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January 14, 1998


The Rediff Election Special/Dr Vara Vara Rao

'Stability means the basic needs of people'

Today, stability is not the main issue for India. It is the threat from imperialism that is the biggest issue.

Former Congress prime minister Rajiv Gandhi won 401 seats in Parliament. But what kind of stability did he give to the country? In fact, he became prime minister at the cost of 3,000 deaths of Sikhs who were massacred in daylight.

In Rajiv's tenure, insurgency intensified in many states and the Centre couldn't do anything. So, I don't agree that a majority government will be able to solve India's problems.

The word stability is being used to portray an interest of a certain class of people in India. For me, the word stability means the basic needs of people. Till the day, we do not achieve the means to provide the minimum needs of the people in this country. I will say 'We are not a stable country.'

In fact, I feel that parliamentary democracy has lost its movement and Naxalbari is the only solution. In the last 50 years, we have seen all kinds of government but nothing has changed in the system.

No, I won't agree with the critics of the Naxal movement that it is restricted to a few states. In fact the movement has grown in the last two decades. The Naxalbari movement began in West Bengal and today it has spread to Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Punjab and many other parts of the country.

In fact, people have boycotted the election in the Telangana district of Andhra Pradesh. They know that issues like corruption and threat by the imperialist countries cannot be solved through an election.

I feel another danger to our country is from the communal Bharatiya Janata Party. If they come to power, they will crush all democratic movements. India is a federal country and the BJP, which is propagating Hindutva, will crush all the movements and adopt dictatorial policies.

People say that in 50 years when the legislative and executive have failed to perform their duty, it is the judiciary which is doing good work. But I do not agree. In fact, I feel the judiciary's judicial activism is limited only to some issues. Hundreds of jhuggis were demolished, but the judiciary did not do anything about it.

Moreover, the cases related to the demolition of the Babri mosque are still pending in court. And nothing has been done so far. I want to know what the judiciary has done so far in those cases. Recently, the Kerala high court passed a judgment banning bandhs. This is a very anti-people judgment. So we have failed in this front too.

India is an agricultural economy. And these imperialist countries are dictating that we should open our economy. I asked them, 'Why should we open our economy and again for which class should we open it?' Today, after 50 years, the small scale farmers and landless labourers are the worst sufferers in India.

These people do not get any benefits from the government. Whatever subsidies and other benefits are given to the farmers are taken away by the rich farmers. Again, here the government serves the interest of the upper class people.

The same holds true for self-employed people and small-scale industries. The government never favours them compared to the big industrialists. It seems the government in the last 50 years has been serving the interests of only the upper class.

This concept of serving the upper class is not true for India alone; it is true for all of Asia. The development of Asia cannot be done on similar lines of the European countries. And this is evident from the recent South-East Asian crisis. Asia has very different cultural roots and our economy should be in the hands of the people. And that is why, the Naxalbari movement says, 'All power to the people.'

I feel that instead of talking about stability we should talk about co-operative movements. And it is only through the collective participation of people, can we find an alternative to capitalism.

The People's War ideologue spoke to Syed Firdaus Ashraf

Issues '98

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