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Soni Sori and the Indian State

Posted on April 5, 2012 in Society

By Akash Bharadwaj:

The name of Sony Sori reveals the dark realities of contemporary times. The name does not merely make a sad and torturous story of a woman mired in some conspiracy hatched by the Chhattisgarh Government; it also reveals the impotency of a generation that has resigned itself to the modern and dominant values of slavery. When the whole system is bent upon castigating and defending her of being a Maoist sympathizer, all she can experience is the agony of being a tribal poor woman resisting against the masculine thrust of power.

The powerful cannot wield power without legitimacy. And how do you make a system legitimate? It requires creation of a monstrous enemy to prove it legitimate. The name of that enemy in this country is ‘Maoist’. While on the one hand it serves the purpose of Indian State, on the other hand it also provides a space to many parliamentary left-inclined apologists to gain a share of power and privilege while maintaining their dubious stand of being revolutionary.

Soni Sori was arrested not because she was a Maoist. The Chhattisgarh Government knew it very well. She was arrested perhaps because she was a bigger threat than the Maoists. She was someone who had the strength to find her own way in the jungle where you can either take either the side of the State or the Maoist. She was tortured, given electric shocks and stripped naked to show that dissent is not allowed in the largest democracy. The pebbles were shoved into her private parts to make the world understand that it is not only the men in this country who can go and rape women with impunity. The Indian state can prove itself too. The war has been waged upon poor of this country in every possible way. The State, in collusion with elites, is ready to maintain its relation in only two ways — either through charity or business.

Those who defy this relationship will meet the same fate as of Soni Sori. She and many others like her are languishing in different jails of the country in spite of so many protests being carried all over the country. While some write about it, some speak about it and some hear about it, there are many people in the jungles of this country, who are not getting deterred by the oppressive Indian State. They are in direct confrontation with the State. They know that the struggle is on and it has to be won at any cost. Indian judiciary cannot make Soni Sori free now. There are many Soni Soris marching to smash the prison itself. They are the true ideologues as ideology is not something you know, ideology is something that you do.