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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Rule of Law is not for the Tribals

There are many good laws in this country for the protection of the Tribals but the problem is that they are not implemented and the Tribals continue to suffer illegal displacement and harassment in the modern Indian State's pursuit of capitalist development. Those who try to help the Tribals to get the laws implemented in their fight for justice are also persecuted. Here is a report from the New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI) about the way in which the Tribals in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh and the activists helping them are being harassed -
NTUI National Secretary Roma and All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) National Committee Member Sokalo who were arrested in Sonebhadra on 30th June 2015 have been remanded to a further 14 days in judicial custody.
Comrades Roma, who is also Deputy General Secretary AIUFWP and Sokalo were arrested from the AIUFWP office in Robertsganj on 30th June as they were preparing for the rally of the All India People’s Forum on the basis of three First Information Reports (FIRs) lodged by the Police, with neither of them named in any of these. The charges against them are false, fabricated and politically motivated. Subsequently arrest warrants were also issued against two earlier FIRs that had never been pressed.  In the course of the last fortnight bail has been obtained against two of the five FIRs being pressed.
The AIUFPW has been at the forefront of the struggle for land rights of the people threatened with displacement by the Kanhar Dam project. This arrest is the fallout of the incidents of police firing on peaceful protestors against illegal land acquisition for the Kanhar Dam project. Uttar Pradesh Police fired indiscriminately on several hundred dalits and adivasis, including large numbers of women and children, on the morning of Ambedkar Jayanti (14 April). Several women are injured. Following this, false cases were filed against countless unnamed persons. Four days later, on 18 April, there was a second instance of police firing in which once again several people were seriously injured and some of the key activists of the movement arrested. Those arrested are yet to be released. Despite there being court orders, including from the National Green Tribunal, against the persistence of land acquisition in scheduled areas, the Government of Uttar Pradesh has pursued and targeted activists who are protesting its illegal actions at Kanhar. 
Apart from being illegal the actions of the Uttar Pradesh government are duplicitous. The Samajwadi Party, the party currently in government, has opposed both the Land Acquisition Ordnance and the bill before parliament in the JPC.
Speaking to the several hundred members of the AIUFPW outside the court today, Sujata Mody, National Secretary, NTUI said: ‘the NTUI will leave no stone unturned to ensure the early release of Comrades Roma, Sukalo and others while continuing our fight against the land acquisition bill’.  Com. Sujata and Supreme Court Advocate Rajat Kumar were in Mirzapur yesterday to meet with the comrades in the district jail there and at the court in Robertsganj today.  They also met the District Magistrate, Sonebhadra District, to press for the early release of the comrades.
The NTUI secretariat at its meeting decided at its meeting in New Delhi on 10th July 2015 that:
·         It will launch a bulk text message (SMS) campaign to the District Collector, Sonbhadra on every date of court hearing. This was carried forward today by some 200 comrades of our Mumbai affiliates most notably the Kachra Vahatuk Shramik Sangathana (KVSS).
·         The Secretariat reaffirmed the commitment to the AIUFPW that it will co-ordinate with all affiliates to ensure the success of mass action that it calls for and
·         The Secretariat will co-ordinate with other support organisations in Delhi to immediately file complaints with the National Human Rights Commission and the National Women’s Commission.

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