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, April 26, 2009

Pucca Office in Alirajpur

The Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangath has been at work in Alirajpur district from 1982 onwards but in all these years it has not been able to build a pucca office of its own in Alirajpur town which is the district headquarters. Land was bought for building the office way back in 1993 but the organisation was never able to garner the funds to build a pucca office. With the dawn of the new century some money and timber was acquired and a kuccha office was set up on the land. Now finally from next month the construction of a pucca office is going to start marking a watershed in the history of the organisation. Not that a pucca office is going to make a very big difference to the functioning of the organisation but in these days of internet advocacy the barefoot kind of activism that is the hall mark of KMCS has got devalued tremendously and so it has become necessary to register a pucca presence also. Last year a pucca office was built in Sondwa too. However, the original office in village Attha remains a kuccha one retaining the true flavour of KMCS. There is tremendous enthusiasm among the members that at last their organisation can boast of pucca premises! Especially thrilled is Khemla who is now officiating from the pucca office in Sondwa as he feels that he now has infrastructure that matches his organisational prowess. He has turned the old kuccha office on the outskirts of Sondwa into a free hostel for adivasi children who study in the High School in Sondwa.
All this has been possible because the sister organisation of KMCS, the Dhas Gramin Vikas Trust which was lying dormant for more than fifteen years was rejuvenated last year and a slew of development and research projects were undertaken through it thus bringing in the funds that have made this upgradation possible. Even more so than earlier it has become impossible to work in any significant way in rural areas for the uplift of the poor without external funding support.
Thus in today's world anarchism has its limits and somewhere or other one has to compromise and build institutions as without this external funding cannot come in. Agriculture the main livelihood of the poor Bhils has become so crisis ridden that they do not have the means to contribute in any significant way to the running of an organisation. So while the Wall Street Banks can force the US government to give them trillions of dollars the adivasis cant get even pennies. A situation that has arisen because of the neglect of the social and environmental costs of modern development.

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