This is in reference to ‘Are we missing woods for trees’ by Brij Anil Gupta, DE Jan 24, 2020.
It is unfortunate to learn that views of CDS, Gen Rawat which are highly undemocratic and against the principles of Constitutional values, are being appreciated by the author. The author argues that ‘few’ politicians and ‘pseudo-liberals’ are trying to stir a controversy regarding the term De-radicalisation camps which might not be true in entirety.
No doubt that radicalism is a threat for the society, but considering the present socio-political situation in the country, people at higher posts should be sensitive in using the vocabulary which might create further controversy.
The idea of radicalism being a universal phenomenon needs a wider scholarship and research without suggesting undemocratic solutions like ‘De-radicalisation camps’. The idea of camps impinges on the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution under Article 19, 21 and 21A.
Further, the argument regarding linking radicalisation to Islam is again problematic as it is not specific to any religion. Even the suggestion regarding regulation of Madrassas by the Government is against the fundamental rights under Article 29 and 30 which the Supreme Court has time and again regarded as herald for minorities in the country.
The article highlights Arabic Muslim culture as ‘alien’ which is highly disturbing as it not only devalues the secular nature of Constitution but also is a narrow interpretation of culture and history.
‘The society has to decide the path youth must follow’. Sure. But before that, society must espouse on unbiased, secular, rational and constitutional values.
Problem of radicalisation is region centric in India because of certain reasons. Rather than suggesting ways like ‘policy-based plans’, Government should work to strengthen economic models and develop the region in a culturally sustainable way with greater autonomy and involvement of stakeholders, in this case, kashmiris. Radicalisation is not linked with religion but with economy. It is only those regions which face radicalism which are economically weak. In order to revive the economy, the government need not use crony capitalistic ideals but grass root level sustainable development and growth models. It is high time that civil society and government understands this, otherwise political moves like Abrogation of Art 370, which defines to bring democracy and development, will serve no purpose.