Tuesday, 18 May 2010

“Where there’s injustice there cannot be peace” -- Vinoba Bhave

Please read first two parts:
Part 1: http://nishanthdongari.blogspot.com/2010/04/who-is-culprit-maoists-or-indian-state.html
Part 2: http://nishanthdongari.blogspot.com/2010/04/so-now-adivasis-cannot-go-even-to-media.html

The government and the union home minsiter P. Chidambaram keeps on asking democratic and human rights groups – tell the Maoists to stop the violence. But why the government doesn't stop their 'state' violence. Whenever there is state violence, there will be movement violence as a reaction. Why the government can't register the FIRs the human rights groups have filed against the police and the 'brutal atrocities' they have committed on the name of 'Operation Green Hunt' and 'Salwa Judum'. The government doesnt even want to do that bit of their job and keep asking the HR groups to spell out their stand on violence. 

What does the goverment want them to say? They live there; they interact with the adivasis; they know the situation. In the last five years, no leader has come to Dantewada to ask the adivasis what are their problems. Some incidents look terrible when viewed from the outside. It has happened that a group of SPOs have gone around burning village upon village. And the villagers managed to surround this very group and killed them. So shall we attach a Naxalite tag to all these villagers, who killed SPOs to protect their fundamental rights, when the democracy is utterly failed. I guess, that is what we (government, political parties, media) exactly are doing, like British rulers attached terrorist tags to  Bhagath Singh and US did to Che Guevara. In the history, every movement violence, is resutled due to the opression of strong on weak.

Many times, HR groups tried their best to avoid adivasis taking up arms and they brought these wounded, raped and harassed adivasis to the 'Constitution Club'. Nothing happened, none cared, neither the media nor the common public (who are very much interested in peace and justice). Such is the condition of city-dwellers today; they do not care what is happening in these villages, inspite of uttering loud and eloquent speeches on Gandhian principle of 'real India lies in villages'. They are the ones who want peace, they who are living comfortable lives. They want peace so that their comfort can carry on uninterrupted. But those who are bearing the attacks – their priority is justice. Vinoba Bhave had said: “Where there’s injustice there cannot be peace”. But the government will not talk about justice.

Why have lakhs of citizens taken up arms? We middle class people find it inexplicable. We live in cities; the police are for us; the government is for us. We are on one side. On the other side are those for whom there is no police, no government. They have nothing to eat. They are the ones who have picked up arms. These people have been deprived for years. There is a structure. Those who are outside this structure – this is their fight. If you were to ask – whom does all the land on this earth belong to? The answer would be to all of us. Yet, the reality is that some have more land, some less.

Inequality is inbuilt into the system. All these notions about who can command more resources have become part of our value system, and then our political system. Both are supported by our economic system. These constitute the basic structure of the society. It is this structure that keeps the poor poor and the rich rich. We are content with this structure. But what of those who bear its brunt? They want to break it. This fight is against structural violence. This would not end till the structure changes so that all become equal.

The man who is in distress will fight. This is the fight of the poor. The Naxalites have just tagged on (Before Salwa Judum, Maoists numbered only 5,000. After Salwa Judum, the Maoist strength grew to 1,10,000 – a 22-fold increase). If there had been no Marx, no Gandhi, would not the poor have fought? They do not need the Naxalites or the Gandhians. But sometimes a Vinoba, a Che Guevara or a XYZ join them in their fight. If the centre thinks they can crush this fight of the poor with the army, they are mistaken. Sometimes extreme oppression can embolden those who are fighting.

If the centre really wants peace, it can be got in a week. They should go and spread happiness among the adivasis. Aanganwadis, health services, schools – open all these again. Instead, you think you can kill them slowly by inflicting suffering upon suffering on them. If you put a rug on fire, the rug gets brunt. You send your COBRA forces and they stab an old man in his bed. You are doing exactly as the Maoists predicted you would do. They have been telling the adivasis for years that the State is an oppressor and you are proving by yourself that the Maoists are right. So, it is very simple, either you can prevail justice among these adivasis and turn them to your side OR supress them on the name of 'Green Hunt' and force them towards Maoists side, to face a civil war on our own soil.

Today, the world over, the poor are being looked upon as a burden who are depleting the resource base. They should now be finished once and for all, so that the rest of us can lord it over the earth. The adivasis are the most vulnerable. What our government is planning is genocide of the adivasis. This is the direction in which our modern civilisation is going. Will we support this? Will you be able to kill lakhs of people? You will try. But when they rise up and kill you, you would not be able to save yourselves.
There are three types of poor – (i) those who survive on our riches – the balloon-seller, the domestic servant, construction workers; (ii) those who feel they are unworthy of being rich; they feel they are low caste, uneducated; they can never be rich; and (iii) those like the adivasis who were living happily in the forests till one of us invaded their land to make themselves richer. That is why they have taken up arms. And these rich people are running to Chidambaram. Once the other two categories join the third, everything of ours will be destroyed. What is our stand in this? Vinoba used to say: “To accept injustice is wrong; I will instigate the poor against such acceptance”.

We are unneccessarily sowing the seeds of violence and mayhem, which has culiminated to the killing of many young men, they may either belong to the Indian army or may be one among those adivasis. One was given arms by the state and the other was told to fight by the few bunch of extremists, who lost faith in the state. We as citizens of the biggest democratic unit in the world, must work towards the non-violence of both forms. We must strengthen democratic institutions, by questioning the political system, self  interested industrialists, commercial driven media; create awareness among the villagers about the constitutional rights guaranteed to them; about welfare schemes, how to fight for their rights in a democratic way.