Issues underlying Conflicts in INDIA.
Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) and Peace Education (PE)
India is the world’s largest democracy and home to more than one billion people. The national goals are derived from a magnificent history, strong interaction with western societies and great heroes like, Aurobindo, Tagore, Gandhi and others. As it is true in all nations, major problem exists. The country is plagued by inter state or intra state and community violence, which is yet to be solved. In India one will see two categories of people that form the society. One side are the rich and on the other side one hears of farmers committing suicide due to debt and poverty. The poor are becoming poorer, the most illiterate ,the most malnourished people die of hunger among them includes mostly children and women everyday in large numbers. Tribals, Dalits and ethnic minorities are the most deprived in the country. Caste and Ethnic discrimination continue to promote conflict and violence in the Indian peninsula.
Most Government actions are now directed from the top of national and state bureaucracies and most individuals and communities have little voice. Many Government programs are not effective because those served, often poor and illiterate have no power to deal with their public servants. There is a continuing problem of funding services at optimum levels. The mixture of limited services and the undue authority of officials create an imbalance of power with corruption and bribery with the norm in dealing with official agencies. The educational system, based on an old British model, combined with large numbers of students from poorly educated, families and major competitions for jobs and government stipends, stifles individual creativity and contributions.
There is a long, prevalent history of bribes, payoffs and kickbacks at every level of government. These are so prevalent that business and individuals often build them into the budget. Many in the Government feel they have the right to get as much as they can since, they have been downtrodden and exploited. Unless a new attitude emerges, people will continue to distrust their government and continue to be exploited. A new thinking, a new attitude, a new morality must emerge in individuals in order to become informed, honest and fully participating citizens. These attitudes can be taught and applied to life throughout the school years. This large system needs major modification that will require large numbers of people to change their attitude and behaviour.
Some forms of overt violence
• Naxalites and Maoist movement is presently growing and about 165 of the 602 districts in 22 states are affected.
• In the Northeast India, there is the presence of various armed ethnic outfits aspiring for their own nationalism. Many tribes have their own armed outfits. Militarization is also growing in the region, young people are being recruited in the Government armies, at the same time there is also recruitment among the ethnic armed groups.
• There is a growing militarization of the Government army in almost all the tribal belts in India.
• Unemployment among youths is growing in most of the conflict areas and within the country.
• Caste and communal polilitics is increasing the polarization of the Indian communities.
• Gender discrimination, violence against ethnic minorities, tribals and dalits are increasing in Institutions and major cities.
• There is increase in HIV/AIDS among young people especially in the conflict areas.
• Religious fundamentalism is increasing. Education is being defined from the perspectives of the major communities and not necessarily on scientific lines in some aspects. Minor ethnic groups are force to assimilate and learn the major languages.