Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Justice For All Indians Is Must

A saying by the scholars of the olden days says that, “social justice” present in a nation at war would determine whether the attacking side was going to win or face defeat. If justice prevailed among the defending nation, the attacker was destined to witness a humiliating defeat. But people fed up with the injustice of their ruler were easy to get defeated.

What it means is that it is necessary to ensure justice to the citizens to keep any country firm from within. Unfortunately many Indians complain of injustice.

The tribal Naxalites have a strong case when they claim that the government is not only ignoring them but also handing over their lands to corporates. Basic infrastructure and amenities where never provided to their areas. From their perspective, the Indian government treats them like animals. Hence, those who claim to struggle for their cause are their ideals and they are ready to lay their lives for this cause. For this they have taken up an armed struggle against the government and kill its security forces. Communism to them, therefore, is a liberator and the only way to bring social justice.

The Dalit community which so far has been marginalized by the upper castes have begun to fight back. They will no longer sit quiet and be victimised. They have formed Dalit Sangharsh Samiti to fight for their rights.

The Christian community too has not been spared. Their places of worship have been the target of right wing elements. The Kandhmal riots in Orissa have left many churches destroyed. Priests and nuns who spend their life serving the poor are also assaulted and the government is hesitant to punish the perpetrators of these attacks.

Besides these communities, people among the upper castes also feel deprived of justice and they too are organizing against the government. The organizations demanding for a separate statehood in their region, for example Telangana Rashtra Samithi, are actually doing so because they think a new state will give them justice and prosperity which they are deprived of for now.

The second largest majority of the country feel insecure and live in constant fear of falling prey to communal riots and their innocent youth being implicated in terror charges. The Sachar Committee report is a written proof of their educational and economic backwardness.

On the other hand, India has struck multi-billion arms import deals with many developed countries in an attempt to enhance its arsenal. It is expected that these purchases will enable India to either curb internal threats, like communalism, terrorism and Naxalism, or give a tooth breaking response to any of the neighbouring countries if they dare harm India.

It is good to gain arms power. But it may prove to be useless if the citizens of the country are complaining of poverty and injustice and are against the government. Such a situation will keep it busy dealing with its own citizens. If only arms were the deciding factor, the Afghan war would have been won long back.

The Taliban are an example of a local power taking on the might of nations. The Taliban are preparing for the impending victory against the mighty Nato forces who are well trained and equipped with sophisticated weapons. What the Taliban had in comparison was deeply rooted public support from the local Afghans. If compared to the allied forces they are no match in technology and equipment. But the biggest positive factor in their favour is the support of Afghans who do not accept the Karzai government.

David Kilcullen, the Australian counter-insurgency expert who advised the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan, warned that the Taliban’s shadow government-calling itself the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan-was providing a parallel system of courts, clinics and policing. It even has an ombudsman’s office near Kandhar where people can complain about excesses by Taliban commanders.

“Sometimes they fire or even execute Taliban commanders for breaking the code of conduct,” he said. “A government that is losing to an insurgency isn’t being out-fought, it’s being out-governed.”

It is widely proclaimed that the Taliban mete out injustice to women but in reality the Afghan nation takes them as crusader of justice. Hence the Taliban have managed to establish parallel governments in many of the areas. Afghans consider that the local courts run by Taliban are better when it comes to attain justice.

World’s famous writer M J Akbar in one of his articles wrote that, “In the last eight years, for many Afghans, modernity has become synonymous with corruption, cronyism and non-Pakhtun warlords — the three hallmarks of the Karzai regime — while the Taliban has revived its image as God-fearing, honest and able to offer stability and security in the villages.”

In case citizens are satisfied with a government’s policies and laws for that government there remains no fear of rebellion from within and to cope with the outside aggression becomes easy.

Recently, the senior BJP leader L K Advani termed terrorism and Naxalism as the two sides of the same coin. He called upon all the political parties to root out Naxalism with a united effort. Both these problems, terrorism and naxalism, are the result of state sponsored injustice.

Presently it is only the Naxal movement and some resistance from other communities which the government faces. If other oppressed communities also start violent movements, for example, by Dalits or other deprived sections of our society, will the government be able to regain control over the administration of the country. It is advisable for India to take care of those citizens who have a feeling that they have been ill treated or that they have been subjected to injustice for whatever reason. If the government tries to provide justice to every citizen and gives more commitment to dealing with poverty the Naxalite like movements will die their own death. And we will not need to call our own helpless farmers, who are fighting for their rights, our biggest internal threat.

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