Condemn War on People in Manipur
Statement of the
Campaign for Peace & Democracy (Manipur)
On the occasion of the
International Human Rights Day 2012
The world that we live in is not free from subjugation, exploitation and oppression. The responses are alarming! This year alone we have witnessed millions of people on the streets all across the world; some demanding civil and political rights and others demanding economic, social and cultural rights. The European and American capitalist States that had feigned welfare model states and peaceful capitalist order have been targeted by millions of workers and progressive forces. The targets were against worsening economic crisis, austerity policy, suppression of rights, and imperialist occupation in the Middle-east, Latin America, Asia, etc. Progressive assertions are gaining momentum in China, Philippines, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Nepal, etc.
In the Indian sub-continent not a single day is passed without some forms of resistances and demands to defend democratic rights. The resistances and demands ranges from: Maruti workers’ movement and communist movement to the national liberation movement in the north-east and Kashmir; struggle of the adivasi peoples against capitalist intrusion on their land; workers’ assertion for right to work and higher pay; protest against rights violation; movements for right to education; protest against state orchestrated communal riots, patriarchal and feudal reactions, etc. The context of these resistances and demands is the economic crisis and social unrest inherent in the capitalist path adopted by the Indian ruling class. The path is structured along with promotion of semi-feudal reactions and communal forces to work on social divisions on the one hand and on the other hand increasing reliance on State terrorism to continue with suppression of rights. Hence, the varied responses; each playing a role in the overall phenomenon of assertion of democratic rights!
In the context of Manipur (Northeast India), taking into account the affidavit of the thousands of fake encounters perpetrated by the government troops the Supreme Court had recently asked “are we in a state of war” in Manipur. The reality is that the Indian State’s war on the people has been ongoing to control the territory and market, corporatize resources, exploit labour and strengthen the stockpile for capitalist expansion towards the Southeast Asian countries. The war has been carried out by a collusion of military and paramilitary forces, police and State sponsored militant organizations that perpetrated communal or sectarian assaults. People’s assertion for democratic rights and rights activist had been suppressed under suppressive legislations such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (1958), Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, National Security Act (1980) and Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act (1911). Deceptive jargons such as ‘national security’, ‘law & order problem’, ‘war on terror’ and ‘development’ had been widely articulated to cover up suppression and exploitation.
Extrajudicial killing of people for democratic assertion and ideological dissent has been frequent. Justice is denied to several victims and their families. Hundreds of activists are languishing in jails in the most inhuman manner. Most of them do not enjoy the legal status of political prisoners. Witch hunting of rights activists is rampant. Those who have raised protest to the destruction of agricultural land, environment, fossil fuels, and forced displacement to construct airport, dams, office building, and military camps to serve the interest of the corporates are brutally targeted. The India State’s commitment to the Indian Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, constitutional fundamental rights, and other international standards such as the International Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Geneva Conventions 1949, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966, etc remains unfulfilled. There has been reign of terror in the name of national security.
We are also aware of the manifold assertions and demands by various sections of the population. There is peasants’ demand for agricultural land, incentives and facilities; unemployed youths demanding jobs; ad-hoc employees demanding regularization of job; government employees demanding regular monthly salary; private sector employees demanding pay high and decrease workload; peoples demanding improvement of roads, regular electric supply, other facilities; women street vendors demanding permanent allotment of plots; children yearning for free education and against child labour; minority communities demanding recognition of identity and resource control; homosexuals demanding against social discrimination; women demanding empowerment, protesting sexual harassment and domestic violence; demand for compensation against forced displacement and human rights violation; demand to control corruption; medical patients demanding for necessary attention, and so on and so forth. Each of these demands is legitimate from the perspective of the respective sector. But these demands, to achieve respective immediate goals within the framework of the existing governance, are deeply structured and rooted in the neo-liberal system. The governance continued but the grievances are not adequately addressed. On the contrary the demands are reduced into duplicity for lack of the ideology to coordinate towards a political process to create a situation favourable to all.
While we are not indifferent to these demands, we give due attention to the war policy of the Indian State that has not only failed to address these issues but has also suppressed democratic assertions. In other words the ongoing war on people does not distinguish people along sectoral or communal or regional lines. The war is supported by the lumpen puppets in Manipur that operate collectively using different camouflages as communal leaders, reformists, people’s representatives, etc. Several youths are being misinformed and misguided, lured by the prospects of job and promotion, recruited in the rank and file of the repressive forces and drawn into the war against the poor and marginalized. Among them, the underpaid auxiliary forces comprising of Village Defense Forces (prototype of SPOs in central India) who are drawn from the working class and peasant families have began to raise demands for regularization of job, reduction of workload and higher pay. Frustration and fratricide among the paramilitary and military forces have been reported from time to time. However, the war is on without a break!
The war has disastrous impacts! Rights to life, economic livelihood, and justice have become burning issues. The pretext of the war is best analysed by contextualizing it in the overall policy of the neo-liberal State that rely on sectarian politics, suppressive laws and repressive tactics for its own survival. On our part to save the lives of millions we need to expose the character of the State and defeat the war policy both in theory and practice. The expansionist stockpiles had to be dismantled and the wealth distributed to the millions of the deserving needy. A democratic society free from any form of suppression and exploitation had to be established. It can be realised with the collective struggle of the progressive forces cutting across community and regional boundaries.
Solidarity to those who fight for justice, fraternity and democracy!
Down with War on People
Long live Democracy