The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Sunday 24 August 2014


Yes, he has been a fearless activist and he took on the state for its anti-people acts in the Naxal violence hit areas of Chhattisgarh.

Yet, during a phone conversation with him for a story in 2010, when he was out on bail before being sentenced in December 2010, he was guarded in response. He was not willing to speak anything on his line of work and the recent developments happening around that.

That is what the state does with the activists who take a different line on the implementation of policies.

Policies are mere written documents until put into effect methodically and honestly. Almost of the policies are well planned. The problem lies in their implementation. And the chronic levels of corruption in every aspect of Indian society – in its political systems – in its social structures – in the wings of governance – has left millions to live and die in conditions of abject poverty and no dignity.

And such issues have been hurting the cause of the Indian democracy for long. The curse of the administrative apathy and the bureaucratic corruption of the colonial India only deepened in the Independent India and with the all pervasive political corruption, that had started showing its symptoms in the very first years of the Independence and has grown to monstrous levels now, corruption in India has become almost immune to any action.

And there have been voices against this corruption, against the corrupt practices, against the corrupt people. In Mahatma Gandhi’s India, the post-Independence days have seen both non-violent protests. We have had non-violent movements like Vinoba Bhave’s call for land reforms or Jai Prakash Narayan’s call for political reforms. We also have had violent movements like the Naxalite insurgency or many armed movements by the tribal groups in the North-East.

But while the non-violent protests movements have been able to maintain their sanctity by continuing the legacy with social and political activists in every generation fighting for the cause of the democracy and the common man with democratic means, the violent protests ceased to exist ideologically a long ago. Such armed groups are nothing but criminal gangs now. Yes, there are leftovers, some honest comrades or people still following the ideology honestly. But they are reduced to the scale of fringe elements largely. Yes, violence was never a way to protest because our democracy was still functional and growing but such people with honest intent still got (and get) sympathizers among the common people, among the activists who face the System’s apathy and who witness the how the System’s apathy kills the people it is made for.

And being the sore points, all such activists are in the firing line of the System’s tools, because they question the tools, because they expose the System, because they hurt the interests of its corrupt elements, because they take a different line to sanctify the Indian Constitution and because they act within the realms of the Indian Constitution.

Yes, violence cannot be accepted in the name of protest, but the problem is, the state, targets even those who act non-violently, as we have seen in cases of many ‘prisoners of conscience’ – activists like Binayak Sen or Irom Sharmila.

The state uses its tools like draconian laws and acts regularly harassing and putting activists behind bars. All such laws and special acts need to be scrutinized for the changes to be incorporated. The archaic laws need to be made contemporary.

Yes, it is easier said than done. But nothing is easier in running the governments in an ethnically, religiously and culturally complex country like India that is also a functionally successful democracy. There are still many stakeholders who rightly feel left out of the process of democracy and the insurgents grow parasitic on the state and such stakeholders by exploiting the state’s apathy and the stakeholders’ frustration and such hostilities are there in the mainland India as well.

The state needs to behave when it acts with activists raising voices in democratic ways. They are our own people. They are from among us, speaking for their people, for us, and not for the insurgents.

The state needs to give space to the voices like Dr. Binayak Sen or Irom Sharmila in place of implicating them in silly cases under the draconian sections of the legal code. The wide support to these voices tells they represent for the millions who cannot speak or are not allowed to speak and the state must listen to them.

In place of forcing them in jails or in confined spaces, like has been done again with Irom Sharmila with her re-arrest.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -