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What is Security?
|by Ananya S Guha|
As far as India is concerned 2012 could not have ended on a more unpropitious and bizarre note. Even now we do not know the name of the 23 year old physiotherapist who died under one of history's most gruesome circumstances and murders. Although her name is not yet known clearly, various names have been used. After all she has a name! Should she remain largely anonymous? Perhaps, to wipe out a false opprobrium, perhaps not, after all posterity should remember her, her valour, her don't say die, indomitable spirit, in the public domain.
I wonder how historians will chronicle this event - as something in the dark ages, even as the Mayans spelt doom? So 2012 has ended, with warring individuals, and warring nations. The darkness that has invaded the human heart and spirit is all pervasive. We see what is happening in the Gaza Strip, Libya, Syria and Iraq. After years of exercising a brute hegemony the US gratituously announced withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and that too condescendingly - 'in a phased manner '!
What makes the US think that it is above laws, and then talk about world egalitarianism in a self contradictory manner? We do not know. But what we know is that it is aggrandizement of the most shameless and egregious manner. In this way the US has created polarization in terms of religion and race.
So how will 2013 be like? Obviously it is too early for prognosis. But unless the human mind talks about a common humanity the world will only be sharply divided in terms of the divide between the rich countries and the poor countries, some of them euphemistically described as developing nations. Notwithstanding all the euphoria surrounding terminology, the digital divide, the world as a global village, millenium development goals, etc the world is wedged between the powerful nations, armed with nuclear weapons, the Super Powers and those like India desperately trying to enter the supremo league, and such comity of nations. What travesty.
And then we hear in Saharan Africa of bloated bodies, bloated due to hunger. And in India the story is no better, with all the claptrap of Right to Education, we know that most in the age group of 6-14 have little access to it. The result is 'street children', homeless and orphaned children, children vulnerable to trafficking and sexual exploitation. Sharp disparities in class have accentuated the wedge between haves and have nots. The much vaunted Mid Day meals, for school students have become farcical, in the context of a percolation of venality, top to bottom!
2013 will hopefully see changes for the better. We all hope. We are diehard optimists. But unless polarization of class, caste, tribal communities is not bridged, the hiatus will continue. And such hiatus leads to malcontent. North East India, Jammu & Kashmir, the Maoist movement are serious threats to security. But then, what is security?
Perhaps the inexorable forces of history will say it all - scathingly.
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