The Absent State: Insurgency as an Excuse for Misgovernance
The spiralling crisis in Jammu and Kashmir; the Naxalite-Maoist menace that seems to be intensifying with every passing day; the disturbing reach of proxy governments run by militant groups in Manipur and Nagaland ? today, a quarter of India is being held hostage by violence and anarchy. What has pushed the country, which has otherwise held together through seemingly insurmountable odds in the past, to the edge? In a series of dispatches the authors unveil the tensions, frustrations, challenges and justifications that are everyday realities in these troubled regions. Civil administrators talk about the widespread misappropriation of development funds in tribal and remote areas; security and police personnel describe extreme confrontations in the face of inadequate training and equipment; rebel ranks and former insurgents reveal how unemployment, lack of education and rampant exploitation have fuelled their defiance against the establishment and encouraged secessionist activities. At the heart of the on-going turmoil, ordinary people mourn the loss of their loved ones ? to starvation, lack of healthcare facilities and militancy ? even as they voice their demand to be heard.