Thursday, October 23, 2008

Indian State - Losing its potency?

Blame it on coming elections, in past couple of months, large tracts of India have singed in senseless violence. Many parts of India are witnessing riots between Hindu and Muslims. Violence against Christians which started in Orissa has spread to many other states. This happened after a prominent Hindu leader was killed by Maoists which have large number of converted Christian recruits in their ranks. Hindu fanatics then systematically targeted converted Christian tribal by killing them, burning their property and raping nuns.

* State by and large remained spectator. Many people commented that even though the violence is not the solution, there remains a problem with conversions. Symbol of state power, Police stood on the sidelines letting Bajrang Dal to run amok. They moved in only after substantial damage was done and “the lesson” was taught to convert Christians.


Cut to few years back, in state of Gujarat, a train carrying VHP’s Ram sevaks was burnt by rioting Muslims which sparked off massive religious riots across the state. Some say the attack on train carrying hindus was a Muslim conspiracy and some say it was a natural reaction of Muslims after being provoked by Hindus shouting religious solgans. In one of worse riots thereafter, Muslims were hounded, burnt and killed. Their women were raped and villages set on fire.

* State by and large through out the riots remained mute spectator. Many people commented that even though the violence must be condemned, the riots were natural reaction to a violent act of train burning. Symbol of state power, Police stood on sidelines letting hordes of Hindu rioters burn cornered Muslims. They moved in only after substantial damage was done and “the lesson” was taught to the Muslims.


Rewind little more, year 1984, Prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi was killed by her Sikh security guards. This was a revenge killing by Sikhs as Gandhi was blamed for flushing out the terrorists from holy Sikh temple. Ironically, the Sikh terrorist leader who was killed in raid was raised by Gandhi herself to keep Alkalis way from political power. Her killing sparked, large scale violence against Sikhs throughout the country and they were rounded up, insulted and burnt.

* State by and large through out the riots remained mute spectator. Many people commented that even though the violence must be condemned, the riots were natural reaction to a killing of popular leader like Gandhi. Symbol of state power, Police stood on sidelines letting hordes of rioters burn cornered Sikhs. They moved in only after substantial damage was done, “the lesson” was taught to the Sikhs.


This week, in Maharashtra, we were witness to ugly scenes of goons of MNS and Shiv Sena beating students from North India. The hate campaign has been going on for quite some time and North Indians have been attacked since early this year. All this ostensibly on the pretext ranging from outsiders are taking up jobs meant for Marathi manoos to outsiders diluting Marathi culture. After Raj Thackeray was arrested this week, large scale violence mainly in Mumbai erupted and ”supporters” of MNS torched and damaged taxis and autos and beat up poor shopkeepers and vendors in perfect show of Marathi culture.

*State by and large through out the hate campaign has been spectator. Many people commented that even though the violence is not the solution, the migration of outsiders remained a problem. Symbol of state power, Police stood on sidelines letting MNS activities run amok. They moved in only after substantial damage was done, “the lesson” was taught to outsider North Indians.


In all of these incidents, one thing is starkly common. The collusion of State or police with the perpetrators of violence. If you are a Hindu or Muslims or Sikh or North Indians or South Indian or Tamil, Marathi or Dalit of whatever and you are being taught a lesson, the Police will stand on sidelines and let the Law of land rip to shreds. In this country where everybody is a trying to teach lesson to everybody else, and where State has lost its potency, the only minority left is an individual. In such a lawless State where an individual and his property can not be protected, the question which needs to be asked is if such a State needs to exist or not!!

3 comments:

Indian Home Maker said...

Gaurav Here through Blog Bharti. This post touched a chord.
You say, '...the question which needs to be asked is if such a State needs to exist or not!!'
That is a question many of us are asking these days. Your last para sums up my angst. Very well written.

Vetrimagal said...

Good thought provoking post. The individual is the minority now. All the time wondering where all this is going!

What can be done to stem this rot?

Gaurav said...

@IndianHomeMaker
Thanks for stopping by. Yes, lots of us Indians who want to see a modern, "superpower" in form of India would feel angst , seeing how we are "systematically" dismantling ourself

@vetrimagal
"what can be done to stem the rot?" ...well. Difficult to answer. We Indians are too tribal and our tribal affliations (region, religion,caste etc) take precedence over anything else. That makes us vunerable to exploitation by divisive politics.