Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The crux of the matter

I have been fascinated by the naxal movement due to the sheer drama that is enacted in and around Palaumu often-times.Initially when I started working in Palaumu,every body attributed everything to the naxals.It was ‘Dr Jee ,don’t venture out so early in the morning(walks),it’s dangerous out-side.Do not go to the villages,you never know when they will attack-don’t go for field visits…it used to go on and on….I shared it with the founder missionary and he laughed it off-there are no naxals around.He had worked in that area in the sixties and had been involved with the villages around-attending weddings,going hunting,fishing,sitting on the village porch talking to the villagers in the evenings ….When had the change come?Now when I say I work in Palumu,people think we walk around with guns.
As you tend to settle down, it all becomes a part of your life and you tend to live the gap between the fear and the event.
The naxal movement was started on certain principles but over the years,the principles have corroded and there are compromises gallore.Now when I see the word naxal I sense the word ‘poor’.The movement has caused a havoc in the district.No good roads,no electricity,no bridges ,people living in judgement literally.Working in the area,I feel watched all the time-by who?God knows.
It was started for social justice and the people who join in do so for the same.
For a poor man,if he joins the movement, his children’s education,his family’s health even their enemies are taken care of,I hear..What about the government?Corruption everywhere not only kills the morals and the faith of the people it also kills the soul-if there were no corruption and the tax money really filtered down to the grass-roots
,if the basic needs of the people were met in a fair manner would there be a need for a parallel system promising social justice?
I don’t know whether the way I look at things have become jaded ,I see a lot less corruption at lower levels(Bengal ofcourse is an exception or may even be a contradiction) and a lot more at the level of governance. Everyday people making ends meet have become millionaires as soon as they have come into office through election..We hear of vague CBI cases off and on,This is especially true at the state level –what is the catch here?There is a hearing and then there is another hearing and they will keep hearing ‘to their graves’.
This sort of rottenness is become a done thing in the government corridors-people who aren’t part of it are called fools .This has terrible implications in every which ways and yet it is hard to believe that accountability at all levels will be a way of life here soon.
The power mongers lose credibility,there are scattered signs of it every where now(case in point ,shoe-throwing episodes)-there will be uprisings-there will be movements ,let’s keep our fingers crossed and pray that should it happen,it should in the mainstream and not create some more faction groups.
Lord have mercy on my country and it’s people!!

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