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.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

State Violation of Human Rights

The biggest concern presently all over the world and especially in India is that the Liberal Democratic State which is theoretically supposed to be the defender of the rights of the individual is in reality the greatest violator of these rights. The huge repressive power of the State is used against individuals who voice their opposition to its anti-people policies. Matters get complicated when these individuals are caught in the cross fire between the State and armed groups which operate beyond the pale of liberal democratic institutions. There are many such armed groups in the country, most of them being concentrated in the North East where they are either demanding a separate country or a separate province. The most powerful such armed group in the rest of the country is the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The State security forces in their repressive response to these armed groups have followed the time worn principle of resorting to gender based violence against women to cow down protesters in areas beset with armed struggle and often this results in the victimisation of non-violent women protesters as well. Here is a report by Himanshu Kumar on the ongoing travails at the hands of State forces of Soni Sori, a Gond tribal school teacher in Dantewara district of Chhattisgarh which is the epicentre of the Maoist armed struggle -
Linga Kodopi is an Adivasi journalist. He is currently rotting in a dungeon of a Chhattisgarh prison. To force him to become a police spy, Chhattisgarh police officials had locked him up for forty days in a Police station toilet. However, Linga Kodopi's aunt Soni Sori was able to free Linga from the clutches of the police with judicial help. 
This chutzpah of the two adivasis angered the police to no end. To avenge their 'defeat', the police abducted Linga Kodopi's brother. But by lodging a judicial complaint, Linga was able to secure his brother's freedom. The police were now absolutely furious at Linga. In order to kill him, the police attacked Linga's village one night. However, anticipating the police's moves, Linga had slept in the nearby ruins that night. Once again outmaneuvered by Linga, the police abducted his elderly father. In order to protect his life, Linga then fled to Delhi, and enrolled in a journalism school. Right around that time, the police burnt the houses of adivasis living in three villages of the Sukama district. The police gang-raped five women from these villages and murdered three adivasis.
Armed with his video camera, Linga Kodopi went to the scene of this heinous crime, recorded the statements of the people whose houses were burnt, and the gang-raped women, and made a DVD of this footage. The Police and the Chhattisgarh Government were quite disconcerted by Linga's endeavor to record this potent proof of the atrocities committed by the police. Since the police now perceived Linga to be a threat, who could expose their misdeeds, they arrested him along with his aunt Soni Sori.
To teach these adivasis a lesson so that they know their 'proper place', the police brought Linga Kodopi's aunt Soni Sori, who by profession is a teacher, to the police station and tortured her by inserting pieces of stones in her private parts, and by administering electric shocks. Pursuant to a directive by the Supreme Court of India, doctors examined Soni Sori, extracted the stones from her private parts, and sent them along with their report to the Supreme Court.
It has been a year and a half since then, and both Soni Sori and Linga Kodopi are still languishing in a Chhattisgarh prison. The police framed Linga Kodopi in two false cases. The court has ruled him innocent in one of these cases. However, the other fraudulent case is still pending against Linga.
Linga Kodopi's aunt Soni Sori has been framed in eight false cases. But the court has declared her innocent in five of them. One has been dismissed, and she has been given bail in yet another. Now Soni Sori and Linga Kodopi are in Jagdalpur prison because of a single case. 
Meanwhile, Soni Sori’s husband Anil Futane passed away on 3rd august 2013. In order to further harass Soni Sori and Linga Ram Kodopi, the police had framed Soni Sori’s husband Anil Futane under false charges and sent him to prison. Later on, the court declared Anil Futane as innocent.
But on the very same day, he was admitted to a hospital under mysterious circumstances. The government claimed that Soni Sori’s husband is suffering from paralysis. However, She suspects that her husband has been tortured on purpose and later sent to the hospital.
This is just one example among many, and is merely a tip of a monstrous iceberg, indicative of the large scale atrocities that are periodically unleashed on the adivasis by the State. Thousands of such atrocities never see the light of day. These adivasis are also the citizens of the same country that we privileged are proud to call our home. But the State regularly visits these horrors on them because it wants to cleanse these villages and seize their lands. That is why the Government wants the adivasis to evacuate their villages. And that is why such atrocities are regularly visited upon them. 
Such injustice against human rights activists is par for the course wherever there is an armed struggle going on in India. It is very easy for the police and para-military forces and sometimes the army in areas in which it has been brought in to quell armed struggles to kill or torture citizens with impunity. 

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