Friday, July 09, 2010

Terrors, past and present

I've been away for a bit. Traveling in Madhya Pradesh, trying to reach a more clear understanding of displacement, particularly that of tribal populations, and state policy. Saw a lot of interesting stuff that I am still processing. Might post bits and pieces over the next new weeks.

In the meantime, here's a lot to chew on: did you know that there was a Jewish terrorism before there was a Palestinian one? That a former Israeli PM was once a wanted man with a hundred thousand pounds on his head? Did you know who bin Laden was ,before he was considered a threat?

This is a great piece on terrorism - understanding it, defining it, combating it. Without acknowledging that 'terror' has often been a word used to come down hard on people who were oppressed, or dismissed, or treated unfairly, India doesn't have a chance in hell of resolving her own 'internal security threats'. What a pity that the author is already dead. Now is when he is needed most to talk sense, particularly in India.

And here is a very simple, straightforward introduction to the way India is entangling itself in multiple cycles of threat, dismissal and resentment. A four step process that basically boils down to - first you ignore them, then you oppress them, then you dismiss their protests and oppress them some more, and when they force you to listen, you ignore the real issues anyway.

It is interesting, what the piece says about Madhya Pradesh being one of the few states that has theoretically agreed on consulting with the gram sabhas before taking any major decision that might translate into capturing local resources. I will remember to factor that in when I think about the stuff I've been seeing and listening to.

Both must-reads.

1 comment:

sumeet said...

I have myself been following the whole tribal issue and the situation brewing in MP with some interest (mostly from newspapers, Frontline).

So should be interesting to read your perspective.

From what I have been able to get, there is a problem at a lot of levels.

(1) The Land Acquisition Act is flawed and severely outdated and in urgent need of being repealed.

(2) New legal frameworks need to be designed and incorporated both in the state machinery and under Central Jurisdiction to protect the rights of tribal over their land.

(3) Many MNCs are just rushing to take their share in the huge coal mines there, which is day light robbery. So the general public should be made aware of this gross injustice, and the role they can play in taking a stand against it.

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