Naxalism is a serious problem for India. Recently, the court of Chhattisgarh has found Binayak Sen, the national Vice President of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), guilty of sedition for helping the Naxalites in their fight against the state. He was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment. Soon afterwards, a wave of protest against the court's decision spread in the media, on social networking sites, and among bloggers and activists. The Binayak Sen hype has diminished but it has put the spotlight on some intriguing and disturbing tendencies amongst our people and media.
Sen may or may not be a functionary of the Naxalites. But do we realize what damage the bloggers and the national media have caused by acting like an appellate court for the past few days? By raising awareness of Sen's arrest and conviction, to an extent they have inadvertently legitimatised the Naxalite insurgency. I had never before witnessed such a fiasco like this from the intellectual and socially aware class of my nation.
These were the same so-called-intellectuals who were screaming against the Naxalites when they had killed 76 of our jawans in Dantewada. The same intellectuals who had united to criticize and condemn the Naxalites, when hundreds of people were killed in the Gyaneshwari derailment. Not even a year has passed since then. Why then, now there is a sudden change in stance?
We are really lucky to be a part of democracy, where, unlike China, we can challenge the state. Disagreement with a judicial verdict is part of the democratic process. It is absolutely okay to claim that the evidence against Sen was planted by the vengeful police. But that's a technical issue of evidence, which will be reviewed by the higher courts sooner or later.
The unnecessary support and hype for Sen's case has given some activists a chance to channel their anger with the judgment in turning every TV studio into a political forum to condemn the Indian democracy.
India certainly doesn’t want to repeat the experience of Sri Lanka in the name of Naxalism. Let these sympathisers know that the so-called innocent people burn schools and rape females in their own cadre, and the money and arms they use are supplied from enemy countries, who want to destroy the peace and harmony of India.
I understand the agony of the poor farmer who drops his shovel and picks up a gun, but these sympathizers must acknowledge that only reformation can save the nation. Naxalites kill the government officials and employees even when they peacefully build roads, offer jobs, and supply food or medication in the area. Revolution can't save our nation; rebellion definitely can't. Only reformation can.
Democracy has provided us with many privileges, but let's not misuse them. With this kind of hatred for the nation, we will only end up becoming another Talibanised nation. We certainly can't afford that. The Binayak Sen hype has passed, but let's keep this in mind in the future.