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.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Justice Delayed But Not Denied
This is possibly the first time in the history of independent India that peaceful agitationists have been able to get a judgment in their favour against the high handedness of the administration in suppressing their protests. Thus the modern adivasi hero Khajan's desperate battle along with Medha's may not have been able to stop the dam but it has been able to achieve something of lasting value for the future of democratic protests in the country. Given the almost certain fact that the Madhya Pradesh Government is going to appeal against this judgment in the Supreme Court there is the possibility that finally the Supreme Court too will put its imprimatur on it and then we will have a great legal precedent in our struggles against the arbitrariness of the state in India. As one friend of mine said we have something to celebrate about in a long time. Perseverence pays after all and justice though delayed is never denied to those who have the guts to stick to their struggle.