Friday, November 28, 2008

A People's Democracy in a Time of Terror

129. November 28, 2008 3:15 pm Link November 28, 2008 9:32 am Link

Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife Rivkah Holtzberg, paid with their precious lives because they loved their Chabad Lubavitch religious beliefs and exercised their right to practice their religion freely in Mumbai India, with their peaceful co-adherents. The youthful and courageous Holtzbergs had lived in India since 2003, according to news reports.

Can anyone imagine Rabbi Holtzberg and his family and community living and practicing their religion -- in PAKISTAN?

Does anyone ever hear anything about Pakistan's minorities? Who are they? Where do they live? For that matter, what about Saudi Arabia's religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities, why are they made invisible?

Remember what happened to Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter whose throat was slit by terrorists in Pakistan?

Democracy is always imperfect and always in need of continual work by The People.

In India our democracy is most certainly imperfect and we in India must make tireless efforts in the spirit of Gandhi, a democracy that is an outgrowth of our own history and civilization.

A start towards democracy, ETHICAL DEMOCRACY, built upon her own unique and complex history is essential, in Pakistan.

Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice

Chithra Karunakaran

I was interested in two sets of comments sent by Bradsher of the NYTimes The Lede blog. My own comments are followed by his:

My Comment #1.
Even though there is no clear evidence and there probably will not be, of exactly who is behind the attacks, the Indian Prime Minister has already claimed without hard evidence there are “external linkages.” This causes people to distrust their popularly elected govt. The Indian leadership, not just the government but also the numerous regional parties and alliances, have to face up to the strong possibility that this is a homegrown terror event with multiple homegrown causes. Such an admission would force the current coalition govt and opposition leaders at the federal regional and local levels to work together to address and resolve major social, economic and political inequities on the ground, including ending Indian army atrocities in Kashmir as well as attempt to quell cross-border incursions from Pakistan.
India is an unprecedented democracy, therefore shemust reach into her own particular extraordinary history of revolutionary liberatory dissent led by Gandhi and others,and it cannot merely imitate the West’s response to terror attacks, which have complex underlying causes that need to be understood before we can act on them.

Bradsher wrote;
There is still great uncertainty about who was responsible for the attacks and why it has taken so long for the Indian Army to overcome the attackers.
Comment #2
This is Indian democracy in action. This is a country of enormous numbers of people. We the People get a ringside seat! I see numerous examples of the Indian “way of democratic process” every time I return ‘home.’ Of course the safety of the public is important but can it be allowed to overrule the people’s right to know. first hand?

Bradsher wrote:
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 11:10

The Indian army has not tried to clear residents from more than a radius of a block or two around combat sites. That radius might be adequate to protect spectators from grenade blasts, but it won’t save them from bullets fired by high-powered rifles, which can be deadly over distance of a couple miles.

The roads, rooftops and balconies around Nariman House are now crowded with over a thousand local gawkers. It is not clear if any have been injured.
Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice

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