Jaipur: Former Army chief VK Singh on Monday blamed successive governments at the Centre and states for the rise of Naxalism in the country, noting that a host of issues like lack of development and violation of people`s rights helped strengthening base of the ultras in the country.
"Those who are in power are responsible for the issue of Naxalism. It can not be solved by force deployment, but by social reform and change in policies," Singh said here.
Calling for urgent steps to deal with the challenge in wake of the increasing expansion of Naxals, Singh, however, said the issue could be resolved only through wide-ranging reforms and not by force.
"When CRPF Jawans were killed in an ambush laid by Naxals in Chhattisgarh in 2010, the Centre sought my suggestion over possibility of deployment of Army but I declined because this issue can be solved only by social reforms," he said.
He said factors like injustice on part of the machinery compel people to support Naxals as they start seeing a solution to their problems in the methods used by the ultras.
The number of districts affected with Naxalism was 50 in 1990 and now has increased to around 270, Singh said, underlining the need for urgent attention towards the issue.
General Singh said that ever since his retirement, he has made `reclaiming India` his mission and objective.
"I read a book in which the author described democracy of the country as kleptocracy, which he explains as a government of the thieves, for the thieves and by the thieves. When scholars are having such a view, I made `reclaiming India` my objective," he said.
"After retirement, I began to associate like minded people to work together for reclaiming India. I chose to do constructive work to give back to society instead of going to clubs or enjoying golf because I love my people and I want to give them whatever I can," VK Singh said.
Recalling initial days of his career, Singh said becoming Army Chief was not his ambition and he wanted to reach upto the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as his father had retired from this rank.
Singh further said while being in service, he never compromised with self-respect and self-esteem.
"One thing that some armymen do not understand is that a soldier is dedicated to the nation, not to a particular government. This is the reason why army is roped in when other civil arrangements fail," he said.
Singh also laid emphasis on electoral reforms to curb graft, and said corruption was more rampant in civil institutions than in Army.