By Hamid Waheed
The so called largest democracy of south asia keeps proving time and again that people majority do not figure in their state decisions. The attitude of India’s few wealthy elite, towards the poor majority deprived of basics of life is evident in the Indian culture. It is not only the international community but now the Indian intellectuals and patriotic people have started raising their voices. The voices are heard from government officials, military soldiers, police department, IB, human right activists and common Indian. Dr Raju M. Mathew describes India as Land of the billionaires and the Very Poor – In India, the benefit of liberalization, globalization, privatization of public enterprises, the infrastructure development with public money and the overall economic growth have been hijacked by a dozen families and their corporate houses. During the last fifteen years, they could virtually grab between 60 to 70 per cent of the natural, industrial, air and technological wealth of India, keeping over 80 per cent of the population under poverty line. On the other side the atrocities against the poor and lower class Hindus, as well as people from other sects and beliefs, continue.
In an article by Arundhati Roy titled Walking with the Comrades she highlights how thousands of innocent citizens are being ruthlessly killed in the name of so-called development. The Maoist, the forgotten people of India, are being killed and humiliated under Operation Green Hunt, using sophisticated weapons and equipment (i.e laser range finder, thermal imaging equipment and unmanned drones) bought from Israel to kill its own poor tribesmen. Roy, in her article, adequately explained how government-owned training camps were established to turn street dogs to hunt the poor Gondis (tribesmen). According to WFP, nearly 50 percent of the world’s hungry live in India, a low-income, food-deficit country with ‘extremely low’ nutritional and health indicators. However, 35 per cent of India’s population – 350 million people – are malnourished and do not know where their next meal will come from. This is India, where a third of the world's poor live, and which has worse rates of malnutrition than sub-Saharan Africa.
In terms of India’s internal security, the aftermath of Hindutva power in Delhi was catastrophic. Hindutva fascism planted their own cronies in various governmental institutions. Even though, Congress lead government made enormous changes in social governance, the legacy of Hindutva’s muscle powered nationalism continued . A large number of non hindu were killed in the past few years across the country and the numbers are on a steady rise. On top of that Indian justice system has also drawn lines, recent decision of awarding death sentence to11 Muslims in Indian Godhra train case and delay in Samjhota express tragedy raises questions.
More than 11% increase in defence budget of India has yet another dimension to it which goes beyond the defence of country. By creating conflicts in this country of millions of poor, Brahmin class gets huge commission from the sale of weapons. The corrupt bureaucrats, fulfil ‘their self Interest’and the nationl interest and public welfare remain on low burner. The army is the most hit department which suffers from low morale. A soldier who has to lay life for country finds its commanders stealing the houses of commarades who laid life in Kargil. This factor has reduced the flair for a common Indian to join army. In March , 2010, there was a shortage of approximately 12,000 officers in the Army and this shortage adversely affects the functioning of army fighting many insurgencies at home.
Colonel K C Dixit’s report published by Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in March 2011‘Addressing Stress-Related Issues in Army’ reveals that there were 635 cases of suicide including attempted suicides in the three services of Armed Forces during the years 2003 to 2007. According to Ministry of Defence, every third day a soldier is killing himself, at a rate higher than the toll taken by the militants. From 2007 to May 2010, 208 soldiers lost their lives in actions against militants while 368 soldiers killed themselves during this period. Another 15 to 30 soldiers try to kill themselves every year, but fail. The worry is that they might try again. The Army has been putting up a brave face saying that the suicide rate per thousand is still lower than that among the civil population. However, Dr. Prasanna Kumar Patasani, a member Parliament's Standing Committee on Defence which recently examined the issue of stress management in the armed forces, would not buy the argument. He said that the suicide rate within the Army is shocking and does not stand to logic. Since soldiers are theoretically screened for mental illness frequently and are being medically examined at least once a year, it may not be right to compare the statistics of general people with the armed forces' personnel. The report observes the biggest problem is the soldier's helplessness in resolving property disputes back at home that makes a soldier feel tense and helpless. . The stress- related issues in a soldier's life are closely linked with welfare and need to be addressed most sincerely by all agencies concerned with the welfare of soldiers which is non existent at the moment.
In March 2011, the UK Commons Overseas Development Committee under chairman Malcolm Bruce examined the effectiveness of UK’s plans to keep paying hundreds of millions of pounds in aid to nuclear-armed India. The Gordon Liberal Democrat MP spoke out after International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell pledged to enshrine in law an undertaking that Britain will pay 0.7% of its annual income (gross domestic product) to fight poverty around the world. The officials found themselves fighting a rearguard action on maintaining aid of £280m a year to India. India's spends £20bn a year on defence and £1.25bn on a space programme, the argument for continued aid was hard to make. The attitudes of India's wealthy elite to the poverty on their doorstep do not help. The DEFINITION of “DEMOCRACY recognised by the world, “government of the people, by the people, for the people’ seem to be of no value for Indian elites controlling the population
As for the international obligations are concerned, a united nation’s report, warns that environmental increase in temperature will cause the melting of glaciers which will result in people migration and shortage of water. The report names the prime victim countries as Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, where glaciers are melting rapidly. Surprisingly depletion of glacier is much more towards Indian side due to her military and chemical activities which has to be seen by international environmental experts. A report of August, 2009 published in Science journal of India said that the “Siachen Glacier has not been affected by the rise in global temperatures.” Jammu University scientists have also claimed that the “Himalayan glaciers, including the world’s highest battlefield Siachen, are melting not because of global warming.”
The prevailing evidence therefore points towards extraordinary activity of the Indian army, the infrastructure being established and huge explosive storages on the eastern side of the Saltoro Ridge. Such issues remain out of focus of international attention and environmental experts. Pakistan at various stages has claimed that the construction of dams and water projects on the Indian side are illegal, recently the national assembly has viewed it as water terrorism. Pakistan on her part wants to solve the issue by negotiations with India but the hegemonic and obstinate behavior of India is keeping the issue in cold corner.
Conscious world leaders, writers like Arunduti Roy, officials like former Maharashtra IG police S M Mushrif who wrote ‘Who killed Karkare’ and discussed Brahaman’s control in Indian IB along with human rights organisations keep raising their voices which remain a concern for the world community but lacks collective approach to help the Indians. The Indian government’s perception management keeps the reality hidden from world community but unjust and deprived culture always has an inbuilt capability to stand against undemocratic values, economic disparity and human right violations. As part of global culture such governments only survive till they are tolerated by their own population. Incase of a public uprising issues of international concern like, water terrorism with neighbours like Bangladesh and Pakistan, environmental pollution issues at Siachin glacier resulting in global warming and gross HR violations haunt the corrupt and rich leaders riding on deformed values.