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, March 10, 2013

The Struggle Continues Against POSCO

The POSCO Protirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) which is conducting the struggle against the POSCO Steel Plant and Port project in Odisha reports that the combined human rights violations of the State of Odisha and the POSCO Corporation to forcibly acquire the lands of a few villages for the proposed Steel Plant and Port continue as detailed below -
On 6:30 pm on 2nd March, hired musclemen of Posco threw bombs at anti-POSCO activists in Patana village and killed 3 activists and severely injuring several others; one of them is batting for his life at cuttack medical college. This conspiracy was hatched by POSCO management and local contractors with active connivance with the Odisha government to murder Abhay Sahoo the President of PPSS, and to violently supress the anti-POSCO struggle with despicable unconstitunal means by hiring criminal elements to eliminate and intimidate activists of PPSS which is spearheading the anti-POSCO movement.
It is to be noted that a few years ago the hired hoodlums of POSCO management attacked Shri Dula Mandal an anti-POSCO activist of Gobindpur village killing him. This indicates that a criminally degenerate corporate sector with a compliant pro-business and anti-people state can stoop down to any level for satisfying its greed.
On 5th March 12 platoons of armed police led by the District Collector and SP forcibly entered Gobindpur village and destroyed more then 25 betel vines the major source of livelihood of the local people.
The state assembly is in session from February 26 - March 7 and the Odisha Government has begun preparations to resume forceful land acquisition in the village. The government was forced to stop land takeover activities at Gobindapur village in the proposed project site in the first week of February owing to stiff opposition from villagers and concerned people across the globe.
The Odisha government is going ahead with the forceful land acquisition process for the steel plant despite the fact that POSCO does not have an environmental clearance for the project. The environmental clearance given by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on January 31, 2011 was suspended by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on March 30 of 2012. Posco does not even have a memorandum of understanding with the Government now. The one it had singed on July 22, 2005 lapsed on July 21, 2010 and no fresh MoU has been signed so far.
Even, in the Palli Sabha meeting of Gobindapur, and the Gram Sabha meeting of Dhinkia Panchayat on 18 October, 2012, more then 2000 residents unanimously voted against diversion of land for POSCO's project under provisions of the Forest Rights Act 2006. The ongoing land acquisition is a blatant violation of the Forests Rights Act as the rights over forest lands in the area have not been recognized and vested and consent of the Palli Sabhas has not been obtained by the State Government.
The above incidents expose the criminal nexus between national and international big business with comprador third world states, who can go to any extent to prostrate in front of  their imperial masters to hand over the natural resourses to the Marauding Multinational Corporations.
A fact finding team that had gone to investigate the above atrocities on March 9th 2013 was also attacked by the hired goons as detailed below - 
A Civil Liberty Fact Finding Team (CLFFT) consisting of  Meher Engineer (Scientist, Kolkata), Sumit Chakravartty( Editor, Mainstream Weekly), Manoranjan Mohanty (Former  Prof. Delhi University),Kamal Nayan Choubey (PUDR), Ranjana (PUDR), Pramodini (PUCL, Odisha), Mathew Jacob (Human Rights Law Network), Partha Ray, Sanhati, Sanjeev Kumar (Delhi Forum) were assaulted when they were returning from  a visit to the affected villages on March 9, 2013. They had come all the way from Delhi and Kolkota to find out truth relating to bombing and lathicharge that resulted in the killing of three of our men on March 2 and severe injuries of several women on March 7.  
When the world was preparing to celebrate Women’s day, the village women of Govindpur , Dhinkia and Patanahat got brutally beaten up by police and goons close to armed police camp in Govindapur as they had gone there to demand withdrawal of police camp from the area and to allow them to live in peace on March 7 as continuous deployment of five platoons of police at Govindpur village has made life miserable for everybody. Police presence is also a major reason why bombing has taken place and 3 important lives have been lost. The presence of police is only encouraging the criminal elements to unleash a reign of terror which was also experienced by the fact finding team on March 9, 2013.
Perhaps it does not require any emphasis that women are the worst hit in today’s situation. The women don’t at all feel safe and the administration is fully aware of this fact. Despite that they are not doing anything which prompts us to say that they might be behind all these acts of violence. Everything could have come out in open by independent fact finding teams but now even such teams are attacked.
One can understand what might have happened to our women protesters on March 7. Around 2.30 p.m. on 7th March 2013, hundreds of men and women of PPSS came in procession and staged a peaceful demonstration near the Mangalapada police camp at the entry point of Gobindpur village demanding withdrawal of armed police from their locality. The police fired teargas shells and made a lathi-charge on the peaceful protestors. As a result more than 40 persons have sustained injury. Women activists were cornered and beaten up by plain-clothes policewomen. Bilochan Khatua, Sulochana barik, Solia mallick, Sati Barik, Nayana Dash, Tulashi Dash, Basanti Mandal, Satya Mallick, Pravati Swain, Taaopi Samal , Lopa Samal and many more of Govindpur village were injured.
Women claimed that their eyes burned when the police fired teargas shells. This shows the government’s double standards. On one hand, the government is claiming that it was acquiring land peacefully while on the other hand it is using police force which is contradictory.
Meanwhile the South Korean Ambassador Kim Joong Keun visited Odisha on 6th march 2013. When people in the proposed POSCO project site are mourning the killing of 3 activists of the movement who were killed in a bomb attack on March 2, the Ambassador did not say anything to express his grief. He was obsessed with the progress of the POSCO project.
The PPSS is conducting one of the most valiant people's struggles that the country has witnessed since independence but the State and the Multinational Corporation are hell bent on crushing it by hook or by crook.

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