TODAY -

Power does not flow from the barrel

By Geoffery *



During Chinese revolution, Mao Tse Tung had propagated that power flows from the barrel of the gun. Not always! The same nation is now talking of becoming super economic and technological power and military power is not emphasized.

Military might of USA is universally known but has it succeeded in Vietnam and Iraq? It is not the power of gun but the WILL of masses. Germany and Japan also have a great say in world order being economic powers and not military powers.

Russia was acknowledged the other pole of polarized powerful world but was disintegrated due to poor economy. Hitler and his deputy Goebbels were able to win over large territories without firing a single shot before they actually started WWII. All these indicate only one thing that power does not lay in the gun but in the man behind the gun.

Military might or the power of gun is only brute power with a very little and localized impact unlike the power of ideas or mind which is all pervasive. Even Mao who propagated the concept of power of gun had written large number of books to change the minds of the people.

Ideas once conceived need to be nurtured, implanted in minds & reared for desired growth. It is the ideas that can turn the tables and not the gun. Mahatma Gandhi most admired nonviolent leader in the world had masses behind him because he was able to impact the minds of people. This force helped him shake the roots of British Empire without the gun.

North East Region (NER) of our nation has been suffering from long-drawn-out violence for six decades with no end in sight. Applying the concept of violence through wielding of gun in NER one can only arrive at a conclusion that these are not activists but thugs who are terrorizing men women and children for their vested interests.

The killings of innocents, extortions, kidnapping for ransom and bandhs (either called by UGs or against the activities of UGs) is the order of the day. A young man when recruited by the outfits through false promises feels power of wielding the gun due to adrenalin flow but is disappointed later.

If the gun was that powerful it would have yielded results. The same was realized first by Mizoram and the state is on trajectory of peace and progress.

Of late futility of power of gun has been realized by some members of the outfits. Cadres from A and C companies of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) have declared unilateral ceasefire and formed a Pro Talk ULFA group.

The group is making serious efforts to persuade more members of the outfit to lay down arms and enter into a peace process. Major ZD Akho ( ex NSCN(IM)) cadre got associated with the proscribed outfit in 1990 but now he has disassociated himself due to malicious functioning of the outfit, disregard to erstwhile human values, disregard to safety & security of younger cadres etc.

He says, "I joined the organization out of love for my country, why should I agree to be employed in destroying our own people" (Nagaland Post dated 18 Feb 08).

Importance of entering in dialogue and futility of violent struggle is well understood by the statement made by General Secretary, Chorkhy, of United Liberation Front of Barak Valley (ULFBV) during surrender ceremony. He surrendered with 305 cadres and said," We realized that we can't achieve anything by armed struggle.

As far as development of our community and other tribal groups is concerned we are still there where we were seven years back (outfit was founded in2001)." What a prudent remark! It sounds true for every outfit in the region. The region has not got the deserved status despite all the favorable inputs like; simple and dedicated human resource, abundance of natural resources, luxuriant valleys and clean climate.

The differences in mass reactions to inter factional killings and killings/ harassment of innocents by the cadres of various outfits are an eye opener. When a militant is killed reaction is either from the same outfit for disowning own cadre or blame other outfits or SFs.

When these out-fits kill innocents or kidnap innocents or extort for self claimed degenerative aims the reactions are a galore and all inclusive. This includes reactions of leaders, students, women and NGOs etc talking in unison against these heartless and shameful acts.

Now the people have realized the fact that power lies in their will to fight injustice met to their freedom. There are number of incidents where the armed cadres have been chased out by unarmed but determined public.

In Aug five Kangliepak Communist Party-Military Council (KCP-MC) cadres, who were trying to kidnap two children, were thrashed by villagers of Nambol Khabi before police arrested them.

Two cadres of Peoples Republic of Kangliepak (PREPAK) were rounded up by locals to prevent the attempted abduction of Zila Parishad members in Imphal East under Heingang police station on 04 Oct 08 ( The Sangai Express datelined 05 Oct).

There are cases where these cadres have been lynched also. Determined action of the people is laudable by any score and this is the only way to deal with the criminals, thugs and loots.

This can only lead to a peaceful, progressive and developed society where children can breathe an air of freedom. This can only get the desired and deserved status to this beautiful landscaped region where simple but people with rich values exist

"Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict- alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence."
Dorothy Thompson




* Geoffery contributes regularly to e-pao.net . The writer can be contacted at jaey_geoffery(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in . This article was webcasted on November 11, 2008.

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