Having looked at the development scenario in the erstwhile volatile regions of Kashmir and Northeast, we turn towards the shrinking Maoist corridor. Our Cover Story deals with how the Centre’s policy, formulated in 2015, has brought about a transformation in over 200 Left-wing extremism-hit districts spread across seven states. The NDA Government under PM Modi adopted a comprehensive approach, combining the use of force against armed insurgents with a political overreach to the local population through accelerated development, and it worked wonders. The story quotes official figures to elucidate how, since 2008 there has been a drastic decline in the cases of violence, a fall in casualty numbers, and a reduction in the geographical spread of the Maoist areas of influence. PM Modi’s visionary policy to tackle the Maoist menace has also been hailed as a game-changer by 14 former IPS officers. We carry the details of a statement issued by them in a separate report.
The center spread this week carries a special piece pegged on the Modi-Biden virtual summit and the 2+2 Dialogue that took place recently. The write-up highlights how India has successfully conveyed to the US its by-now-familiar theme of playing a global role on the basis of its own strategic autonomy and national interests. It stresses that though the US would have preferred India to take a stand on Russia identical to that of its own, it is creditable that the world’s only superpower has appreciated the Indian position.
The likelihood of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to India towards the end of this month was a good enough reason to focus on the United Kingdom in our Globetrotting feature. The visit comes amid London’s Indo-Pacific tilt and both sides are expected to hold talks on a free trade pact. The story argues how it is an opportunity for both countries to forge a comprehensive strategic vision in a profoundly changed world. An accompanying box dwells on the Commonwealth acquiring a renewed salience in the UK’s role in the changing geopolitical scenario. The transformed face of European politics post-Ukraine conflict has made this association of 54 equal member states all the more relevant, says our report.
Among the new developments covered in this edition, the most significant is the opening of the Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya in New Delhi. In his speech at the inauguration ceremony, PM Modi lauded the contribution of all the previous governments, saying, “Every government formed in independent India has contributed to taking the country to the height it is at today.” The edition also includes a one off page, titled Literature, which reveals some eye-opening facts about Iceland, in the words of no less a person than the First Lady of that country, who is also an accomplished author.
Read, and relish the package!