Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Use of force a cardinal mistake

The govt has walked into the Maoist trap, writes dr. Sharit K. Bhowmik

The incidents in Lalgarh bring to light the chaotic situation created by the government in trying to control a handful of Maoists. The modern State is the most powerful institution because it controls all aspects of its citizens' lives. Moreover, it has the monopoly over the use of coercion. The State is therefore expected to provide a peaceful atmosphere where its citizens can live and work with freedom. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different.

The bloody outcome in Lalgarh confirms what I had feared in an article in the Bengali edition of this magazine just when Operation Lalgarh began. The State’s violence, I had written, would push common people into the Maoist fold. The State beats up, arrests and punishes people who may not be Maoists or even support them. Following their experience, they invariably start hating the State. The State walks into the Maoist trap.

Unfortunately, Left-ruled West Bengal looks after affluent people alone while its benevolent role towards the working poor becomes increasingly invisible. The State is oppressor to the toilers. In urban areas, slum dwellers and vendors know of the State and its officials as entities that extort money from them or frequently deprive them of their dwellings or their livelihood.

Over the years, especially post-liberalisation, the state has withdrawn from areas where it should have intervened. West Bengal is no exception. The public health system is in shambles as district hospitals do not have basic facilities. Poorer patients from the districts flock to state-run hospitals in Kolkata. The parallel private hospitals remain inaccessible to the working poor.

The education system has witnessed similar degradation. Government-run schools are in a mess. Most schools in rural areas do not have infrastructure, including school buildings, classrooms, furniture or even books and blackboards. Teachers are mostly appointed on the basis of their political affiliation. Imperatives like provision of drinking water, agricultural inputs to small farmers, irrigation facilities and land redistribution to the rural poor are shelved.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

No comments: