Most of the current thinking in many hotspots around the world focuses on ways to
control the conflict. This ignores the underlying fact that in most cases the origin
of the conflict is about the control - people who do not have control in conflict
with people who do.
India, the land that originated the concept of holistic healing and gave the world
(arguably) the greatest leader of the twentieth century - Mahatma Gandhi - is being
beset by a Maoist insurgency in the twenty-first century.
The Indian government is importing not only weapons but unfortunately in some instances,
also the brute force and counterproductive tactics used by the weapon states. While
combating the Maoist insurgency the use of repressive and lethal force by security
personnel against the insurgents has resulted, in some occasions, in innocent victims
getting caught in the crossfire. This has further alienated the local populace, which
was already reeling from the effects of the insurgent violence.
The references to holistic healing and Mahatma Gandhi are not unrelated to the Maoist
insurgency but in fact constitute key parts of the solution.
One of the ideas Gandhi championed was "Panchayat Raj" - devolving control to locally
elected councils at the village level. This would ensure that the officials were
directly accountable to the local population and they would have a personal stake
in seeing their localities flourish. The local populace would in turn feel empowered
by having control over issues that affected their daily lives and by having representatives
who not only understood their concerns but who shared them also.