tactics and better MO by the security forces. This would be possible only with the support of the tribal community. Winning over the tribals through better governance, better development and better redressal of their grievances against the State has to be the core component of this strategy. Disproportionate use of force against the Maoists and the tribals supporting them would drive more tribals into the arms of the insurgent leaders.

Better tactics and better MO by the security forces would mean better capability for the detection and neutralisation of landmines, better skills in ambushing insurgent groups on the move and a capability for rapid intervention. The facts that there have been more instances of successful ambushes by the insurgents of the security forces than of the insurgents by the security forces, that deaths of members of the security forces due to landmines continue to be high and that a group of insurgents managed to stop the Rajdhani Express from Bhubaneshwar to New Delhi for over five hours on October 27,2009, without any counter-action by the rapid intervention forces speak of major deficiencies in our counter-insurgency capability.

7. The incident of October 27 underlines the need for a specially-trained and equipped special intervention force capable of operating rapidly and stealthily in the rural areas. The National Security Guards (NSGs), who were used to counter the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, are specially trained and equipped to intervene in terrorism-related situations in the urban areas. A similar force for rapid intervention against the Maoists in the rural areas is necessary.

Since the Maoist insurgency has spread over a wide geographic area coming under the jurisdiction of the police forces of a number of states, the command and control of the counter-insurgency operations becomes more difficult than in the case of terrorism. Should there be a centralised operational command and control or should the command and control remain the responsibility of the police forces of the affected States, with the role of the Government of India confined to co-ordination, guidance, capacity-building in the affected States and facilitation of the counter-insurgency operations? How to ensure better co-ordination among affected States and joint action where necessary? Should there be a joint action command? If so, how should it be constituted? These are questions which need attention.

Andhra Pradesh has had success stories in dealing with Naxalite/Maoist insurgency----through better intelligence, better terrain awareness, better physical security, better tactics and targetted attacks on key leaders. Its example should be of value to other states.

Non-state actors---whether terrorists or insurgents----cannot be defeated like one defeats a State adversary except in exceptional cases such as the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the Sri Lankan security forces. The LTTE, under Prabakaran, conducted itself like a State and paid a heavy price for it. Non-state actors can be made only to wither away through a sustained campaign of attrition with the support of the community. The campaign will be long and has to be sustained. One should not expect quick results.

Hard rhetoric and war cries have no place in counter-insurgency. A State, which is perceived by the community as caring for the people, has greater chances of prevailing over the insurgents than a State, which is seen as indifferent to the problems of the people.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Naxalites: What is the solution

After declaring that beheading is their signature, Naxalites hog the limelight of the Indian media and our leaders are forced to speak on this issue repeatedly. The soft-corner approach to them as to cater their political motives has boomeranged. The ruling Government has mastered the art of creating demons and becoming a victim to the same demon later. Who are naxals and how to tackle – some share of thought!
Naxalites or Naxals, is a term used to define the groups waging a violent war allegedly on behalf of landless laborers and tribal people against landlords and higher-caste people. The term Naxals or Naxalites derived from Naxalbari, a village in West Bengal where this movement got originated.
An extremist section led by Charu Majumdar & Kanu Sanyal in 1967, initiated the process of “revolutionary opposition” opposing the CPI(M) leadership. The attack on a farmer by local goondas over a land dispute (involving judgment from the Court) proved as a spring-board to this group. This group, in the guise of farmers attacked the landlords and aggravated the violence. This initiated the formation of Naxal movement in India. However, even before this episode, seeds are sown for this group to evolve in 1948 at Telangana. This struggle was based on the ideology of China's Mao Zedong, with the aim of creating an Indian revolution.
Ideologically, the Naxalites claim they are against India, the country, per se. They believe that Indians are yet to get freedom from hunger and deprivation and that the rich classes say landlords, industrialists, etc., control the means of production. Nor do they believe in Democracy. They are not willing to participate in elections but wishes to rule the people by terrorizing them. Their aims are to overthrow the present system and hence are targeting politicians, police officers and forest officials etc.
The Naxalites say they are fighting oppression and exploitation to create a classless society. The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) is the political outfit that propagates the Naxalite ideology. There are many groups operate under different names but with this same principle. The two main groups involved in violent activities, besides many factions are the People's War Group, and the Maoist Communist Centre.
This movement remained popular in early ‘70s. There were reports IIT students dropping out of college to join this movement. Films were produced justifying the wrong deeds of Naxals and portrayed them as saviors of poor or as modern day Robin-hoods. However, as seen with many other outfits that started with a principle later drifted apart, the Naxalite movement too, is seen as having lost its vision and having compromised its principles.
The Naxalites mostly operate in the rural and tribal areas far from the mainstream. Their operations are prominent in Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Eastern Maharashtra, Telangana (northwestern) region of Andhra Pradesh, Western Orissa and North-west region of Tamilnadu. It will be seen that these areas are all inland, far from the coastline. While the People's War is active mainly in Andhra Pradesh, western Orissa and eastern Maharashtra while the Maoist Communist Centre is active in Bihar, Jharkhand and northern Chhattisgarh.
The Naxalites claim to represent the most oppressed people in India, those who are often left untouched by Governments both State & Central and bypassed by the electoral process. Invariably, these men are the tribes, Dalits, and the poorest of the poor, who work as landless laborers for very poor wages.
The truth about the Naxalites is that despite their ideology, they have, over the years, turned into another terrorist outfit, extorting money from middle-level landowners (as the rich landowners buy Naxals themselves). They even extort and dominate the lives of the villagers who they claim to represent in the name of providing justice. Naxalites have also been known to collect 'tax' from the Adivasis and landless farmers in areas where their writ runs more than that of the Government. To have a comprehensive view, in the last decade alone they have killed more than 6500 innocent people in India. The terror tactics of Naxalites had given birth to private armies like Ranvir Sena in Bihar and Jharkhand.
Naxalites thrived on uneducated, jobless class of tribes who were repeatedly neglected by the officials and the politicians. The ruling Government at the Center took a lenient step towards this organization because of their left-leaning attitudes. The central govt repeatedly shied away from this issue and took the excuse of not interfering with State issues.

How to tackle:

¨ At the outset, the Government has to accept that it is not a law and order problem of individual states that are affected, but a national problem.

¨ Over the years, naxalites possess sophisticated rockets that can hit targets as far as one kilometer and the targets could be moving targets like car, truck, bus or train or in the air to hit landing helicopters. Hence the Police force should be strengthened in terms of infrastructure.

¨ We have to defeat them militarily. Complete military dominance is the key ( in the words of Arun Shourie).

¨ The policemen are to be trained and kept motivated. (Motivation of the fighting team is the key)

While these are the ideas floated very easily by all of us, the basic things are left out that provides ammunition to these naxals – that is the public support. After all, why the public should support these naxals? Is this out of terror or they have lost hopes on the government? Even the elite class does not believe the Government but surrenders to goons are what we have observed in the recent episode of Karan Johar’s Bombay joke. If this is the case in a metro city, there is no surprise in people supporting naxals in these tribal areas where the Government never ever attempts to access.
Developmental work: Considering that most naxal-affected places are rural and tribal areas, the government has to do something that make their presence felt. They should ensure that these areas have basic amenities provided if not some development. A police station would not suffice but these areas need hospitals, schools, drinking water and other basic amenities. Expecting the police to don the role civil administration would not serve the purpose but also weaken the police strength.
Win the confidence of local people: We should learn from the episode of Veerappan who simply survived by the local support and gave slips to the entire police team repeatedly. To do this, the Government has to communicate to the people in a continuous manner. This should be direct & informal and not through the movie clips produced by Films Division of India. Unless we stop the support of local population to these naxals, it would be difficult for anyone to make an inroad let alone defeating them. For this, we need to win the confidence of the local people that can be achieved only by providing the basic infra-structure for day-to-day life.
Dialog with people and not with Naxals: The most effective way to tackle the problem is to have a dialog not with the Naxalites but with the people in those areas. A dialog with Naxals would give a sign of approval of what they are doing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Dragon spews fire at the Elephant

The surprise element was almost completely lacking. The expectation in Delhi for a while has been that sooner or later Beijing would hit out. Verbal affronts from India were becoming a daily occurrence and a nuisance for Being. Not a single day has passed for the past several months when either influential sections of the Indian strategic community or the English-language media, tied by the umbilical cord of financial patronage to the Indian establishment, failed to indulge in some vituperative attack on Chinese policies and conduct towards India.

Yet, when it finally came on Wednesday, the timing of the cumulative Chinese reaction was most curious. Beijing chose a very special day on its diplomatic calendar to make its point. The prime ministers of Russia and Pakistan, Vladimir Putin and

Yousuf Raza Gilani, and the United States Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, were on official visits to Beijing. Indeed, Campbell had come on an important mission to prepare for the visit by US President Barack Obama to China next month.

Beijing made a big point that its current ruckus with Delhi was less bilateral and more geopolitical. Indeed, Wednesday's People's Daily commentary on India resorted to a colloquium that hasn't been heard in the dialogue across the Himalayas for very many years.

On the previous day, in two statements the Chinese Foreign Ministry provided the "curtain raiser" for the People's Daily commentary. The first statement focused attention on the recent Indian media campaign against China and asked Delhi to be "conducive toward promoting mutual understanding", rather than publishing false reports on border tensions.

The second statement was substantive and it conveyed that Beijing was "seriously dissatisfied" by the visit of the Indian prime minister 10 days ago to the state of Arunachal Pradesh (which China claims as its territory). The Chinese spokesman said, "China and India have not reached any formal agreement on the border issue. We demand that the Indian side pay attention to the serious and just concerns of the Chinese side and not to provoke incidents in the disputed region, in order to facilitate the healthy development of China-India relations."

The Indian reaction came within hours and was at the highest level of the foreign-policy establishment. Foreign Minister S M Krishna brushed off the Chinese statement, saying, "Well, regardless of what others say, it is the government of India's stated position that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. We rest at that." He added that Delhi was "disappointed and concerned" over China's objection.

The diplomatic backdrop was evidently getting electrified when the People's Daily struck. It literally tore into Indian policies. Leaving aside specifics, it dealt with what Beijing assessed to be the core issue - India's obsession with superpower status born out of its rooted complexes of having "constantly been under foreign rule ... throughout history" and its "recklessness and arrogance" towards its neighbors. "The dream of superpower is mingled with the thought of hegemony, which places the South Asian giant in an awkward situation and results in its repeated failure," the commentary pointed out.

The striking thing about the Chinese commentary was that it echoed a widespread criticism that is quite often voiced by India's neighbors. The commentary sought to establish a commonality of concerns between China and India's neighbors over the rising tide of Indian nationalism in the past decade or so with its disagreeable manifestations for regional cooperation. "To everyone's disappointment, India pursues a foreign policy of 'befriend the far and attack the near' ... India, which vows to be a superpower, needs to have its eyes on relations with neighbors and abandon its recklessness and arrogance as the world is undergoing earthshaking changes," the commentary claimed.

Beijing surely factored in that almost without exception, India's neighbors voice similar concerns and are currently seeking friendly and close ties with China to balance India's perceived overbearing attitude towards them. In effect, the Chinese commentary tapped into the near-total isolation that India faces today in the South Asian region.

Interestingly, the People's Daily followed up by running a sequel on Thursday, this time harshly telling Delhi a couple of things. One, it underlined that Delhi was seriously mistaken if it estimated that China could be hustled into a border settlement with India through pressure tactics. It affirmed categorically that the border dispute could be settled or a substantial step forward approaching a final solution could be taken "only on the condition that both of them [China and India] are ready to shake off the traditional and deep-seated misunderstandings".

Two, the commentary alleged that Delhi was getting "disoriented when making decisions" because it harbored a notion that the US was viewing India as a counterweight to China. Delhi was also becoming susceptible to the US stratagem to "woo India away from Russia and China and, in the meantime, feeding India's ambition to match China force by force by its ever burgeoning arms sales to India".

Most important, the commentary concluded that although China and India "will never pose a mortal foe to each other", if the Indian establishment and a "handful of irresponsible media institutions" didn't restrain themselves, "an accidental slip or go-off at the border would erode into a war", which neither side wanted. It is very obvious that Beijing sees the Indian establishment's hand behind the vituperative media campaign against China in recent months.

How the tensions pan out is another matter. In immediate terms, a flashpoint arises as the Indian government has approved a visit by the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in November to Arunachal Pradesh. No doubt, if the visit goes ahead, the Sino-Indian relationship will nosedive into a corridor of deep chill from which it may take a long time for the two countries to emerge.

The curious thing is this will be taking place at a time when the geopolitics of the region and world development as a whole will be passing through a transformative period of far-reaching significance. Given the fact that China's global power is an established reality, India may be painting itself into a corner by opting out of a mutual understanding with Beijing precisely at this juncture when the agenda of global issues and regional security is heavily laden.

On the contrary, if Delhi pays heed to Chinese sensitivities about the Dalai Lama's peregrinations in November, it will be accused by the Indian nationalist camp as buckling under Chinese pressure. An element of grandstanding, unfortunately, is entering into the Sino-Indian relationship, which runs against the grain of its maturing in the recent decade.

Equally, a question mark now envelops the rationale of India hosting the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers in the coming weeks within the framework of the trilateral format. To be sure, the equilibrium within the format has been disturbed. Russia and China have been developing an intense strategic partnership; India's traditional ties with Moscow have significantly weakened under the current pro-US leadership in Delhi; and, now, India's normalization process with China has suffered a severe setback.

At the same time, Russia has begun a serious attempt to choreograph a positive trajectory to its languishing relationship with Pakistan by taking it out of the trough of benign neglect and injecting some dynamism into it. China, of course, enjoys an "all-weather friendship" with Pakistan.

Indian policies are predicated on the assumption that a Sino-US clash of interests is inevitable as China's surge as a world power has become unstoppable, and Washington will have use of Delhi as a counterweight to Beijing sooner than most people would think. Surely, there is disquiet in Delhi about the Barack Obama administration's regional policies, which no longer accord India the status of a pre-eminent power and which place primacy on the US's alliance with India's arch rival, Pakistan.

But Delhi hopes that Obama will ultimately have to pay heed to US business interests and therefore India holds a trump card in the burgeoning market that it offers to the American corporate sector - unlike Pakistan, which is a basket case at best, a can of worms at worst.

Simply put, India is estimated to be the biggest arms buyer in the world and a market estimated to be worth US$100 billion is presenting itself to exploitation by American arms manufacturers - provided Obama has his wits about him and realizes on which side his South Asian bread is buttered. Delhi hopes to incrementally pose an existential choice to Obama through an idiom that the US political establishment understands perfectly well: the business interests of its military-industrial complex.

One thing is clear. Powerful Indian lobbyists have been at work in whipping up a war hysteria and xenophobia over China. The Washington Post recently featured a Delhi-datelined report on the shenanigans of these Indian fat cats who mainly comprise retired Indian defense officials and senior bureaucrats who act as commission agents for big American arms manufacturers. There was a time when the Sandhurst-trained Indian military personnel retired to the cool hill stations and spent the sunset of their lives playing bridge or going for long walks and regaling their visitors with their wartime stories while sipping whisky.

Nowadays, the smart ones among the retired generals and top bureaucrats take up residence in Delhi's suburbs and overnight transform themselves into "strategic thinkers" and begin networking with some American think-tank or the other, while probing a new lease on life as brokers or commission agents for arms manufacturers.

All in all, it is virtually certain that these lobbyists can expect a windfall out of Sino-Indian tensions. After all, a case has been neatly made about the imperatives of a close Indian tie-up with the US. The current Indian political elite doesn't really need any prompting in that direction, but all the same, a degree of public accountability may at times become necessary. Transparency International has bestowed on India the distinction of being one of the most corrupt countries on the planet and it is an open secret that India's arms procurement program provides a vast avenue to siphon off national wealth.

If the Indian market for military hardware is worth $100 billion, it is quite understandable that a gravy train is getting ready for the Indian elites. The People's Daily commentator may have unwittingly waved off the train from the platform. And that was exactly what the Indian elites and fat cats wanted.

Now, all eyes will turn toward the visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Washington in November. Obama has let it be known that Manmohan will be the first dignitary to be honored with a state banquet during his presidency.

The Americans are vastly experienced with the Indians' Himalayan ego and by now they know well enough where and how to tickle Indian vanities. How they pedal fresh dreams to the Indians and pick up the fruits of their endeavors will be keenly watched not only by the multitude of Indians back at home, but also by the Pakistanis, Chinese and the Russians.

Friday, October 16, 2009

पराजित अमावस्या का उच्छवास है- दीपावली

विजयी दीपशिखा का असीम उल्लास है- 'दीपावली, पराजित अमावस्या का उच्छवास है- दीपावली, निबिड़ अंधकार का पलायन है- दीपावली, आलोक-सुरसरि का धरती पर अवतरण है- दीपावली, आकाश के अनंत-नक्षत्र-मंडल से धरा की मूर्तिमान स्पर्धा है - दीपावली, मनुष्य की चिर-आलोक- पिपासा के लिए चहुंदिसि आलोक - वर्षा है - दीपावली, अंधकार पर प्रकाश की विजय का पर्व है - दीपावली।
अंधकार को मनुष्य ने सदा अपना शत्रु माना है। अंधकार भय उत्पन्न करता है, अंधकार अस्तित्व को विलीन करता है। इसीलिए मनुष्य अपने अस्तित्व की सुरक्षा के लिए प्रकाश का मुखापेक्षी रहा है। प्रकृति में प्रकाश और अंधकार का विधाता ने संतुलन स्थापित किया है। अगर दिवस प्रकाश की यात्रा है तो रात्रि अंधकार का प्रसार है। 'प्रकाश तम पारव दुहुंंÓ के अनुसार प्रकृति ने रात्रि में भी प्रकाश और अंधकार का संतुलन स्थापित किया है। संपूर्ण प्रकृति द्वैत मय है - 'जड़-चेतन गुण-दोष मय विश्व कीन्ह करतार।Ó प्रकृति की इस द्वैतता को संसार के लगभग अन्य सभी प्राणियों ने स्वीकार कर लिया है - कुछ एक ने अपनी क्षमता भर प्रकृति की इस द्वैती प्रकृति को बदलने की चेष्टा भी की है, जैसे कि खद्योत गहन तिमिराच्छन्न रात्रि और भयावने जंगल में अपनी क्षमता भर प्रकाश उत्पन्न करते ही हैं, लेकिन मनुष्य ने अपनी बुद्धि और विवेक के बल पर संसार के प्रत्येक अंधकार को चुनौती दी और हर अंधेरे में उजाले की सृष्टि करने का प्रयास किया। वैदिक ऋषियों द्वारा उच्चरित मंत्र 'तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमयÓ को मनुष्य ने अपने जीवन का मूलमंत्र बनाया।
अंधकार एक आवरण है, एक भय है, आशंका है, स्वप्न है, इसलिए उसमें जड़ता है, अकर्मण्यता है, एकरूपता है, निद्रा है, अस्तित्व का विलय है। अत: तिमिर त्याज्य है, उपेक्षणीय है। प्रकाश में, आलोक में चेतना है, विविधता है, सक्रियता है, कर्मठता है, जागरण है एवं अस्तित्व की सुरक्षा है, इसी कारण आलोक वरेण्य है।
अंधकार में प्रकाश बिखेरने की मानवीय एषणा ने मानव सभ्यता के इतिहास में प्रगति के अनेकानेक सोपानों पर अपने चरणचिह्न अंकित किए हैं। पत्थरों को रगड़कर चिनगारी उत्पन्न करने के आदिम रूप से लेकर आज तक के अणुदीप तक मानव ने ज्योतिमुखी यात्रा की है।
दिन गौरांग है। रात्रि ही श्यामा है। रात्रि में भी चंद्रिका अपनी क्षमता भर, चेष्टा भर प्रकाश बिखेरती ही है, किंतु अमावस्या की रात्रि अंधकार - असुर की प्रिया है। अमावस्या अर्थात पूरी रात्रि अंधकार को समर्पित महानिशा यानी तमोगुण की साकार विवृत्ति। वामपंथी साधना की आधारभूमि अमावस्या।
प्रकाश-प्रेमी मनुष्य ने इसी तिमिर-प्रिया अमावस्या की रात्रि को दीपोत्सव में परिवर्तित कर अंधकार की जड़ता पर अपनी चेतना के स्वर्णिम हस्ताक्षर अंकित किए हैं।
दीपावली - आलोक-उत्सव ही नहीं, अन्नोत्सव भी है। अन्न ब्रह्म है। आदि युग में मनुष्य भी पशु की भांति अपक्वाहार ग्रहण करता था। अग्नि से परिचय हुआ तो पाक-शास्त्र का आरंभिक अध्याय लिखा गया, अर्थात 'भून कर खाना।Ó 'खीलÓ शाकाहारी पाक-शास्त्र की आदिम ऋचा है।
दीपावली की रात में गणेश-लक्ष्मी की 'खीलÓ बिखेरकर पूजा की गयी। भौतिक अंधकार में प्रकाश बिखेरने का दायित्व नन्हें दीपकों ने संभाला और उदर के क्षुधाजन्य अंधकार में तृप्ति का आलोक बिखेरा नन्हीं-नन्हीं खीलों ने। परवर्ती युग में खील के साथ बताशा भी जुड़ गया।
दीपावली - अर्थात दीपों की पंक्ति मुँडेरों, मेहराबों और छतों, छज्जोंवाली दीपावली अभी भी दिखाई देती है, पर एक और दीपावली थी, जो शनै: शनै: लुप्त होती जा रही है। जलधारा पर तैरती हुई दीपों की अविरल, भाव-विह्वल दीपमाला।
आस्था-संपन्न भारतीय नारी सश्रद्ध दृष्टि और कांपते हाथों से धारा में दीपमाला प्रवाहित करती है। परदेश गए प्रेमी, पति या पुत्र के मंगालार्थ महिलाओं द्वारा 'दीपदानÓकी परंपरा अब क्षीण होती जा रही है। स्वाधीन भारत में राष्टï्र लक्ष्मी का प्रकाश कुछ गिनी-चुनी मुँडेरों पर केंद्रित हो गया है। राष्टï्र लक्ष्मी सीमित तिजोरियों में कैद हो गई। लक्ष्मी के शुभ्र प्रकाश को सचमुच उलूक पर बिठा दिया गया। तस्करों के कुचक्र में फंसकर लक्ष्मी अंधकारोन्मुख हो गई। अंधेरी लक्ष्मी (काला धन) का विनाश हो। शुभ्र सतोगुणी सर्व मंगला लक्ष्मी का उदय हो।
ज्योति पर्व प्रहरी की भांति घूम-घूमकर बता रहा है कि कहां-कहां कैद है राष्टï्र लक्ष्मी! संकेत कर रहा है - उधर देखो! उन मुंडेरों पर सिमट गए हैं असंख्य दीप और इधर न जाने कितनी झोपडिय़ों में घनघोर अंधेरा है, प्रकाश-शून्य झोपडिय़ों। सीमित मुंडेरों पर कैद दीपावली को उतारकर एक-एक कुटिया तक ले जाना अभी बाकी है। सावधान! हमारी लक्ष्मी विदेश न चली जाए। आज तक कहते रहे - 'तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमयÓ, पर इस बार दीपोत्सव यह कर रहा है कि ज्योति को ही अंधकार की ओर ले चलें। राष्टï्र लक्ष्मी कुटियों में और अधिक आलोक बिखेरे। ज्योति से ज्योति जले, दीपोत्सव की आभा असंख्य आलोक पुष्पों में खिले।