Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nexalism – the Unforgotten War in India


Hostage crisis is the word repeatedly occurred in Indian media as Nexals are showing their militant face by kidnapping government officials. For instance, the abduction of Sukma district collector in Chhattisgarh state in India. According to media yesterday they released the statement to justify the abduction of IAF officer – Alex Paul Menon. Their statement goes like this “these people need to understand the reality on the ground and the manner in which the people are suffering state’s repression and the role of district collector in it.” But in practical ground, this militant activity of Nexals caused chaos in that region. The sudden rush of nexalism was brooded by corruption in a democratic government. Though democracy gives liberty, sometimes it causes chaos in society.

Though  socialist system collapsed in USSR, still socialism has its impact in Indian society in the form of Nexals/Moaists. The Nexals are considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology.   To have a comprehensive idea on Nexals, we need to understand the tribal tradition first. The distinctiveness of tribal tradition lies in affirming the centrality of land or space as the foundation for understanding the tribal people’s culture, identity, personhood and religious ethos.
The recent fighting scenario and Naxals aggressive behavior shows that they will not give up their guns. It is theoretically problematic to assert the existence of Naxels as they stand for their principles to bring the deliverance from the oppressed community. Maoists are not cowards enacting dramas. They have been fighting for the cause of oppressed for last 30 to 40 years. The boldness and reckless are indirectly stimulated by the oppression of the local government and the corrupted politicians.

The lack of knowledge of our political leaders in tribal issues has been proved by the recent Union Budget. The union budget has set aside a mammoth amount of over Rs.40,000 crores/ $ 8 billion to battle Naxals and other separatists in the North Eastern States, who posed a serious challenge to the nation’s internal security.  This step shows the total ignorance to tackle the problems of Nexals. Can these deployments stop the Nexalism, never. It may provide temporary solution but not the permanent one.
Clearly, Gandhi had visualized the menace we are facing today. Indian political leaders should aware of the Mahatma Gandhi’s warning. Father of our nation had warned 68 years ago about inevitable armed revolutions in Indian if the gulf between the rich and the hungry continued to persist. The remarks of the civil society may be dismissed as “unnecessary romanticism of violence,” but can we afford to overlook the warning of the father of the nation.

Gandhiji and his methodologies are still very much relevant in relation to resolving state-people conflicts and especially when the present political system has no clue to an appropriate political starter for such conflict resolution except using forces. Today the mainstream politics need to learn the relevance and art of political mobilization of common and deprived people from Gandhiji’s historic experiences. Therefore we need to recall what were the views of other legendary leaders of India bout the social and political conflicts which would emerge in independent India. In 1931, Dr.B.R.Ambedkar in his famous speech in the Round Table Conference in London mentioned about the duality on Indian society and that of the political classes, which would create more inequality and hence violence. It is not always a bad idea to trace the roots of present day problem in the historical experiences of the legends of India.

Naxalism and insurgency would automatically disappear if development and equality are ensured to all citizens of the country. The most stupid thing to do is to try to crush the oppressed through deploying para-military.

There are plenty of the ways for tackling the problem. One of the way to solve problems is through talks. Nexalism started due to the pauperization and exploitation of the peasantry in a filthy feudal system in the countryside. Nexals must be talked into giving up the gun by fulfilling their legitimate demands of development of all section of society.

Further, one of the root causes of Nexalism is low or no development of the affected areas. In one sense, poverty makes crime. So the natural solution is bringing development mainly in the form of education, employment and infrastructure. Sustainable employment will be permanent solutions for the eradication of Nexalism in India which will lead to education, development and patriotism.

Violence only breeds more violence and tears apart the society. Government and Nexals should realize that violence cannot bring peace or development. The stupid self-serving politicians and bureaucrats in the central and state governments and leaders of Nexals have to realize this. Till then this frightening scenario will not be over. We have to unify India by fighting against corruption, have transparency and find innovative ways to promote the deserving under privileged.

I will be posting few more articles about my experiences in the Nexal heartlands and in North East India.

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