Yippee, another attack at Dantewada.
Great, just another 999,998 to go.
Detest It, Hate It, Loath It
* God, we hate the three-letter word Mao.
* God, we hate the brute Mao who killed millions with his senseless policies that led to great famines and the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution.
* God, we hate the Communist ideology associated with the Maoists.
* God, we hate Mao because the Chinese Yellow Monkeys stole vast territory from the Indian pussies in the 1962 war.
* God, we even hate the stupid-looking Mao suit.
Traction, More Traction Needed
And yet we desperately want the Indian Maoist rebels insurgents freedom fighters who are waging an all-out war against the Indian state to gain traction.
Caveat: Significant traction but not enough traction as to succeed in toppling the state.
After all, the history of Communist states like the erstwhile USSR or China have been more than anything a cosmic catastrophe for their citizens with the state devouring tens of millions of its own.
Who would dare argue that Stalin and his terrified minions were less cruel than the Tsar and his officials. Or that Mao and his acolytes were better than Chiang Kai-Shek.
Why, Oh Why, Must Maoists Gain Traction?
Because the Indian state has been hijacked by vested interests to benefit the few to the detriment of the many.
To think we’re pouring countless millions on long-range missiles with boastful names like Agni and Prithvi but not enough on delivering basics like clean water and toilets both in rural and urban areas is utter callousness.
To think we’re expanding the number of IITs but not investing enough on primary education and vocational schools is nothing short of a travesty.
To think we’re still focusing our energies on software and biotechnology and ignoring low skill hardware assembly jobs is sheer madness.
There are plenty of other examples where the Indian state has willfully pursued policies that benefit only certain classes but leave out a large group to languish on the periphery and margins of existence.
So, the primary reason we want the Maoists to succeed is because these freedom fighters act as a powerful pressure group on the Indian state to pay at least some attention to the needs of the subaltern classes living in sub-human conditions both in remote hamlets in the hinterlands and urban hovels of our vast country.
Notwithstanding the babble of the chattering classes, it’s naivete to expect that those who benefit from the status quo will share even a wee bit of the spoils of the state with less fortunate beings unless compelled by the barrel of the gun, the sharp tip of the bayonet or the stealthily buried Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) to do so.
By any yardstick, it’s unacceptable that hundreds of millions are forced to live in animal-like conditions without food, clothing and shelter, subject to the vagaries of the elements and forced to bend their bodies to the whims of their human overseers.
What Gary Fields wrote three decades back in his book Poverty, Inequality and Development (1980) of poverty in India is still largely valid:
India is a miserably poor country. Per-capita yearly income is under $100. Of the Indian people, 45 percent receive incomes below $50 per year and 90 percent below $150. Of the total number of absolutely poor in the world…more than half are Indian. During the 1960s, per capita private consumer expenditure grew by less than 1/2 percent per annum. India’s poverty problem is so acute and her resources so limited that it is debatable whether any internal policy change short of a major administrative overhaul and radical redirection of effort might be expected to improve things substantially.
Fast forward three decades later.
Sure, there has been some reduction in the dystopian Indian nightmare of poverty and misery but nowhere near enough.
And there won’t be unless there’s a radical shift in state policies, which in a kakistocracy like India, will happen only when a powerful pressure group like the Maoists pushes the state to bend.
According to a World Bank study in 2005, 42% of India still live on less than $1.25 a day.
That accursed statistic may not be enough to ignite your fury but thank God it has roused the Maoists and led them to inflict repeated injuries.
God bless their violent souls!
Litany of Disgraces
* India has the highest number of people (803 million) living in the rural areas and yet rural infrastructure is abysmal to non-existent.
In Jharkand state, one of the strongholds of the Maoist liberators, 2/3rd of rural households did not have access to safe drinking water in 2001, according to a report prepared by the United Nations World Food Programme and MS Swaminathan Research Foundation.
* India still has the world’s largest chunk of poor.
* India still has the world’s largest number of illiterates with some 430 million people never having held a pen or pencil. Of course, the situation gets worse when it comes to females. Nearly 3.8 million primary-school-age girls are not in school.
* India still has the largest number of public shitters. A recent WHO study put the number of Indians who bare their bare-ass to public view every morning at 638 million.
* India still has one of the highest Infant Mortality Rates. As per World Bank studies, the Infant Mortality Rate per 1,000 births in India is 52. It’s 43 for Bangladesh and 6.7 for the U.S.
* India still has one of the highest malnutrition rates. At around 48%, it’s a disgracefully high number.
According to the FAO‘s The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2009, India has 252 million undernourished souls. Surely, the highest in the world.
* India still has high income inequality. The top 20% have grabbed over 45% of the income while the bottom 20% get by with just 8% (source: World Bank)
* And to make all these depressing social statistics worse, India is one of the most corrupt nations in the world ranking 84th in the Transparency International report last year.
This means that very little of the allocated resources to the poor actually trickle down to them but seeps into the hands of the middlemen.
No More Waiting
The time for incremental growth and trickle down growth has long gone.
Six plus decades of waiting under self-rule is long enough and the endless despair for countless millions must abate.
The Indian state must be compelled to radically alter the allocation of resources.
And that’s precisely what the Maoists are doing.
Forcing the Indian state to redistribute and reallocate resources in a less inequitable fashion and stop exploiting public resources like mineral deposits for private benefit.
If you thought India’s second generation political leadership (who came of age after Independence) was rotten and indifferent to the abject suffering of their fellow citizens the upcoming third generation is worse.
Often the progeny of the corrupt second generation political classes, educated at elite institutions and possessing an unseemly sense of leadership entitlement, this third generation of Indian netas has little in common, and scarce empathy, with the vast majority of Indians.
No more than a gangrenous appendix to the body politic, India’s so-called leaders are hopelessly impervious to the voice of reason or quite demands for justice.
Only the loud noise of a bullet exiting a gun or the chorus of wails of the ‘victims’ families will prod these modern-day Shaitans to action.
To think that the military or air-power can defeat the Maoist insurgents is to delude oneself.
Detente with the Maoists is not a policy of senseless surrender but a sensible inclusive policy.
The alternative is a calypso of violence in an endless sanguinary battle with no winners.
Mera Bharat Mahaan. Really!
Word of the Day – Naxalite