The Roots

Of Democracy and Terrorism

Debasish Paul

One murder makes a killer, thousand murders make a hero, this is the famous statement of Charles Chaplin in his film Monsieur Verdoux. Now a days, everyday all news channels, print or electronic, are reporting terrorism, the term specially used since the western industrialized countrymen are victims of shadow war, despite the fact that they are responsible for initiating two declared world wars in which they spread worldwide terror.

As believed by Rosa Luxemburg, revolutionary violence is essential as the ruling class can never be dethroned for transfer of state power to proletariat by peaceful means. Communist revolution in USSR and China came by bloody conflicts as classical model led by V I Lenin and Mao tse Tung.

Even the self proclaimed Communist Party of India, which is supposed to consider right to private property as bane, once it came to power by parliamentary election supposed to be icon of Bourgeois Democracy, here already much predominated by middleclass opportunists, amassed family property as a boon. Party offices became dens of real estate promoters who found deal in property as easiest way to become overnight billionaires, so involved in such and all other types of gainful vicious activities that the entire people of West Bengal had thrown them out from 34 years of continuous parliamentary lordship of the state. NANO small car project of TATA, conceived in bad economics and bad politics, put last nails on their coffin, accursed by poor peasantry, once their backbone for coming and sustaining to power in first phase being en masse tortured conversely by the much perverted Left Front opening fire on peasantry in last phase of state power.

The prominent kinds of terrorism in modern times by a state is on its own subjects who are civilians. This is done by colonial tradition in India by the state power using Police, Para-Military forces like Central Reserve Force and even the army under the still in vogue Act on sedition made in order to suppress independence movement in British rule in several parts of India. Khudiram Bose aged only seventeen, Mangal Pandey, the leader of Sepoy Mutiny in Barrackpur were hanged for sedition as initial myrters of revolt against Brititish colonialists. While the rebel hermit Swami Vivekananda in Bengal inspired armed struggle for Independence, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi of Gujarat educated in Law in Great Britain propounded idea of peaceful struggle. Cellular jail in Andaman is a standing memorial of state terrorism deporting armed freedom fighters to this British Concentration Camp akin to torture chamber of Adolf Hitler in Germany. Great famine of Bengal claiming twenty lakh lives by starvation in a year of good harvest was another act of state terrorism in cruelty no less than 'Concentration Camp' by British Prime Minister Churchill in order to suppress Bengalees who aspired independence as vanguard.

It was State terrorism at large used in the seventies in West Bengal in order to suppress the Spring Thunder, the youth movement inspired by China to idolize peasant movement as most deprived class among Indian population is farmers, unlike the Soviet Revolution in 1917 led by V I Lenin considering industrial workers as main protagonist of the classical Marxist concept that Proletariat had nothing to lose but chains while Russia had been industrialized under Capitalist model at the material period under reference.

It is a most contradictory history of Gujarat that M K Gandhi, an aboriginal son of that state propounded peaceful movement against all kinds of injustice either in riot or freedom movement, state terrorism of the worst kind on Gujarat's minority community has happened in recent times in nineties in independent India, as a heinous state sponsored ethnic terrorism/riot.

It is even the deployment of Military force in North Eastern India to unleash state terrorism under special act AFSPA prevailing for 15 years not yet lifted by long peaceful movement by the victims.

Abraham Lincoln said that in Democracy, government is of the people, by the people, for the people. India has the reputation to be called largest and longest uninterrupted Democracy (except days under Emergency promulgated by Ms Indira Gandhi in 1976) formed under British Parliamentary model. It has universal adult suffrage as a prime attribute. But what is happening in reality? Once a leader becomes an elected representative of Parliament at the apex level down to Panchayet at the grassroots he/she becomes enemy of the people. All institutions of Democracy have degenerated to become the brute power centre, in practice to become institutionalized centres of all kinds of oppression of the very people who have elected the leaders. Criminalization of politics in India is almost complete so that most greedy elements of society are coming in politics in order to make an overnight fortune of wealth in a sure fire method. So terrorism which is normally attributed to Autocracy, has become evil of Democracy. Everyday newspapers and audio visual electronic media are reporting gross abuse of power by elected representative of people. All governments whether of left or right wing are torturing political opponents unleashing terror even on common people through extortion. The brutal treatment of under-trial political prisoners reminds one of Concentration Camps of Adolf Hitler. People are at the receiving end of the state/political terrorism.

It appears though contradictory but essentially true that advancement of personal communication tools in mobile device segment has increased social alienation in man. Virtual reality is replacing the merits of contact with actual reality. That too much of everything is bad is the case in point. The humanitarian aspect of the worldwide civilization has grown on the merit of intense social intimacy of human being. The standing evidences are the different global natural and social science societies which have all through promoted international inventions and discoveries and advances in social sciences once promoted by royal sponsorship and subsequently by democratically elected governments. The talent of inspired gifted individuals has yielded better and faster results in institutions of like minded men forming communities.

The omnipresent internet has destroyed the human contact which had been promoting checks and balances in promoting social commitment in human behaviour. The growing social alienation promotes clouds in aggressive behaviour amidst man being opposed to its instinct as a social animal. Men are puzzled by the dazzle of too fast technical progress and feeling more friendly to machines than men .So the advancement of artificial intelligence in Robotics in application of both manual and intellectual jobs is on its flipside reducing need of human contact to men. The eternal virtue of friendship is on the wane against time honoured tradition of friend in need is a friend in deed. The social fabric is crumbling under the subtle intention of the ruling class which always preferred models of divide and rule. Now modern device of technology is serving this purpose very effectively. Hence Stephen Hawking ,the great British physicist has of late warned that too much advancement of artificial intelligence is calling doomsday of human being and is in effect most counterproductive.

This is one contributory factor in promotion of terrorism in political degeneration of human society and its impact on human psyche. It is ironical but true that advancement in mass adored electronic instruments are more devastating in impact than much dreaded nuclear devices as the former is destroying human soul than latter destroying human body in mass scale.

Instinctive negative impulses are not destroyed by formal education rather it enhances the attitude and aptitude for vicious acts for personal/group's gain. This psychological trait of man is understood by ancient Indian philosophers. One may get this in 'Suktiratna-boli', a collection of slokas on human behaviour. It says 'Manina Bhusita Sharpa Kimasau ria vayankara' that means education increases the ferocity of man and capacity to do that. With increasing cost of gainful education, better educated persons are churned out of wealthier families.

Holier than thou has become the look down upon formula of the neo elite class. ‘Vidya dadati vinayam’, this Sanskrit proverb that 'knowledge gives sobriety' no longer prevails upon the current regime. Social concern is considered a legacy of the past as rebel hermit Vivekananda once gave a clarion call to youth to pronounce that 'poorest of the poor are our brothers'. Rabindranath Tagore in his celebrated poem 'Dhularnandir' said that God is no longer in the temple. His feet have reached to the level of the downtrodden on the dust. Liberation of a country is not full until and unless there is a liberation of mind. Freedom is not only political, conversely political freedom is not sustainable unless a proper sense of nationalism is imbibed by people of a nation state. Proper nationalism is the driving spirit to develop a nation without any sense of animosity to people of other states. In nature there is an equilibrium, so also it is needed in international economic relationship among states. European states for a long time earned wealth at the cost of colonization of the third world and now citadels of capitalism are bursting in own inner contradictions throwing international economy in disarray.

Most pampered children of the affluent families brought up in milk and honey from their childhood are provided by parents video games most prominent of which are on audio visual screen—bloody violent personal warfare with a virtual enemy. Killing on screen gives credit points to the children making them euphoric over success in murder. Thus personal violence is glorified. Till acts and rules are made completely prohibiting hunting and killing wild animals, since ancient times princes were given firearms to go on hunting in this country and others. The drawing rooms of royal families were decorated with dead animals' head or full body with original skin as exhibits made by experts.

Primitive instincts of sex and violence are favourite passions given indulgence in affluent homes as a privilege of wealth and implicit instrument of retaining the dominance. What previously was prestigious to enjoy music, dance and sex in home of courtesans is over time evolved into five star hotel culture where wine and women are readily available on call. In course of nourishing all primitive instincts, the scions of affluent families become Frankensteins of the society with mean values nurtured.

The James Bond Film serials, a famous American anti-communist propaganda films were made as the cold war was going on between USSR & USA, are replete with women skimpily clad and sexually indulgent personal hero worship films where Mr Bond, a secret agent coded 007 alone successfully killing evil doers belonging to any leftist wing outfit. Advanced technical gadgets were essentially his murder and communication arsenals.

Wealth except in case of extra ordinary talented persons like scientists cum successful entrepreneurs, is born of a desperate drive to amass wealth by hook or crook. Wealth gives man power and prowess to earn social status and distinction.

It is also considered as success and as Charles Chaplin has said, Success endears a person to everyone called fame. Fame is also a power wielding social influence opening doors to earn political power even in a declared Democracy with universal adult suffrage. Earlier in south India and later in other states, prominent film personalities are entering politics with flying colours cashing in on their fame on silver screen and multiplying their wealth by leaps and bounds as declared assets by themselves to Election Commission. These celebrities make wealth in league with the criminal desperate politicians in power and their accomplices.

Amidst mainstream Hindi films of seventies while most producers were churning out frivolous song and dance selling love stories, Hrisikesh Mukherjee produced a Hindi film 'Namak Haram' with coherent story of class conflict. A middle class origin young man with exceptional emotional bonding with son of a notorious industrialist under a specific circumstance, when enters the milieu of industrial workers and their political organization, discovers the root of poverty of common man in exploitation of Bourgeoisie. He explains his revelations to his bosom friend, son of that industrialist, the latter was surprised but accepts the truth. But in most cases the scions of affluent families having no contact with grassroots never learn it.

Present elitist education system has raised subtle walls of inter class students communication between rich and the commoners. A section of middle class has become affluent by virtue of professional education in Engineering, Medicine and Management from IITs, AIIMS, IIMs though all are established on taxpayers' money as government institutions. Once joining the rank of elite, these successful families train their children in elitist order who have no concern for the country and its common people. They are all eager to be foot soldiers of the multinational corporate biggies in lure of pride and privileges of extra ordinary affluence. 'Money is honey' is the dictum of the present consumerist regime, alienating the best brains of middle class shunning their noble legacy of concern and sacrifice for the working class. People have seen in a film of Satyajit Ray titled 'Seemabaddha' based on a novel of same name written by Manishankar Mukhopadhyay (pen name Shankar), how one highly qualified young executive in prospect of career growth to go to the top hurt bloodily one humble workman of his organization in a fabricated strike situation without any remorse for that. Thus greed breeds violence singularly and in a group terrorism.

Increasing income inequality is the breeding ground of terrorism among people and states. Among many other reasons, Pakistan has become an international den of terrorism because of extreme income inequality. Only around ten families are holding largest chunk of national wealth of that country while the common people at large languish in extreme poverty. Hence while waging shadow war against the more growing neighbouring country, the have-nots become foot soldiers on fabulous remuneration to operate terrorism of all kinds, while the benefits are reaped by the war lords.

Power politics and unscrupulous religious elements work hand in hand in using terror for venomous intentions. In this connection one may mention the misuse of church for western colonization of globe.

Islamic State, Cow Vigilantism are political power outfits under garb of religion with clandestine interests. Political opportunists have always abused religions to ignite riots in order to attain authority by dividing people involving them in terrorizing each other along religious lines involving them in murder and rape with a surge in fundamentalism.

Vol. 49, No.19, Nov 13 - 19, 2016