Thursday, December 30, 2010

Democracy and insurgents in modern India

That is how I could think of after reading T K Arun’s article in today’s ET. Some questions posed by him are really needs for deeper thinking. Some excerpts: 

  • In every nook and corner of India, some priest or preacher routinely extols verses from the Bhagavad Gita, in which none other than Lord Krishna urges Arjuna to perform violence in pursuit of dharma. Should this call to violence invite the wrath of the state?  
  • How should the state treat a Maoist sympathiser, one who does not take part in or abets any violent activity, but articulates empathy with the Maoist cause?  
  • Yet democracy had little meaning in large swathes of India, where extremely unequal distribution of assets and social power made a mockery of the Republic’s promise to remove poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity.  
  • Members of India’s aboriginal tribes belong to this category , for the most part. And they have been mobilised by the Maoists, citing not just failure of the state to protect them from oppression but also the state’s role as primary oppressor , usurping their land and restricting their means of livelihood.  
  • All those who fail to act to secure movement towards the democratic ideals of the Constitution are, in reality, enemies of the people, and of the state, if the state is truly of, for and by the people. 
  • The aim of the state should be to resolve conflict, not wreak vengeance. So, the option of a negotiated settlement is always open for the state, should the Maoists give up violence. 

But for the court verdict one should give thought to professor Bibek’s article.

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