Today in Andhra Pradesh the Naxalite issue has become the prime issue for both politicians and people. As a result last year there were talks between Naxalites and government which could not break the ice. The old situation is renewed with new vigour from both sides. The whole issue needs a careful review from a historical, social and global perspective. To treat this problem as a law and order issue may be suicidal.
During the last half a century neither democracy nor armed revolutions could deliver the goods. People are dissatisfied with both. If revolutions got bogued down in gun culture, democracies are deeply drowned in the culture of corruption on one side and in the market imperialism on the other. Common people are harassed by both and educated by none to be responsible citizens. Hence it is high time that common people take a fresh look and exhort both parties to have self-introspection to find new ways and means to make both revolution and democracy successful. I say this because both have the same goal to help the people for solving their problems unitedly with dignity, self-respect and self-confidence.
Both democracy and revolution believe in 'Bahujana Sukhaya Bahujana Hitaya' (happiness to majority, good to majority). Both know that a small section of the selfish organize themselves to exploit the people and to corner the fruits of the labour of the people to enrich and empower themselves.
Democracy assures the bahujanas (majority) that through legislation and effective implementation of law and order, the selfish alpajana (minority) would be punished. But the tragedy has been that the present day democracies instead of punishing the guilty are slowly handing over the institution of government to this selfish alpajana (minority). Thus the situation is manifesting 'Alpajana sukhaya Alpajana Hitaya' (happiness to minority and good to minority) at the expense of Bahujan (majority). People are restless, but they are disorganized. Every organized institution is under the influence of the selfish corrupt Mafia gangs. Politicians and bureaucrats to save their skin dance to the tunes of this organized selfish corrupt Alpajana (minority). The democratic dictum of Bahujana Sukhaya Bahujan Hitaya (happiness to majority and good to majority) has gone to winds.
On the other side violent revolutionaries depend on guns and arms which are external to their physical being. They believe in the dictum that power comes through the barrel of the gun. But the gun is not a part of their being. If the gun is removed from them revolutionaries are helpless. Violent revolution converts the conscious active
revolutionary individuals to ahuman, asocial, amoral, non-revolutionary physical matter that is the gun. Hence it is time for the revolutionaries to think afresh on these issues.
Till 50 years ago when the European imperialist powers were ruling almost entire Asia and Africa there were freedom struggles in which huge populations got involved either actively or passively. So there was a revolutionary atmosphere in the majority of the people of the world. One revolutionary atmosphere supported any other revolutionary atmosphere in any corner of the world. It was in those days Mao said that power comes through the barrel of the gun. Also that was the time when Chinese people were docile as addicts to excessive opium usage. To activise and awake such people Mao used this strongest possible method at his disposal. A gun holder has to be active, alert and ever ready both for defense and offence. That situation is not there in any other part of the world; much less in India. Even in the Islamic countries they are using religion as the primary weapon -- relegating gun to secondary position.
Today all those erstwhile political colonies have become independent. Majority of the people are interested in gaining material welfare than working for a violent revolution. Though state institutions have become a part of bourgeois democracy, still a large number of people are ready to co-operate with democratic structure rather than take to arms. Violent revolutionaries have to take this situation into consideration.
50 years ago there was more moral and human concerns even though there was concealed structural violence like untouchability, caste system and poverty. Today the market economy is spreading the gap between the rich and the poor is also increasing several fold. Hence those moral and human concerns are slowly diminishing. This situation has created a condition where immoral and inhuman actions are becoming more and more part of our daily life. I am afraid, not only politics and economy but also even revolutions are influenced by this situation. So neither a violent revolution is able to bend the government, nor the government violence is able to totally suppress the violent revolutionary fervor. Thus both the government and the violent revolutionaries have to search for new means to achieve their common goal of serving the people.
Most of the problems society faces are old problems. If the old methods could not solve the old problems till now, where is the guarantee that the same old methods will solve these problems in the future. On the other hand, the market imperialism has complicated the problems in such a way that people are influenced to accept whatever is there than to rebel. For this reason, we need new tools, new means and new weapons for revolutionary changes. That is why there is a need that all of those who believe in revolutionary changes should rethink about continuing the old methods, old means, old tools and old weapons.
It was Mahatma Gandhi who addressed this question and thought afresh. His invention of Satyagraha and Constructive Work as new tools has opened the spectrum for improvement. The anti-social elements are more organized today than earlier. The good people in the society are disorganized. Violent revolutionary means are unable to organize the good people to fight against the evil forces. Involving more people to fight against the evil is more important than few people taking to arms. Hence a time has come that those who believe in revolutionary changes should come together and explore the possibilities of such means, which can be used by ordinary people in an open society.
Politicians and peoples' representatives are as much trustees of peoples' welfare as much as revolutionaries. Hence both of them should think of changing their old means to solve the problems. In this search Civil Society should play a major role to make both parties i.e. violent revolutionaries and government to promote a dialogue with the people on this issue. As it would involve more sections of society with concern, that would reduce tensions. In this effort success may not come immediately. But the effort itself is a worthy incentive for future success. Advancement of technology is also influencing the human behaviour. But technology is amoral, asocial and ahuman whereas change for better is basically human. Hence those who are interested in change for better and equitable human relations should try to inculcate more and more humanness into the means of change. This applies to both those who control the traditional power of state and economy and also those who use revolutionary means. In such a situation means and ends are not contradictory of each other but they will be complementary to each other. Then in spite of contradictions some form of synthesis can be achieved in various efforts that are working for a better human being and for a better human society. So let us be bold enough to take risks and to progress together.