Monday, February 15, 2010

A Movement Gone Awry

We all agree that our Indian society has a long history stretching perhaps to the dawn of mankind  and its ancient and glorious culture served as the embellishment. 

Over the years the vibrancy began losing its intensity and came to be subdued and over many centuries it became dormant. It could have gone extinct but it survived and in the process developed many warts The process of degeneration was so slow that it could hardly be noticed. Years of invasion, wars, foreign rule, oppression for over ten centuries had its effect.

Come independence and it was expected that with a new dawn, many multifold rigidities of our society would somehow just vanish like clouds on a windy day. There was plenty of idealism fuelling our society then. Sadly though, feudal mored were not to disappear without a fight. They strengthened their hold over privileges and we started having teeming masses who were no better than they were under some cruel jagirdar or a despotic king who lived to oppress his subjects.

Anger found an outlet in some of the poorest parts of the country and the struggle began for a more equal society. This was the revolution that began at the grassroots. The emotional appeal was strong. The proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was a dream to die for.

It underwent a metamorphosis many a time and the revolution against injustice came to be called Naxalism or Maoist rebels as we know now and many avatars in between. Along  with this, I suspect, was lost the original goal and message. 

It was more violence for the sake of it. Violence to change society is as unattainable as was Alexander's quest to conquer the whole world. It seems more for power to the group leaders. Civilian, police and military casualties are more like trophies. Now comes the latest admission by women revolutionaries of rampant sexual exploitation and the picture is complete.

Do we see any difference between the despotic king or cruel jagirdars and these uniformed and armed "revolutionaries".

If you have read George Orwell's "Animal Farm" would know that equals have now become "First amongst equals". A movement that has gone horribly awry and has fostered violence and  social divide. It is here that lies a great tragedy of modern India.