Men are born equal but societal prejudices of assigning caste and class differences deprives them of equal access to opportunities of education, employment and status, thus giving rise to feelings of deprivation and inequality. It is this birth of feelings of social ostracization that forces man to resort to unethical means to win back his rights and pride so as to live a life of dignity and honour, for every man endeavours to leave behind a memorable and cherishable legacy for his children. But, ours is a society that isn’t classless or casteless, and takes pride in creating dividing lines between haves and have-nots, and it is this oppression and unequal treatment that forces men to raise voice and arms in order to be heard and win back his rights.
While the ‘haves’ are considered to be blessed people, the have-nots are the ones who are deprived of their right to equality in every realm of life. The deprived men are left with no choice but to resort to prayers, processions, strikes, petitions in a peaceful manner which if goes unheard and un-tended, manifests in form of rebellion or armed uprising.
The above stanzas attempt to explain the underlying causal relationship between deprivation and acts of violence. However, we need to give a deeper thought to the causes underlying the different forms of deprivation, the remedies provided by the state to ensure egalitarianism in provisioning of opportunities, and lastly study the various ways in which a deprived man having exhausted all peaceful outlets, resorts to violent and anti-social activities to regain his lost dignity and honour.
Deprivation of rights brews discontent in mind which in turn fuels violent and unethical means of putting forth ones point. The constitution of India safeguards the rights of individuals under part III while part IV obligates state to undertake welfare measures for the benefit of the society. The aggrieved citizen can resort to remedy provided under article 32 and 226 to enforce his rights, but the costly jurisprudence, lengthy procedures and unconcerned attitude of state authorities, disheartens the aggrieved and forces him to take drastic measures to assert his right.
It is this feeling of helplessness along with the failed attempt of entering the mainstream society that sows the seeds of social revolution. In India’s context, there are many deprived communities who were late in educating themselves in the modern western sciences and thus remained unskilled. This backwardness multiplied over passing decades and by the time they realized and decided to join mainstream economy, their skill set, knowledge and habits rendered them ineligible to partake the modern labour markets. This left them with lowly paid avocations of livelihood to earn a living and when the realization dawned upon them, their voices went unheard which eventually culminated in form of civil discontent.
The Naxalbari movement is an evident offspring of the discrimination faced by many of the deprived communities in India. The proponents of this cult took up arms and targeted police and paramilitary forces, for they held State to be responsible for their plight.
The Naxals resort to guerilla warfare which they finance by indulging in drug trafficking. The cultivation of opium etc. is therefore borne out of necessity, but damages the societal fabric immensely. Their disenchantment with their own National Government has been found to be used by China and separatist outfits to further upset the working of Indian economy, which would further perpetuate misery and poverty and weaken the nation’s ability to invest in it’s defense.
The challenges to Indian economy also arise from her multi-linguistic society where minorities feel insecure and look for political participation, thus rendering themselves vulnerable to the interplay of opportunistic vote bank politics that eventually leaves them disenchanted with false hopes and fuels communal hatred against the majority community. This costs dearly in terms of policing, jurisprudence and damage to private property which otherwise could have been invested in meaningful activities of research and development and raise productive capacity of the economy.
As a solution to eradicate deprivation in the society, national integration should be fostered by propagating the democratic ethos that gives every community the right to partake in development activities of the country. And, while Constitution accords secular and socialist credentials to India, it is the implementation and governance issues that need to be bolstered in terms of effective and efficient outcomes of welfare schemes.
The incumbent Modi government has been laying great emphasis on enhancing the citizen-government interface by adopting digital interface to link with the people and provisioning of services. While this initiative seems to be noble, but is certainly not enough to bridge the hiatus between haves and have-nots. Government’s initiative to provide road connectivity to hinterlands of the economy inhabited by the deprived people is being perceived with suspicion. The Naxals believe that construction of roads and other infrastructure like schools, colleges etc. would be used by para-military forces to suppress them.
Therefore, it would be prudent to say that decades of under-development has culminated into feelings of distrust between government and citizens, so much so that pockets of under-developed regions within the country are threatening to destabilize the nation from within. If deprivation as an internal security challenge is to be redressed, then welfare schemes should be better directed and implemented with great emphasis on last mile connectivity. It is in this context that internal security can be linked to welfare schemes that derive their legitimacy from Directive Principles of State Policy.