Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Where is the money

What I found most poignant about the recent dharna by the Narmada Bachao Andolan was a mail that they later sent out asking for financial help. They detailed the fact that the people of the valley had garnered a lot of resources but ultimately the cost of the struggle exceeded these. The bills of the tent that was rented for the dharna in Bhopal were pending. Eventually it always comes to this question of being unable to get enough funds to fight the state. The most troublesome part of course is getting money to fight cases. The Narmada Bachao Andolan has been lucky to get the best of lawyers to fight for it free. Others like I have not been so lucky. I have continually had to pay through the nose for getting quality legal support. In fact these days I have had to stop field work totally so as to be able to earn money to fund the heavy expenses of the many cases that are pending against the members of the many adivasi organisations with which I am associated. It is when one stands in court that one gets a true understanding of how daunting is the task of fighting for the rights of the down trodden. If the NBA with so much support is in dire straits it is not difficult to imagine how bad the situation is with other smaller fry. That is why while the NBA has managed to survive and become the longest running environmental mass movement in India others have petered out very soon after their inception.

2 comments:

Raheema said...

where is the money?
I would'nt know.But with your struggle in spirit, we're all just hanging in there...
Actually I think that the money lies in utilizing the 'benefits' of the global village, and creating livelihoods through indeginous goods.
It can't be that hard.Enterpreneurs and social activists need to think together.

Rahul Banerjee said...

hi raheema,
i came across your comment only today as i am still not very good at managing the blog. the needs of the struggle are so much that whatever we can garner from hanging together is a pittance. nevertheless your enthusiasm is heartening for a guy like me who is a bit tired after over two decades of scraping the bottom!