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.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Justice Delayed But Not Denied

Medha Patkar when she went to jail in Indore in August after being arrested by the police from the site of the Zameen Haq Satyagraha in the village of Taloon in Barwani district dashed off a letter from prison to the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court stating that the action of the police was illegal as it had prevented the oustees of the Sardar Sarovar Dam from expressing legitimate protest at being deprived of proper rehabilitation. The Chief Justice took cognisance of this letter and admitted it as a writ petition and issued notices to the Government of Madhya Pradesh and the district administration of Barwani. The case was then argued vehemently by both sides and the Narmada Bachao Andolan exhibited clinching evidence in the form of cds containing the video clips of the arbitrary use of force by the police against the peacefully agitating tribals and their supporters. On September 25th in a far reaching judgment the Madhya Pradesh High Court observed that the action of the government and the district administration in applying force to disrupt an evidently peaceful demonstration being carried out to demand proper rehabilitation as per the directives of the Supreme Court was wholly illegal and violative of the fundamental rights of the oustees and so each of the ninety odd people arrested and beaten up should be paid Rs 10000 in compensation.
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.


anish said...

Wow this is a positive judgement. It has given some real weight to 'Sarkar teri Taanashahi nahi chalegi nahi chalegi'

Your blog is very nice. I will keep coming back. Thanks for writing.

Rahul Banerjee said...

anish we will have to wait and see whether the madhya pradesh government goes in appeal to the supreme court against this decision because there is a high probability that it will instead of taking this judgment meekly. if that happens then it is a toss up as to whether the apex court will also uphold this judgment. so we have to be a little restrained in our celebrations at the moment!

as for my blog the jury is still out as to whether it is of any use or not. as there are some people who have accused me of indulging myself through this!