Message sent to People’s Convention held at Kozhikode on May 20, 2008 under the auspices of Joint Committee to Resist State Terrorism against Maoists and Muslims.
In many parts of the world, including our own country, extremists and terrorists are active. Basically, those engaged in terrorist activities are people who challenge the prevailing establishment. In the name of the injustices prevailing in the system, or something else, they publicly reject it. To that extent, their taking to unlawful methods can be understood even by those who do not approve of it. The state resorting to unlawful means in the name of preventing terrorism cannot be viewed in the same manner. The state is an institution which has a duty to protect the system. The police, the army and paramilitary forces are agencies that lawfully bear arms to discharge this responsibility. They have no right to defy the law. When they act beyond the bounds of law, they are endangering the system established by law, not protecting it.
In the neurotic atmosphere created by governments which are facing challenges from different corners and by the political movements that lead these governments, ‘Maoist’ and ‘Muslim terrorist’ have become code words that can be used to liquidate not just individuals but whole sections of people. The similarities in the experiences of Binayak Sen, a doctor, in Chhattisgarh, ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, of Lachit Bordoloi, a journalist, in Assam, ruled by the Congress, and of P. Govindankutty, a left-wing editor, in Kerala, ruled by a coalition led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) are not a matter of coincidence. In the violence against the farmers of West Bengal who refused to surrender their land to set up giant industrial complexes, as in anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, police personnel and ruling party cadres had jointly committed murder and rape. This shows that there are the politics of power has some common approaches, which remain beyond ideology.
Six decades after Independence, our governments are still not free from their feudal and colonial traditions. Fight against state terrorism is fight for democracy.