Monday, June 27, 2005

Naxalism - Is it actually violent ?

I just finished my lunch and the deccan herald news paper. The main news items in the news section screamed "Thousands arrive at village to attend Naxal’s last rites" . I saw a smart young fellow, saying in Kannada "These guys deserve it saar". "If one is violent and kill innocent people, the law will take you down. The police have done a good job"

I just paused and pondered ? Have they done a good job ? Thousands are mourning his loss. Sure there must be atleast 50 to 100 teens in the thousands, who share the same angst as this young guy when he joined the naxal movement. Sure there must be 50-100 youths who share the same determination as Umesh. Atleast there must be 100s of people who would be willing to support the naxals in their armed struggle. I carefully checked my words and thoughts so that I dont appear as endorsing their actions. Why do we so abhor the naxals ? Because they are violent ? Physically they are violent and nothing else.

Is it not violence, when a few corner all resources for propogating their economic machinary thus driving people in marginal existence further down the tube ? It is violence too.
Our sense of morality is shattered when the stuccato fire of the AK47 fells innocent people. Where is our sense when thousands silently die of starvation, disease and many among them with no way out, lose belief in this world and consume pesticide. Is that not violence ?

Is it not violence when non-tax paying IT companies, gobble up agricultural land and deprive a family of its only source of livelyhood ? All they do with the land is build golf courses, fountains and re-create switzerland literally. Is this not violence ?

Where is our sense of morality when we ask, protest and preasurise the government to build swanky flyovers and smooth roads worth thousands of crores so that we can reach our homes and offices faster, while a sick man in the village dies on the road to the city ? Is this not violence ?

Obviously, things havent changed, The same resource grabbing is being promoted by a few industrialists in the name of market economy and making bangalore a Shangai. If India were china, Bangalore would have been Shangai and poor people would have been driven out of the city because they are just too dirty to look at or unclean to touch.

It is not wrong to be profitable in what you do, gamble in the market. What is wrong is making a virtue of the same. In the name of professionailism all we are cultivating is an unsustainable model which seeks to marginalise the poor and make the rich, richer. The middleclass is a willing accomplice in this game so that some share of the spoils will reach them too.

As I finished reading the report, I just felt sad that Naxalism is going to increase in leaps and bounds. I knew instinctively that it is a flawed model because it is too fundementalistic and dictotorial to be of good to anyone except those on top of the revolutionairy structure. But What surprises me further is a total lack of response or sense of humanity from any of the so called civilised world. While reems and reems of newsprint (including the front pages) were devoted to debating "Metro Rail" or "Mono rail". No one cared about the hapless people staring death and facing bloodless violence every day.

If I were fifteen and from the villages, I would have had a gun in my hand. The appeal is so strong and the disparity so huge none of what is being done by the society, governmetn and all the rest of the jokers put to gather would provide me with a viable alternative.

Seriously, where is this going to lead ? or more importantly what is it going to lead to ?


At 3:57 AM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

i always felt that the naxals werent terrorists, they are idealists, they are fighitng for a cause and are committed to it. this is evident from any of gaddars poems, at the end of the day they r fighting for their fundamental rights
the naxals r violent, they kill people, are thier actions justified? yes they are the result of the opression by the higher castes and govt inaction.
i dont know whether i wud call the action of software companies as violent, not sure.
but yes a small proportion is gobbling up a large amount of the resources
the 80:20 law, 80% live on 20% of resources while 20% comsume 80% of the resources

At 1:33 PM, Blogger sonal said...

A very nice thought provoking article you have put down here. Couldnt get enought time to visit your page of late but when I finally did I found something really good out here. We are so busy with our lives, that we hardly care to spare a single second for such thoughts. I had read '1084 ki Ma' and since then have been wondering what is it all about, I mean, where is it going to take us, just kind of tug-of-war where the weaker team is pulled towards the stronger one. Does anyone care?

PS: Belated birthday wishes :-)

At 10:27 PM, Blogger Vasu the terrible said...


thanks a ton...

This is a true story behind coffee day and what has happend to the coffee story in India.


At 1:35 PM, Blogger WA said...

Great post Vasu. Very well thought out article. Agree with you any act which hurts another living being in anyway is violence, the multi national IT companies gobbling up the land and resources and the disparity amongst people is not fair.

At 1:25 AM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

vazu the market mechanism follows darwins theory of survival of the fittest, it eliminates all those who have no power or are inefficient, in darwins model there was no significant external force, in the economic model there is the government, which has the responsiblty to have a framework for developement that carries every1 along rather than one that eliminates people .

At 2:44 AM, Blogger Vasu the terrible said...

I agree with you, but is it not the same darwin's theory of natural selection "survival of fittest" which prompts the poor to take up arms.

Whats so abhorringly, immoral it is to kill someone who has trampled over my existance as a means to survive ?

If this kind of unbriddled capitalism gobbles up resources that more are pushed to the margins of existance, violence would increase....

The civilised society reacts and opens its eyes.. only if the violence affects itself.


At 6:52 AM, Blogger nin said...

nice posting.......i will visit again...

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Archana said...

I've been reading this post and 'what society are we becoming?' over and over again, several times since the day you wrote it....and...I'm confused! I'm confused over the solution/conclusion. Looks to me that we are the problem...I wants go way beyond the basic necessities of man [food, water and shelter] I wonder why? For instance, not on a large scale as that as wanting a mini Switzerland /golf course but on a small scale....I do go to coffee day. And look at it, these coffee day guys have a business because of a lot of people like me. I want the best of all things when I know that there are people who donot even have food to eat! Maybe this doesnot justify but not long ago, I wanted the swanky flyovers to be built too....this is what I had termed as development. Huge sky scrapers, clean surroundings, good looking environment, big shopping malls, no rickshaws [but this one's purely cause of their menace], metro trains, underground tubes and what not? My priorities werent organised...there are worst things to be tended to. Yes, the country is not developed when it has an ultra-modern city surrounded by poor villages. It is bloodless violence that is going on...and am I the reason for it? I'm thinking.....I'm still thinking...

But my stand on naxalism is clear...the cause/reason may be justified but the way they've chosen isnt.

Now I'm hijacking your blog!!Did you listen to what I said?? I'm sure they [the xs] were wrong :P

At 6:00 AM, Blogger Vasu the terrible said...

Hey Archana,

Firstly. My ideas were exactly the same as yours. Afterall these are the exact same images we see when visiting a country abroad. We see these images as proof of developement and progress. These images are a natural part of progress in the west, because it has come at a time when everyone has felt a need for it. Unfortunately though we are intelligent in our concious minds, subconcious mind wants these and behaves irrationally. Thats why acquiring these images in our own back yard is seen as a sign of developement.

Thomas friedman obviously hasnt travelled beyond doddabellapura. He just talks of koramangala, electronic city syndrome. Worse is the attitude of the rich and famous in bangalore. They live an insulated lot, much worse than americans or other westerners. These people's lives hop from plush-home to corolla to plush glsas facade office to lounge bars. Inbetween they listen to radio city and think that the country is doing great.

This is why I like mumbai. except for the cuffparade waala no one can afford to travel in their cars and turn a blind eye to the grim reality of the world. The local trains ensure that every guy travelling from bandra onwards to churchgate gets his dose of crap stink as the train traverses mahim. Weather you are in a first class or 2nd class, you have to stare at the bare ass and ding-dongs of people crapping on railway tracks. there is no escaping this..

Lets people have a grounded life.

I want to see the domlur flyover stalled and unfinished for the next 3 years atleast, so that people realise and face the same little hardships the rest of the common man does.

I know what the naxals do are unlawful and extreme. Tell this to the teenage son of a family who is neck deep in debt, and whose main breadwinner has consumed pesticide. What is the way ahead and relief for these folks ? what is the govt response ?

you know what the naxals do ? they protect the family from money lenders and even kill the loan shark if he is a political guy. They free the family from debt and give the teen something to fight for ?

Seriously, if I were in his position, I would gladly take the gun. The law, the country, non-violence and all other fundas would be irrelevant to me.

We need to find unique solutions to our own unique problems, not just ape whats available.

dont worry its my blog and all your opinions are valued. and by the way, my ears dont fail when soemthing intelligent is spoken. If its some crap like which is better vodka or bacardi.. I would say who cares and switch off...

I cant tolerate fools.



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