Violence is Not the AnswerPosted: March 22, 2011
We live under the spell of pleasure and pain: we desire pleasure and fear pain. We imagine that we control our destinies; yet we wander aimlessly from birth to birth, driven by desire and fear. (Svetasvatara Upanishad)
Kerala was one of the States that once had militant Naxalite groups, but the Government of the day was successful in weeding out militancy. The result is that we have a stable society today, while some of the North Indian States as well as southern States like Andhra are still grappling with militants and terrorists. To whom do we Keralites owe this success? To the LEFT Parties? Certainly not! It was the Congress that kept the peace in Kerala.
Who pursues the politics of violence in Kannur and elsewhere? The CPM and the BJP, not the Congress and its allies. The people of Kerala know this. Will they remember these things when they go to the pooling booths to cast their precious votes?
Maoism (old wine in a new bottle?) is rearing its ugly hood in various parts of the country. I have no idea what the Maoists stand for. Only their terrorist activities stand out. They also happen to have strong advocates like Arundati Roy. We in Kerala should watch out. To presume that we are immune would be very foolish.
Recently we were shocked to learn that Muslim youth from Kerala are being recruited and trained to take part in terrorist activities all over India. What attracts our young men to these destructive movements? Is it the personality power of a few leaders, or monetary inducements, or the desperate nature of their personal circumstances that impels them to take this suicidal step?
Militancy is like a cancer. If even one cell of the body is affected, the entire system is weakened, and the defenses slowly breakdown. Violence breeds violence – it does not solve any problems. We Indians belong to a nation that proved to the world that great battles can be won by non-violent methods. Under Mahatma Gandhi we attained freedom without resorting to violence, and the world salutes us for this achievement.
I call upon the people of Kerala, especially the young, to beware of people who incite you to violence and hatred. Don’t be carried away by speeches and high-sounding words. Think for yourself. Imagine the consequences of having blood on your hands. Remember your family, your parents whose sacrifices you can never repay, your siblings whose pain you cannot imagine, your partners who will be scarred for life and your innocent children who will never be able to live a normal life because society will point accusing fingers at them. For a little bit of gratification, don’t take on the sorrows of a lifetime or the tragedy of oblivion.
We are all fortunate to be the proud inheritors of a democratic society. We don’t have a perfect political system or a perfect society, but it is up to us to preserve what we have and improve upon it by our tireless efforts. Let us find positive ways of expressing dissent or raising demands or making our opinions count. Let us join hands to promote peace.