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The Instability Of Chaos
|by Ananya S Guha|
Years ago in the 1980s, Tar Ali Beg, the veteran Nationalist writing in The Telegraph, described the Indian situation as the stability of chaos. At that time Punjab was reeling under militancy, Mizoram in a similar, if not worse situation, and Manipur a bedlam of chaos and violence. The situation in Punjab was hogging the attention of the print media, as one killing after another took place. The Assam movement had also come into attention, a popular movement, largely non violent, and had got public support.
What Beg meant was that we are getting used to the proxy of violence, and in that things had become 'stable'. We were accepting the cult of violence, deaths mattered little and her paradoxical use of language summed up the acerbic realities, of Indian ethos, society and polity. But the chaos was all around, and we were accepting it? Why? Perhaps it was a truism, it had to happen, the prognosis of some cynical, dry witted British was coming true. But deep in our hearts, perhaps we knew that such things would happen.
Thirty years later the summation will be: it still continues. Violence is present in the body politic, but also it has entered the consciousness like never before. But is the 'chaos' only in the social fabric. No, it is in education, it is in corrupt principles, in scams, in politicians doing whatever they like, whether it is in watching porn in the legislature, or in legislators abetting suicides, inspiring murder, flagrantly violating rights by promiscuity even in hallowed precincts like the Governor's abode. The violence is in sensibilities and attitudes shown, in homes, in schools, in public and private life, in cine artists behaving like prudes, in arrogant sportsmen who are becoming more and more rapacious in intent.
This 'violence' is a cult, any organization can call for bandhs, violating basic freedom and human rights.Then we have conscience keepers who by hollering against things like corruption, which is undoubtedly endemic, instigate passions in wrong ways. A Gandhian starts intervening in every matter including polls. This may not be ostensible aggression, but it has all its potential and reeks of bad culture, backed by puerile supporters. The cult, the ideology of bad politics is ably supported, by those who preach a creed, which is against it.
Fasting has become an inherent threat of bellicosity. Yet Irom Sharmila who is doing this for the last eleven years, for the suffering of her people, is viewed with a sidelined nonchalance, excepting by media conscious activists. The unearthing of 5,000 graves in Kashmir, is a saga of untold violence. The stories of street children, exploited domestic workers, coal workers in mines, students who suffer in silence because of failure in examinations, are condemned to suicide gallows, all these of under the cover of 'development'. It is not the stability of chaos now. The wheel has turned one full cycle. It is the multi voiced chaos of crass instability and a pathological insecurity, but violence and its hydra headed forms, is inviolate.
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