May 31, 2013

Who is the terrorist here? Is it the Naxalite? Or the neta who does not give the poor food to eat?

Every time Naxalites strike, the state wakes up to the problem of their menace. Yes, it’s true that today, the actions of Naxalites are looking similar to those of terrorists and I have often condemned their actions in the past. And in a democracy, such killings can’t be justified. Yet, let’s get into some facts. In Chattisgarh, more people get killed of hunger and curable diseases than gunfights. That’s actually putting it mildly. Forget hunger and the poor, more state CRPF jawans posted in the region get killed by mosquito bites than by Maoists! Yes, that’s the irony. In the last few years, more have died of malaria than have been killed on duty. These figures do tell a big story.

Of course, on one hand it tells the pitiable story of our CRPF jawans. The other side of the story is the story of India’s reality today. The story of how we neglect about 60 percent of our population and condemn them to die of hunger, curable diseases and mosquito bites. That’s roughly about 650 million Indians who live below the internationally accepted poverty line standard of 1.25 dollars per day. While India and the Indian media celebrate the rise of its billionaires in the Forbes lists, the poor die penniless out of hunger – unknown and unheard.

And despite the perception that the government wants to create of Maoists as terrorists, the truth is also that Maoists are from these very poor families who are marginalised and left to die of hunger. Worldwide, when leaders have kept such huge sections of masses marginalized, there have been revolutions. You ignore human beings and condemn them to die, they will one day believe that picking up arms is a better option than to die without a fight. History is full of heroes who have killed. Those who kill for a cause are celebrated and those who kill without a cause are called murderers. And the cause is also determined by history; not by today’s media and their judgement. When the army kills, it’s not considered a murder; similarly, very often, when you kill for a cause, the same is absolved by history.

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