The Adivasi Morcha Sangathan had been making very simple demands at the time - that in accordance with the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act and the Fifth Schedule of the Indian Constitution the tribal Gram Sabha or village general body should be recognised as the paramount institution of governance at the village level. Even though the Government was loathe to accede to this demand the tribal organisation had gone ahead and actualised it on the ground in a small area of about twenty five villages where the tribal Gram Sabhas were effectively in control of their affairs and had marginalised the State and Central Governments. This proved to be too much for the latter and it was stated that "the might of the State Government could not be allowed to be marginalised". So a huge armed force of police and forest officials were sent down to these villages to terrorise the people through an indiscriminate campaign of destruction, beating up and arrest which did not even spare the women.
This is not surprising as the independent Indian State has continually trampled on the rights of the tribals and other peasants when it has come to usurping their lands for so called development projects. Even now there are movements going on in various parts of the country against such unjust displacement due to dams in Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, steel and aluminium plants in Orissa and nuclear power plants in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. In all these instances it is possible to initiate decentralised and environmentally and socially sustainable processes for generating electricity, utlising water or producing steel and aluminium. However, such decentralised production will not lead to the accumulation of profits which is what drives the modern world. That is why the State uses the force at its disposal against the protestors to favour the rich and powerful.
The Adivasi Morcha Sangathan along with the Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangath and other organisations continue to fight for tribal autonomy and justice in western Madhya Pradesh and the memorial service at the martyr's monument in Bisali on April 2nd every year serves to rededicate these fighters to their cause. While the whole world gravitates around big celebrations in cities the dour Bhil tribals carry out their own small celebrations in remote corners to keep the flame of environmental and social mass movements for justice and sustainability burning.