Monday, May 27, 2013

Violent resistance is benefiting the aggressor more than the resistor

Hi Friends,

The recent ambush and murder of a political party's leaders in
Chattisgarh, and how the media is handling the matter, is looking very
creepy to me, it's reminding me of an oft-repeated script :

Send in some pawns that you don't mind sacrificing, whose movements
you completely control, and tip off your enemy without letting them
know where the tip is coming from. They attack the pawns in an
operation that just seems too successful to be true. It helps if the
pawn you're sending was a figure of hatred for the hostiles through
his past actions (which were at your orders) : in their joy at having
captured this hated foe, they won't suspect why he's been handed to
them on a platter.

Once the ambush is complete and the rebels go back with a victory that
was just too easy, the media that you control launch into total
shock-reporting. Make a huge, huge affair out of the incident, gain
political mileage from the death of your own pawns. At the same time,
the rebels get branded as terrorists, ruthless thugs, murderous
villains. The media that you control, will use the horror of this one
incident to blank out all the horrors you have been steadily
inflicting on the people who then became the rebels. The fact that
those rebels are a grassroots uprising against a fascist
government-industrial complex, will be forgotten in the haste to have
sympathy for the side whose people got killed. Your media now waxes
eloquent on how the rebels are a threat to national security, how
China and Pakistan are arming them, how every citizen is now a target
for these rebels (conveniently skipping the fact that the rebels have
never set foot near your cities, they only operate in their areas
which you were invading and plundering)



Now you can have pre-arranged players seemingly from outside your
immediate circle, send out calls for greater, national-level
intervention to meet this "threat". Demands start flowing in for the
army and air force to intervene, and arguments are made about what the
government "ought to do" next. In this political climate, military
intervention on the State's side suddenly looks legitimate, whereas a
week earlier such an idea would have been derided : "These rebels are
our citizens and they are rebelling for valid reasons : how can you
even think of using our army to kill our own citizens?" Well, times
change and now the media goes into overdrive to brand the rebels as
the "other" and an outside, evil force wanting to destroy the very
fabric of our great nation. Very soon the rebels are no longer seen as
our own people, and hence it's seen as ok to kill them without
bothering to go through due process. The people whose rights they have
stood up for, are now accused of harboring terrorists and pronounced
guilty without trial : all the atrocities inflicted upon them by you
(the government) are lost to the sound of war-drums. They are
criminalized by association, and now suddenly it's ok to trample upon
their basic human rights as well, for the country's "greater good".

What's next? Obvious, look at what Sri Lanka did. Whereas in the
incident not more than 50 of your pawns were killed (and hey, you got
them killed), it will now be acceptable for even 50,000 and more
deaths to happen as collateral damage while you slice and dice the
countryside hunting down the people you've branded as terrorists, the
ones you're "protecting" your people from. You will keep on branding
them as threats even when they have no way to attack you anymore and
are scampering for their lives. In the process, you will brand
yourself as saviour of the nation, and those pesky people who were
resisting all your super-profit mining projects etc, will be either
culled or driven out of your way.

Through all this, some of my (heartless) observations are:
There was a reason why Gandhi advocated nonviolent struggle and why
Einstein endorsed it. The alternative, violence is a lose-lose
scenario in the long run. I know that times are desperate. But I also
know that times have been even more desperate elsewhere and earlier,
and violence has rarely worked out there. The rebels in this case,
clearly got manipulated by the government and are now on the way to
being thrown into the villain-box. Using violence, though initially as
self-defense, now saw them playing into the evil power's hands. There
is a saying that when fighting a powerful foe, do not engage it in the
medium where it has an overwhelming advantage over you. When battling
the State, violence and weapons will be its strength, no point
fighting it in that department. There is now a real and grave risk of
a genocide, like what happened in Sri Lanka.

In the non-violence route, granted, a large number of the oppressed
people would be slaughtered, and for a very long time nobody would
come to help. But there are other players in this scenario also.
Public sympathy would have gone to the oppressed, and at some point
the government would have gotten the villain-tag. In the long run, the
number of lives lost may have been lesser compared to the genocide
that seems looming ahead. Non-violent resistance, is not what you
immediately think of when being oppressed. It looks bleak if your
focus is only on the sensuous present (whereas violence looks much
more exciting and gratifying). But it is something that is proven to
work better than violent resistance in the long run. It has proven
more successful in even direr circumstances than what our indigenous
countryside is facing today.

Please read the book "From dictatorship to democracy" by Gene Sharp,
or watch the documentary on it, "How to start a revolution".

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