Jobs @ MG
EDITORIAL: 16-31 July 2001
The politics of
The internal security report, discussed in this column in the 16-30 June 2001
issue keeps agitating the community’s mind. Statements are being issued and
meetings are held in all parts of the country. But we take the risk of
predicting that things will die down soon and people will accept this escalation
too as a fact of life which they are destined to live with.
This fatalism has taken roots as a result of the consistent policy of exclusion
followed by the powers-that-be to ‘show’ Muslims their place, to marginalize
them, to make them forsake their civil, political and constitutional rights and
live at the mercy of those power-that-be as vote banks or on the margins.
Earlier the Congress considered the community as its vote bank and taught them
lessons in the shape of communal riots whenever the grips showed signs of
slackening, and now it’s the saffronites who are busy creating their distinct
vote bank at the cost of the Muslims and to prevent them from using their right
to vote for whosoever they wish.
To achieve this state of mind the myths of fundamentalism, extremism, terrorism,
Taleban-Ben Laden-ISI connections are invented in order to put the minority
community perpetually on the defensive. This is done through a barrage of
propaganda in which certain newspapers, especially some Hindi publications, have
played an active role. Now the government of the day has also decided to enter
the fray on the official level and with full force.
We concede that this hate-mongering may offer a temporary respite for its
architects and may prop up coalitions here and there to keep the saffronites in
good humour until they are totally rejected by the masses. The last three years
have shown that these super-nationalists are much worse than the
‘pseudo-secularists’ they wanted to replace in order to save the country from
disaster. Today we can say that this brand is more corrupt and more inefficient
than any previous government which ruled Delhi after Independence. Security is
compromised, economy is out of gear, corruption has reached diabolical heights
and the super-nationalists are ready to use any weapon, political or financial,
to stay in power.
The country as a whole will suffer for many decades due to these policies
especially one that actively promotes the exclusion of a people on a vast scale
from the political, cultural and civil life which, in turn, will also lead to
their exclusion from the economic life. And when this policy of exclusion will
succeed in showing off its ugly results the victim will be blamed to be living
out of the ‘mainstream’, a term the victim fails to understand.
No wise and responsible leadership can even consider such a policy or line of
action. In western countries governments implement proactive policies in order
to assimilate the marginalized and immigrant people and to create a middle class
among them so that they too have a stake in the system and carry along their
less fortunate brothers and sisters. But here we see an active policy of
destroying any flourishing segment of the community. This has been traditionally
achieved through the engineered riots and mischievous policies which strengthen
the monopolistic grip of certain groups on the markets and the whole-sale,
distribution and retail business while the real creators of wealth are left to
lead a hand-to-mouth existence. It is time the elite thought about these issues
and came up with a positive new approach to build a strong, brave and content
society in which all have a stake.
Yet another start is about to be made in the relations of the two
most identical countries which are kept apart by vested interests and
hate-mongers. It is time, four idiotic wars taught the hate-mongers on both
sides of the borders some common sense about the futility of cutting off one’s
nose to spite the other. Certain people on both sides of the border seek to
re-affirm their ‘national’ and patriotic commitment by stoking the fires of hate
and defining their nationalism in negative terms. In the process they secure
power and wealth for themselves while the common man in both countries suffers.
Fortunately the interlocutors on both sides this time are those who have been
most opposed to such a normalization: the saffronites in India and the army in
Pakistan. Apart from the foreign pressures since the nuclear blunders, both
sides now realize that their economies lie in shambles and there is no hope for
any better prospects until the large defence budgets in both the countries are
slashed to the level normal in other countries. Only then the infrastructure
could be built and more money spent on the core sectors of education and health.
We have called for such rapprochement when there was no hope of such a summit
and we again hope against hope that the two sides will see wisdom and bury the
hatchet for the benefit of the coming generations which will curse them if they
fail to put their beleaguered countries on the right track of progress and
rapprochement in a world where yesterday’s enemies are fast friends today and
the world is fast shrinking and geographical lines are getting blurred and
melted in the global village. No one can now afford to live in a secluded heaven
or hell. q