The blood boils. Twenty-two coffins bearing the shattered shards of twenty-two dreams. Twenty-two mothers soon to be united with their twenty-two lifeless sons barely held together by blood-tinted bandages of sacrifice. These twenty-two families will grieve for weeks, maybe even an eternity. But not their killers or those that will rush to rationalise the latest act of terror planned by Maoist terrorists in the forests of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region.
It is true that the casualties were caused prima facie by gaps in local level intelligence gathering and policing that left the forces involved in the inter-departmental counter insurgency operation mortally vulnerable. There’s no doubting that development work must be undertaken with blinding speed to fight left-wing terrorism and integrate those living in the barely-mapped innards of the country. But it is equally true that a virtue has made been made of the causes that underwrite India’s insurgencies from Bastar to Bandipora.
A section of mainstream urban left intellectuals have romanticised the demonic pursuits of the Azfal Gurus and Yakub Memons, even deeming their court mandated executions as “judicial murder.” Others, like Burhan Wani, Hidma, Ganapati and Abhay, have been written into local folk lore as “true sons of the soil,” fighting to secure local interests against an exploitative state. In their zeal to push a human rights narrative the left has deliberately overlooked the bald facts. That these “misguided elements” are really mercenaries for an uncompromising religious fundamentalism or simply hooked to the idea of making easy money handed out by the nation’s arch enemies to thwart India’s geo-political rise. They are no harbingers of a just society. A look at their history-sheets will reveal them to be rapacious overlords just as committed to serving their own interests as the next apathetic officer of the state.
But rent-a-cause celebrity authors will never come clean. Instead, they have been known to pen wordy essays dripping sophomoric sentimentalism to suggest that “doctrinally backing non-violent resistance would be a twisted way of supporting the status quo.”
The much maligned “status quo” is a by-word to describe the supposed privations of a “predatory” Indian state hell-bent on crushing the aspirations of Kashmiris and forest-dwelling tribals. Of course there is no cogent explanation for the most obvious follow-up question: Of all its citizens why would the state only choose to militate against Kashmiris and tribals? What special animus does it harbour against them?
Indeed, it makes little or no sense for a government to choose to forgo the opportunity to reap tremendous political goodwill from Kashmiris and tribals when it is already otherwise engaged in a very noticeable way to uplift Dalits, backward castes, extreme backward castes and other social-linguistic minorities.
It beggars the imagination to think that this influential cabal of “liberals” can be so deluded as to justify non-violent resistance in the belief that true democracy will magically spring forth from the barrel of a terrorist’s gun. Or that red authoritarianism (that spawned the likes of the maniacal Maos, Pol Pots and Stalins) is the answer to addressing the expectancy gap between the state and its citizenry.
One wonders what they make of the Mahatma? Have they forgotten that the person in whose name they choose to dedicate their activism fought tooth and nail to insulate democracy from the provocations of an authoritarian ambush?
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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