09 May, 2021

Why Everyone Speaks The Flowing Language Of Blood

After a long tyranny of neglect, the State speaks in wartime euphemisms

Illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
Why Everyone Speaks The Flowing Language Of Blood

Sri Lankan style operations against the Maoists in central India have already begun. In fact, it isn’t clear if they ever stopped after 2005, when the Salwa Judum herded thousands of villagers into camps. The only difference now is that war has been openly declared, in contrast to the government’s fiction of a “people’s movement”. The talk of using airpower, even if in self-defence, is being accompanied by propaganda blitzes, such as a home ministry ad containing gruesome photos of people killed by the Maoists. Clearly meant to desensitise the public to the civilian carnage that could follow a paramilitary sweep, the ad’s violent tone was also calculated to strike fear and signal the government’s seriousness in acting against the Maoists. As if on cue to prove the government right, the Maoists committed their ghastly beheading of Francis Induwar, a police officer. Faced with two belligerent parties, what are ordinary citizens to do?

For one, intellectuals—despite that word being the latest...

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