The world is a pack of recurrent prototypes. That what happens in one part, repeats itself in an uncanny exactness in some other corner, with one distinction, time. And for the same reason the term ‘Social Bandit’ as described by E Hobsbawm decades ago fits every ‘red corridor’ of the world. Hobsbawm believed that there is a group of individuals in every society who the rich and powerful regard as criminals, but they not only remain within the society but are also admired as champions, avengers, fighters for justice or leader for liberation by economically or socially deprived section of the society. In case of Indian, they are Naxals and apart from the above definition, their proximity with the deprived is also a result of the fact that they identify with their cause. Justice.
The entire movement, if it can be called so, is derived from the long saga of inequality, oppression and injustice experienced by the poor living in the interiors of our country. In the scanty resources of living they barely struggle for survival in an almost subhuman condition that leaves no scope for logic and reason. The reality of their lives is the only truth and negotiating with its ever deteriorating condition is the only goal. If that insufficient resource is made scantier by the powerful people who not only subjugate but also snub, the only hope for the poor is to join voice with those who make themselves heard, immaterial how.
It is no secret that the basic rights of an Indian citizen are directly proportional to his economic condition. To exercise and enjoy these, one needs to grab a position of power and retain it. The easiest way to arrive there is by maintaining the ignorance of the poor so that they are eternally oblivion of what they deserve and are liable to demand for. There is no denial however that the Government incessantly travails to tackle the issue of poverty yet what begins as a flow becomes a dying trickle as it reaches the pit. Driven by their dire situation and helplessness they have little choice in surrendering to the alternate hope, however illegal.
The upper class in India as Manu defined, as the British colonization reinstated or as the corrupt power system created has been of little help in bringing respite to the struggle of tribal and village dwellers. The atrocities of the former have been far from diminishing and to add to the latter’s miseries justice spells chasing a dead end. The judiciary system requires a life time and a plump pocket. The former is granted by the Providence alright but the latter is recurrently picked by the lords and the powerful. Justice therefore never dawns on their horizon and remains as mere hope forever. Given such a situation a search for an alternative judicial system is neither unexpected nor unnatural. For those who live in their todays with a fear that their tomorrow may never come, flipping side is not an option but an imperative at the time of crisis. And thus multiplies the might of Naxal. The undue time and money required for justice makes it unattainable for more than half the population of India. It will not be an exaggeration to say that one of the main causes behind the rising Naxal incidents is the impotency of our judicial system. Its complexities and tardiness impart a confidence to Naxal that they can cruise without hindrance. But more dangerously it also validates the view of the poor that Naxal is the only answer to their woes.
However approachable and ideal it may appear for the poor and for the victims of societal ill-practices, Naxal, Taliban or any other social bandits are outright condemnable. To their political patrons also the growths of both the outfits have been out rightly uncontrolled and demonic. The similarity between them is appalling however with one major distinction, that of religion. It is due to this fact that Taliban is far stricter in its resolves resulting in elimination of innumerable innocent and ignorant civilians almost every day. They both aim at achieving an ideal world, Naxals with social equality and Taliban with religious unanimity. Although they were born of the weaknesses of society and governments who writ large with their actions that ‘all men are equal but some men are more equal than others’, it is far from being acceptable in all sanity. Whether fighting for justice, liberation or restoring faith and culture, brutality is not justified and shall not be tolerated by the system. The ruthless manner, in which innocent people are killed not only in India but in Pakistan and several other countries, cannot be comprehended as a step towards a better society, if that is the sole target of such outfits.
If learning solely sufficed for education, the poor would be educated. Life gives them enough learning. But not enough to prepare them to improve upon their existing condition. For that the system has to be sensitive and honest. If we are to believe the government data, the literacy rate is almost 75% in India yet looking beyond it does not confirm the figure. Almost similar to the data provided for BPL (Below Poverty Line). Until every citizen is empowered through education and government/judiciary’s assurance to make the correct choice, no talk or ambush will ever bring about any change. The real eradication of such rampant ruthlessness by the rogues of nation will come only with combating the poverty, the merciless monster wrecking our country.