Sooner the dissent is countered, better it is!
Let me pay homage to late Mahendra Karma architect of ‘Salwa Judum’—movement against Naxalites in Naxal infested Chhattisgarh and condemn his brutal killing. The way Mahinder Karma was brutalized before his cold-blooded murder is not only shameful but a blot on humanity. In any kind of dissent, how holy it can be there is no place for violence, leave alone the brutality.
But, the well planned Bastar attack by Naxals and selective targeting of Mahendra Karma is an eye-opener for the anti-naxal strategists in particular and planners working against any kind of dissent in general. Strategists who used Karma as a tool to implement their blueprint to counter Naxal ideology and it consequential social impact not only proved wrong but have failed miserably. Karma as a tribal leader himself had an ideology of his own to elevate his much exploited tribal brethren and most probably that could have been sincere and right in shape and intent, but the way his leadership traits and over enthusiasm were exploited and channelized by policy makers proved incorrect after Bastar carnage. Bastar incident shows that dissent; particularly social rebellion cannot be neutralized by counter insurgencies. The principle ‘to every action there is equal and opposite reaction’ can hold good in scientific situations, but humanity and the concept of civilization cannot rest its existence on such principle of counteract as it goes against the fundamentals of applied natural justice in societal growth. Societies run on the principles of kindness, compassion, tolerance and justice and not by vindictive whims of mighty and influential.
In conventional societies after celestial power (read Almighty God) legitimate government and its head is the custodian of mankind unless it fails to deliver justice; give economic, social and political liberty and does not encroach upon the freedom of its subjects. In democracy the bond and relationship of regime and its subjects is delicate and cannot be imposed by command or coercion. It requires earning by trust and mandate and retained by good and justified governance free of any ill will or malice with enough space for reasonable disagreement.
Pages of history are full of all kinds of dissent, even in most benevolent regimes and administrative setups differences come out. Some are genuine and justified and others vindictive and egoistic. But at the end of the day, truth has always prevailed over tyranny and ego. Contradicting dissent for the sake of disagreement is unfair. The best course will be to assess the genesis of dissent and locate its origin and root cause and address that properly. When dissent has its origin within economic disparity, miscarriage of justice and lack of empowerment the solution for the dispute can easily be found in procedures other than ideological, political and armed counteract. In contemporary social order authoritative people try to contain dissent by appeasement and bullying tactics all at once and they accomplish their reprehensible agenda by resorting to ‘carrot and stick’ approach. However, genuine disagreement of people that too by our own people cannot be contained or defused by resorting to stealthy missions of intimidation. As I said I am not justifying any kind of violence or glorifying any act of dissident particularly that of Naxalites but adopting a dual practice of open appeasement through developmental and economic packages on one hand and resorting to covert coercive missions of Salwa Judum on the other hand ultimately end up at unfortunate and tragic incidents of Bastar. Development packages and conspiracies cannot go hand in hand. Instead influential should feel the pulse of aggrieved and adopt a strategy of amicability to dispel every kind of discord within the society.
Salwa Judum is not an experiment in isolation that has failed but many plans to counter oppositions conceived in cozy chambers of few over enthusiastic policy makers have boomeranged miserably. Unfortunately! Karma lost his life and a promising political and social career not for a cause but for an erroneous strategy of others, full of miscalculations and ulterior motives. People holding power should introspect and reassess their plans, policies and intentions to allow balanced societies to flourish so that no person can have grudge against any other person or the system. Further, to contain all existing dissent within the society authorities as a responsible state should listen to dissidents’ compassionately and give them their due within the framework of justice and fair-play. Sooner the dissent is countered with real and sincere compassion than surreptitious oppression better it will be for a prosperous nation and a healthy society.