On July 28, a replay of West Bengalís Nandigram was staged by the Andhra Pradesh police in Khamam. Eight people, mostly Left supporters, died in police firing.
These landless people had been demanding plots for homestead and livelihood. An irate CPM has threatened to start a nationwide stir. CPI is part of the Left protest.
Ironically, one sees a role reversal here. In West Bengal the Left government was on the wrong foot while in Andhra all this has happened under a Congress government.
In West Bengal, the BJP and the rabble-rousing Trinamool Congress were found fishing in troubled waters, despite the fact that during the NDA regime at the Centre the BJP was a great supporter of SEZs, the bone of contention in Nandigram.
Over the last six decades of our independent existence we have learnt not to expect integrity and consistency from our political leaders. This time round, too, we would be better advised not to have any such expectations.
However, let us have some norms for police firing and lathi-charge. Why is it that over the last 60 years in 99 out of every 100 cases of police firing only poor Dalits, minorities (particularly Muslims) and tribals have been the victims? Why is the system so blatantly anti-poor, anti-weak? Whom does the system represent? Only the upper classes and castes?
As long as these questions are not addressed squarely and satisfactorily Indian democracy will remain a sham, a convenience for the upper classes to push their agenda of internal colonialism.g