Predictably, Delhi’s Left-dominated intellectual circles have condemned the reported move on the part of Chhatisgarh police to implicate a high-profile Delhi University Professor for her alleged links with the Maoists in the state. Like the professor concerned, most of these intellectual elites come from highly influential families – in fact, many of them are the children of top bureaucrats and academicians.
Many of them have been educated abroad. And most of them spend more time in foreign junkets and seminar circuits, mostly conducted in five-star hotels. They talk about the poor and exploited but their personal lifestyles are typically that of upper middle class. They earn their names by criticizing the actions of the Indian “State”, which they accuse of being the worst offender of human rights and the greatest exploiter of the toiling classes.
They extol the ideas and activities of the Maoists, Muslim-fundamentalists and the secessionist terrorists. They do not believe in the idea of India and its present constitution. They would like a new revolution, but not exactly clear what that revolution should lead to. And they are not bothered whether India survives in its present form or disintegrates.
The Maoists leaders ultimate aim is to capture political power, which they cannot attain under our parliamentary democracy.
And yet, when in trouble for their various acts of omission and commission, they do not lose any time in utilizing their family connection and other clouts to seek respite from the same “State” or the government. The family of the aforementioned Delhi University Professor is hyperactive these days in seeking favour from the senior ministers and bureaucrats of the central government so as to neutralize the fears generated form the government of Chhatisgarh.
And in this endeavour, the “secular” credentials of the Professor and her husband, who is a high profile journalist, are being highlighted so that the “secular” central government restrains a “communal state government” of Chhatishgarh from contemplating any action against the professor.
Interestingly, however, both the central government and Chhatisgarh government are on the same side as far as fighting the Maoists are concerned. There are, of course, some differences between them over the manner of using the paramilitary forces in the state, but these differences are only tactical.
On May 6, 2010, the Union Home Ministry issued a statement saying that, “It has come to the notice of the government that some Maoist leaders have been directly contacting certain NGOs and intellectuals to propagate their ideology and persuade them to take steps which would provide support to the CPI (Maoist) ideology.” Government officials warned members of civil society that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, which calls for imprisonment of up to 10 years, could be used to punish individuals in contact with the Maoists.
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had earlier called upon civil society demanding “voices of condemnation of those who have, erroneously, extended intellectual and material support to the CPI (Maoist).” And it is precisely under this set of laws that the Professor could be implicated since the telephone record of one of the arrested Maoist functionary in Chhatisgargh suggests that he was in touch with her.