Saturday, October 31, 2009

Terrorism & Maoists- the larger threat?

If 2008 was the year India reeled under terrorism then 2009 presented an entirely different picture. Maoists emerged in the country like never before bringing the entire country to its knees. For so long had we lived in plausible deniability of Naxals being a real threat than when it surfaced first in the form of PCPA in Bengal we dismissed it as we generally do for all home grown resentments; as we are all chiefly concerned with Pakistan sponsored terrorism. The PCPA was still a homegrown simple case of grievance which could be easily solved. It took months to register that this time around this had emerged as a full fledged problem.

For long the tribal of India their rights and their movements were crushed coercively and much more violently than a general mutiny merely to make a statement or warning to others. The 1960-70’s saw the emergence of a movement in Naxalbari of West Bengal and soon it engulfed major portions of India. It showed that there was verve in the movement for landlord peasant parity which was too dangerous to ignore. However the policymakers chose to ignore this merely by playing the game of “carrot and stick’ hoping this would quell the agrarian revolt.

However in the past few years this feature of the movement has inexplicably changed with the so called red corridor running down from Bihar to Andhra Pradesh touching the districts of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh a formidable stretch which the government cannot choose to ignore .The movement has also changed its essential character. It is no more concerned with the peasant’s landholder clash now, taking its fight to the government machinery as well.

One major reason why this has found expression so fast is that the ground realities existed for it to grow. For too long the tribal’s had been abused .People who stood and spoke for them were not tolerated .The government was not too keen to recognize their forest rights either without looking into their relationship with the forest. The average tribal was aware of their deplorable conditions and their difference with the other people, they knew that the government had failed to develop their community and they were continued to be exploited by various sections of the society .These grievances finally gave form in Naxalism where the average tribal woes were vilified.

However this cannot be a justification for the recent spate of violence that they have indulged in. What is indeed more worrying is that the ideologue actually comes from the elite class who are attracted to the annals of the people was and Maoism. The recent example is the capture of CPI(M) ideologue Kobad Ghandy a product of the prestigious Doon School in Dehradun and a lawyer who practiced in London. Ghandy is a classic example of how the elite class is drawn to the Maosits movement. This very ideologue makes Maoism a much larger threat than it was originally perceived .The recent beheadings of the police officer at Chhattisgarh and the attacks in Maharashtra point out that the Maoists are no longer training for mere resentment expressions but for a full fledged war against the state .The police and the Home Ministry has to think of a befitting reply this movement must be crushed -like the Andhra Pradesh- which if left to grow will undermine the existence of the nation as a whole.

This movement derives it strength somewhere form the grassroots support and when such social disparities do actually exist in India, it becomes all the more dangerous. While terrorism in all forms rarely have mass appeal Naxalism actually does including support from some intellectuals who themselves gain a sense of vicarious pride by supporting the movement .Thus it is absolutely necessary that solving this problem must be the prime goal of the Union Government and the Indian State .

Friday, October 9, 2009


It came as a shock to the civil society undoubtedly worldwide as the 2009 Noble Peace Prize winner was declared to be Barack Obama.9 months was all that he gone into presidency and immediately he was given such a huge award which even the likes of Mahatma Gandhi failed to achieve in their lifetime.To understand this we must understand the condition in which the committee might have taken the decision in his favour.

When he came into power he came with the slogan of change.The initial reaching out to the Muslims nations ,the address at Egypt and the attitude towards the Guantanamo Bay were all positive signs.But then there were measures which would question his credibility the prolongment of the Afghansitan war for instance.

When we define world peace we must understand in what context do we talk about world peace.World Peace is a relative term where people try to bring a consensus maybe in trouble torn areas and talk .Now what Barack Obama has does is not bargain world peace but bargained peace for United States .The Muslim fundamentalists do not have a worldwide agenda anywhere to destroy the whole world apparently their prime concern is USA.So in allying with the Muslim world Obama has tried to quell the fears back home ?Is that really a action of world peace.

One of the most trouble torn regions in the world is the west Asia crisis and the African conflicts.Now in the African conflicts; America rarely has a view point to offer since it does not fulfill the goals of market for their capitalist culture.In the West Asia crisis Israel was merely warned with no further talk of sanctions .I mean one nation that undermines world peace is undoubtedly Israel .There is a huge humanitarian crisis in Israel- Palestine border everyday including the Gaza strip.The real victory would have some definite conclusions to the Gaza and the Palestine border problem.The absence of America form the International Conference against Racism is itself a pointer in this regard that while on pen and paper the USA has warned Israel still it supports Israel in reality in every sense.The reaching out to the Muslim world is another ploy to actually reach out to Iran because it can emerge as a threat to the US itself as also it is a major player in the Muslim world .Thus it is another goal to consolidate American interests rather than a talk about world peace.

One of the most shocking incidents was Obama refusing to host the Dalai Lama this year at Washington.IN choosing not to host the Dalai Lama he has sent a powerful message to China that he is willing to negotiate and be partners with it of course at the cost of millions suffering in Tibet.

The biggest test however would have been the Copenhagen Summit 2009 which will decide the climate future of the world .Climate change is the true global issue which will direct the course of foreign policies in the times to come .If Obama would have been able to guide the world better in this forum no doubt he would have been counted as one of the greatest leaders of the world.

Thus by this decision to Barack Obama the Noble Peace Prize committee has not only put a question of how do we actually define world peace but also put a doubt on the role of the committee itself .

Wednesday, October 7, 2009