Tuesday, May 25, 2010

India, Maoists and the Citizens - PART 1

Demands for action, frustration and impatience at the intellectual dillydallying are the flavors of most of the drawing rooms and coffee tables in the country. One section of the society wants correction of the root causes before the fight and another section is advocating an aggressive annihilation of Maoists and all their supporters.

I discussed this issue with one of my friends. My friend was actually in a good mood that evening. He returned home from his cushy job in an MNC and had a couple aspersions cast on his boss and the politicians mainly due to the irritation of traffic on the way home. He got connected to internet and completed online booking of movie tickets for the coming weekend. As he was completing the homework of his kids, I stepped in for a friendly chat. He switched on the Television while we are settling down in the comfortable sofa in his recently purchased three bedroom house. He lured me into a conversation on the educational policy of the government (mainly as a continuation of the homework). Sensing the unromantic air in the room his wife steered my wife away to show the newly made up kitchen.

TV news bulletin is covering the killing of CRPF personnel in Dantewada. My friend was moved by the gruesome attack and was upset with the politicians and the authorities for not being able to wipe out Maoists in one fell swoop. I tried to comfort my friend (slipping into my political avatar of course) and told him that this may be a deeper issue and might take some time for getting resolved.

He replied angrily to me, “If we handle it that way, it will take a hundred years. By that time these people will destroy our country.

It is their country too. Why do you think they will destroy it?” I asked, nonchalantly while sipping the fruit juice in front of me.

My friend fell silent. Judging by the length of silence, it looked like it never occurred to him. My friend wanted to understand, but he is not sure whom to believe and where to get the facts and how to decipher the truth.

My friend looked hopefully at the TV for an answer. The civil rights activist and the retired police officer in the studio are arguing about the importance of rule of law and human rights?

I don’t know all these things. But what happened in Dantewada is not acceptable”, snapped my friend with a jeering look to see if I dare to voice any other opinion.

I nodded approvingly and kept my silence. Emboldened by my silence, my friend switched off the TV. “If it requires Army and AirForce, then ‘so be it’” concluded my friend while ushering me to the table for dinner with the air of an Army general who has just won a battle.

This is the mood in which most of the ordinary and common people are in. Utter mindlessness of Maoist attacks is clearly visible to everybody. Hence that is what the people are reacting to.

Who are these Maoists? Why are they fighting Indian State? Why can’t the mighty Indian State just crush them away? These are the questions that are bothering most of the common people. Are there other things to be understood? If there are, then most of the people are not aware of them. Ordinary people do not have the time and energy to understand these complex problems in their lives of self content. That job is entrusted to political leadership. I am afraid politicians are not doing a great job of it.

What is the truth? Whom to believe? Are we getting all the information? How are the Maoists able to withstand the might of Indian State? How to solve the issue? What is the guarantee that the same issues does not resurface again?

We need to get answers for all these questions. Let’s understand the nature and context of Maoism in India. Let’s analyze where we went wrong and how to make our democracy work better since understanding the truth is a necessary precondition for delivering justice.

To be continued…


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  2. “It is their country too. Why do you think they will destroy it?”

    I think your friend is right. Maoism is about completely tearing down the current system of government and replacing it. The ideology dictates it. They believe once they've torn everything down they can establish a new, better system of government from scratch.

    Whether you believe that is possible or not, and whether you think the price is too high or not, is a different issue.

  3. Inthearmchair,
    Thank you for raising a very important point. as you said it is too big to be covered in this comment. I will be addressing this issue in Part2 of this post.