A Living Legend in the World of Justice;97 year old V.R.Krishna Iyer's Statement


Cochin 14th July

The sovereign Republic of India stands for socialism, egalitarianism, trans-religious secularism and national unity based on fraternity. Our independence had one basic structure to wipe every tear from every eye as was declared in the historic speech of Nehru in his tryst with destiny address. There was a pledge in the Preamble to the Constitution that justice, social, economic and political will be ensured to every member of Indian humanity. But three score and three years thereafter, we, as a Nation have much to answer for and account to generations in the past and in the future. Expectations on Independence darkened into deprivation and depravation into dread, hunger, homelessness have-not status and finally despair. This economic destitution by gradual degrees and social estrangement by slow process though of the masses forfeited the peoples faith in the instrumentalities of the Constitution viz., the executive, the legislative and the judicative instruments. Inevitably when the State failed the confidence of the people they took to the streets, to the jungle and to lawlessness. Terrorism was the next step ubiquitously shaking up peace and sense of safety development. This is the genesis of Naxalism, Maoism and other forms of extremism. Government instead of creating conditions to win back the confidence of the people resorted to guns and police weaponry. Long ago President Eisenhower of the U.S had warned:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies-in the final sense-a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The consequence was inevitable that more people became desperate. The masses got alienated and bullets did not and could not generate a milieu or haven, of tranquility when the policy of Government aggravated militancy and demoralization. Many parts of India ceased to be safe and peaceful. Today the situation has deteriorated so gravely that Maoists are able to fire on the military. The State has virtually abandoned the peace process and resorted to dereliction of law and order hoping that the soldiers are a more reliable force than peace and justice processes and civilian forces. Some move here and there to talk peace through dialogue and by tranquility through sensitive statesman who tried transformation of social conditions. Swami Agnivesh, a great Indian patriot who stands for a casteless society, religious amity and non-violent conditions of life responded to the challenge of Indian tumult and confrontation, hoping to initiate a fruitful process of dialogue as a measure of Gandhian non-violence as distinguished from Godseys gun politics. He struck a note which was the beginning of social justice by a dialogue with Azad, a leader of Maoists whose response was positive and radiated some rays of hope in sight. Alas! A gory Government without a vision shot dead Azad and strangled the prospect of peaceful negotiations. What a gaffe egregious error! What a monstrous mistake in the place of a mellow move of moderation begun well and with better promise fulfillment of our tryst with destiny! Agnivesh is bitter. So am I: and so are the thinking millions of Indians who do not want extremism but seek smiling moderation. We are all disappointed that the Governments negative noxious policy of handling with military methods is jettisoning the Buddha and Gandhi heritage. Is the Home Ministers dialogue strategy a travesty?

May I appeal to the President and the Prime Minister and the wise Sonia Gandhi and to the leaders of all political parties with sense and sensibility to express their exasperation over the killing of Azad and appeal to the extremists unconditionally to come for talking table? Dont lose your head and dialogue for Shanti convincing the Maoists and others of their ilk that the State means peaceful streets and homes, not bullets or AK 47. India is yours as well. Build it sans violence. Let the masses and the classes of the country risefor peace and human rights. Let us stand for the right to life in dignity and for egalite and economic justice and not allow a mafia element in Government where the rich, rigid obscurantist obduracy becomes the policy makers, and the indigent underdogs more indigent, more crushed. Hope, not despair should be the fundamental policy of great Government. The grand green negotiated policy will win. It harvests contentment and contain extremism. The alternative is functional chaos, administrative anarchy and farewell to public welfare tears and cadavers and social justice. Azad killers are culpable. A judicial enquiry is the nations desideratum.

I make this appeal not out of pusillanimity but out of patriotism.

July 14, 2010 V.R. KRISHNA IYER