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, January 28, 2010

A Republic in Jeopardy

January 26th was the sixtieth republic day meaning that the Indian Constitution has now entered its sixtieth year. From the point of view of the tribals of central India the Indian Constitution is a great document because it has in its Fifth Schedule made provisions that tribals will if they so desire be able to live and work in accordance with their own customs and if required the other provisions of the Constitution and other laws may be put in abeyance for this. However, in most cases the Indian state is wilfully violating these provisions of the Constitution and subjecting the tribals to unjust displacement and death. The most glaring being the situation in the districts of Dantewara and Bijapur in South Bastar. On the pretext of eliminating the Maoist revolutionaries, who disown the Constitution and have launched an armed struggle to overthrow the state, the government has launched a massive security operation.
This would not have been a problem for the local tribals if it had been just a war between the government forces and the Maoists. However, for quite some time now both sides in this war have been killing the tribals claiming that the latter support the adversary. One of the most horrendous of such incidents is one in which in the month of October 2009 the security forces entered the village of Gompad on the border with Andhra Pradesh and indiscriminately shot and killed a number of tribals including a woman and also shot another woman in the leg smashing her bone. The shooters were not the regular security personnel but tribals who have been recruited by the government as Special Police Officers (SPO). These tribal youths are paid around Rs 2000 a month to kill their own tribesmen who are suspected to be supporters of the Maoists. Thus in a diabolical plan the government has pitted tribals against tribals. Later human rights activists succeeded in getting the wounded woman Sodi Shambo to Delhi for treatment and she is seen below after the operation with steel supports on her leg.

Even more horrendous is the fact that the tribal SPOs also chopped off three fingers of a two year child whose mother they had shot dead. The child Mukesh Madvi is seen in the picture below clicked by journalist Javed Iqbal and published with a heart rending accompanying story in

The human rights activists also helped Sodi to file a petition in the Supreme Court against these atrocities committed by the security forces and the latter has issued notices to the central and state governments asking them to reply. This has made the state government abduct Sodi while she was being brought back to Delhi from Dantewara for further surgery. The other witnesses of the Gompad killings who had also come to Dantewara to take part in a public hearing to air their grievances have also been abducted by the police in Chhattisgarh. When this is the situation despite the Supreme Court of India taking cognisance of the matter then it would not be wrong to say that the Republic of India is in jeopardy from its own government.

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