Ramachandra Guha, a historian with impeccable credentials, and whose book (India After Gandhi) is a must-read for every Indian citizen, pens this article in Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/2011/05/01/the-war-in-the-heart-of-india.html. This article, like many others from intellectuals sides with Binayak Sen and seemingly paints the Indian police and the army as well as the government in a not-too-flattering shade of gray. The more I read the opinions of the people who have visited the Maoist regions, the more torn I am between my principles and what is happening. While I sympathize with the fact that the tribals are being shoo-ed out of their own land so that a few rich and powerful may make money, violating the sovereignty of a democratic nation by the use of arms does not seem like an appropriate response to me, especially since these rebels seemingly force innocent and unwilling children to participate in their hate-crime against the nation.
Based on field reports (like the ones by Ms. Roy, with whom I share a love–hate relationship) I am starting to form an opinion that these tribals have been so brutally oppressed by society and so boxed-in by the powers-that-be, that they have no option but to pick up weapons and use them against innocents. Although I am aware of the slow justice system in India, I still believe (perhaps a bit naive-ly) that the concept of justice has not disappeared from our country and that using legal and democratic means to achieve one’s goals is not a dead route. Slowly, but surely, I am starting to loose faith in the process of law and the principle of democracy. Hmmm….I am hoping that something will turn me away from the path of complete skepticism.