Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Violent red

Someone in Chattisgarh is real angry - angry enough to kill 30 policemen and an IPS officer by ambushing them in the middle of the forest. They are not fighting for any religion or on behalf of any country. They are fighting the system which they believe to be against their development, against every symbol of the government - its officers, its infrastructure and its rules. Who are these people? Are they insane or do they have reasons to be that desperate? Hundreds of policemen and government functionaries are being murdered in this futile pursuit of an alternate 'people's' rule. It would have been almost funny had it not been for so many deaths, how thousands of uneducated, irredeemably poor people around the nation have fallen prey to this madness called the Naxalite movement who dream of giving birth to a new nation. Driven by the inefficiency and corruption of the government machinery that was put into place to help these people out of their misery, for many of them a revolution brought by the barrel of a gun offers them that only slim chance that their lives will take a turn for the better.

We may always not think of it that way but it is we the privileged educated urbanites who are the focus of their hatred - the spoilt "haves" to their barely surviving "have nots". Even our most basic necessities would seem like the most unnecessary luxuries to these people who have no idea where their next meal might be coming from, if at all. Is there nothing we can do to understand and mitigate the tremendous gap between our lifestyle and theirs? Is there no way to reduce the bitterness that has pervaded the lives of so many of our countrymen. It seems obvious that we are not in any way responsible for their plight, correspondingly it is not our duty to relieve them from it. But can anyone in his right mind ever claim to be that innocent and free of blame? There is a fire raging in our backyard. Can we stay home, pull down the shades and watch TV?

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