Laughing through security

India is a laugh and a half. For some, it is a gloating laugh brought on by India test-firing nuclear-capable missiles. Ironically named Prithvi-II, it is capable of carrying 500-1000 kg of warheads, and of destroying whole populations, melting a layer of their being at a time. Prestigious, is the word used to define the accomplishment of this independent indigenous feat. The funny thing is India has a stockpile of nuclear weapons but has made a promise, with a pinch on its throat, that it will never be the first to use it. What a laugh.  

Indigenous, yes. Today, companies in India are capable of producing the possibility of annihilation. Take the example of tata, that ‘oh we’re so ethical’ company whose self proclaimed integrity (towards its own profit and shareholders, of course) is "made of steel". The company has, for some time now, been readying a range of sophisticated combat, tactical, logistical and armoured vehicles including high-end missile launchers for the Indian defence forces. Companies like these will soon be producing indigenous homemade missiles for India that will help the latter defeat the purpose of life on a mass scale. Both India and tata get away with their intent to destroy in the garb of construction based on “integrity.” No one can (or is allowed to) question that. India’s paranoid security paradigm is beginning to destroy not just its neighbours but also those within its territorial limits.

On the home front, India’s “internal conflicts” are up for scrutiny. Its security apparatus, fuelled by a range of intelligence units that have minimal coordination, has raised havoc in many parts of the country. India’s former Joint Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Maloy Krishna Dhar (1939-2012), in his book Open Secrets: India’s Intelligence Unveiled (2005), makes expected revelations. India’s intelligence units, in spying on state and non state actors (and becoming political puppets), have misused information to derive their own conclusions, develop faultlines and achieve destructive ends.  

In the North East of India, where Dhar was posted in the initial years of his career, the story is no different. He quotes examples of how underground and overground political workers, both Naga, Meitei and from a variety of peoples, were used to dismember the genuine demands of the people by discarding it to the “extremist” paradigm. And very often, a nexus existed between the political and bureaucratic set up, including the intelligence, that made the situation in this region worse than it could have been had issues been addressed at the required level.

Today, an analysis of the media information being generated from the region, in the context of the recent Karbi Anglong conflict, is exemplary of how investigations are being taken to “logical” conclusions sans evidence. Intelligence officers acting as “sources” frequently plant stories in the news media that create tension. Discriminate political behavior in the treatment of conflict finds security apparatus being used as negative political means to unestablished ends. A parentless confounded investigation agency is hinted to be drawn in to look at the nine deaths in Dimapur, leaving the genesis of the situation, as well as the deaths caused in the end of December in Karbi Anglong to their graves. More violence has been, and will be, created thanks to this intervention-- whenever people/s in the region try to move towards peace and better relations, a “third force” takes shape that takes the process of moving forward together out of the peoples’ reach.

Alas, the security paradigm is still considered a matter of prestige in this country. But unless the whole paradigm is restructured to base itself on working with people instead of destroying them, there is little hope for people in pockets of India that face growing terror and the consistently burning embers of violence. Realistically, the security apparatus, by its very nature, cannot achieve this.
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