Monday, 13 July 2020

A Meticulous Tome On Extremism

Updated: February 12, 2011 12:27 pm

The book contains revised and edited papers presented by well-known scholars at a seminar held at Vinoba Bhave University, Hazaribag. The articles presented in the book, which contains 16 articles, are of national status and relevant in the present context of the country as well as the states of Bihar and Jharkhand. The articles, written by erudite scholars, are very informative, narrative and deals with various aspects of Naxalism in details. In fact the atmosphere of extremism in India and the spread of violence and terrorism have become extremely acute and it is necessary to reflect on the nature of extremism and deeper roots of terrorism. In an article, the book deliberates on causes, consequences and remedies of extremism in India. It points out extremism in the country has a long history. In post-Independence India, Telangana in present-day Aandhra Pradesh region was the first in the country that faced violent peasant rebellions. The other article attempts to address the significant issue, i.e. religious fundamentalism in the post-modern society. The article maintains that there is a critical need for examination and evaluation in the multi-religious country like India. To streamline that terrorism can be put to an end if we understand the concept of religion in words and deeds, the fundamentalism and its evil can be eradicated.

                The march of civilisation seems to have reached a critical point, where various forms of barbarism are opposing the higher ideals of humanity. Barbarism allows unbridled manifestations of human impulses, and does not feel it necessary to find ways and means by which human impulses can be rightly controlled, channelised, purified and even transformed into higher and nobler manifestation emerging from aesthetic and spiritual concerns. Further elaborating this point, the book notes that extremism is a deviation from prevailing political norms and in a country like India where democratic procedures have been well established, extremism means departure from all modes of democratic functioning. Dealing with extremism as an ideology, the book avers that left-wing extremism in certain parts of country has assumed national dimension, which is threatening the democratic fabric. The genesis of this problem is enshrined in the socio-economic structure of the society, which needs to be tackled in a systematic manner. It is noteworthy that terrorism or extremism is not an ideology; it is a strategy that can be used by the people of different political persuasions. Also extremists are not born, they are a creation of the society.

                The book emphasises that in our society, there is a feeling that the country is sinking under the weight of several problems such as terrorism, corruption, and plutocracy, and it is realised that solutions need to be sought at a level that is deeper than the level at which we are now thinking special thinking has to be paid to the promotion of eternal values that can counteract the increasing destruction of the country and its culture. The mental and spiritual epidemic that has broken out in India after globalisation has killed the human values that we had. In this backdrop, the book provides comprehensive inputs on nature of extremism in India.

By Ashok Kumar

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