While discussing Babri Mosque demolition in 1992 some people have said that young people have no memories of 1992, they do not care about mosque or temple, they have moved on and India has to move on. It is one thing for anchors and panelists to say so, but when the Home Minister of India says that it has serious implications.
What about 1984? Should victims of Anti-Sikh riots not get justice because young people have no memories of 1984? Will cases against criminals be closed because India has moved on?
Should victims of Bhopal gas tragedy not get justice because young people have no memories of 1984? When Bhopal case was discussed some months back no one talked about young people and moving on. There was lot of discussion about who let Warren Anderson go and how he can be extradited. What about Indians convicted? Some wanted Keshub Mahindra be let off because he is a respected industrialist and 82 years old. Warren Anderson is older than Keshub Mahindra.
In Kashmir young people were out on streets. They indulged in stone pelting and arson. They want independence. Should Kashmir be granted independence because young people there want it? Many young Indians do not care whether Kashmir remains part of India or becomes independent or goes to Pakistan.
The argument that in 1992 India had 4 lakh computers, 70 lakh cars, growth rate was 2.2% and in 2010 India has 4 crore computers, 180 lakh cars, growth rate is 9% and therefore has moved on ignores the fact in 2010 large areas are Naxal domination.
History repeats itself. Those who forget history are condemned to relive it.
China is in illegal occupation of Indian land since 1962. Young Indians may not care about it but China wants Arunachal Pradesh.
Young Indians believe in equality, they do not care about caste system and are against sexual discrimination. Why are reservations based on caste or sex not abolished? Why does the government want reservation for women in legislatures and increase in reservation for women in rural and urban bodies from 33% to 50%? Why is there caste census, first time after 1931? Why does the government want to extend reservations to jobs in private sector?
The argument that young people have no memories of something or they do not care about something can cut many ways.
Naxal menace grew when Shivraj Patil was Home Minister of India. He was soft on Naxals, called them sons of India, and dissolved Joint Co-ordination Committee between the six most affected states in 2005. Police forces that surrounded Naxals in a forest in Andhra Pradesh were told to call off the operation and let Naxalites go. The country is paying a heavy price for his follies.
After Chidambaram became Home Minister of India he has tried to tackle the problem of Naxal menace. For a long time terrorist activities of Naxals were ignored. For Sangh Parivar all terrorists were Muslims. Left Front allowed Naxals to grow till the Naxals became too powerful to tackle. Now states ruled by Congress & NCP, NDA, Left Front are affected by Naxal menace.
Lack of development is cited by some as reason for Naxal growth. Naxalâ€™s want power through revolution. There is no revolution without violence. They are open about it. Poverty is an excuse. Poor people can not afford guns and ammunition. Naxals do not want to learn from history. Their ideology failed in USSR and many other countries.
On 8/10/2009 17 people died in a bomb blast outside Indian Embassy in Kabul and 17 people died in Gadchiroli fighting Naxals. Rahul Gandhi had mentioned Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa as states where there is no development. This happened in Maharashtra.
Chidambaram asked human rights activists to choose which side they are. The activists who spoke of state violence and never condemned Naxal violence were another face of Naxals. If the Naxals are popular they can win elections, form governments and reverse the policies. They have not done it.
There is a debate whether army and air force should be used against Naxals. Naxals have waged a war against India. If air force planes comes under fire they should have the right to self-defence or they should not be used against Naxals. Special forces need to be raised to tackle them.
Other problems need to be addressed. Governments should not acquire land for private industries. Media should not glorify Naxals or make them respectable by airing their interviews.
Newspapers and TV channels come up with voting figures which are guestimates. The figures differ from newspaper to newspaper and channel to channel. How the figures are arrived at is not mentioned. One channel mentioned 41% voting in South Bombay.
Voting percentage has to be based how many voters whose names were on electoral rolls had voted. Many times people who are eligible to vote do not find their names on electoral rolls. In my society in one house husbandâ€™s name was on voting list, wifeâ€™s was not. In another house the case was opposite.
Sometimes residents of buildings find their names are not on voting lists. Election Commission cards are of no use in such cases.
April and May are vacation for schools and colleges. Many people go to other places at that time.
In Bombay and suburbs voting was on 30/4/2009. Maharashtra day followed. May 2 and 3 being Sunday many people had four days leave at a stretch. They could have gone out of station.
Gerson da Cunha said you can not sell a bad product how much may be the advertisement. If people are cynical about elections and politicians it can not be helped.
Some thought 26/11 will cause people to come out in large numbers to vote. Peopleâ€™s anger had dissipated after Shivraj Patil, Home Minister of India, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Raosaheb Patil, Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of Maharashtra, had resigned.
Next time Newspapers and TV channels come up with voting figures they should mention the total number of voters on electoral rolls in a constituency and the total number of voters who have voted.