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.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Internet and Creativity

The internet has fired the imagination of the teachers and students of Rani Kajal Jeevan Shaala in Kakrana. Initially they tried their hand by uploading photos and sending them to others in the outer world as there was some glitch with typing. These photos are just fabulous and give us a sense of the richness of the environment in Kakrana. The first photo is of a king sized lobster shown below.
Before the Sardar Sarovar dam was built there never were any lobsters in the river Narmada in Kakrana. However over the past decade or so these lobsters have made their way almost a hundred kilometers up the Narmada from the Arabian sea, climibing up the spillway of the dam and have made their home in the river in Kakrana. They are frequently caught by the Adivasis like Ragliya above who have now become expert fishermen.
The next photo is of vegetables being grown in Rani Kajal Jeevan Shaala. Over the past year or so the school has gained tremendously in dynamism and one of the new projects was to grow vegetables in the one acre kitchen garden of the school. This has been immensely successful as the teachers and the students have immersed themselves in the kitchen garden as is evident from the picture below.
The children and teachers have also beautified the campus with flower plants of various varieties which have now begun flowering. There is a tank in which lotus flowers had been planted after they were brought from Toran Mal in Maharashtra which is the highest point in the Satpuras to the south of Kakrana across the Narmada River. One gorgeous flower is shown below.
Later when the typing facility became functional there have been a spate of posts from the children to the Facebook Page of the school While Jyoti Solanki who passed out from class eight last year, which is the highest class of the school, has posted a mythical story in Hindi about how the village of Kakrana got its name, Pratap Padiyar a student of class eight has posted a translation of a play in Hindi into his mother tongue, the Palva dialect of the Bhili language, which is possibly the first ever Bhili literature on Facebook. More such creative work is afoot and will soon be available to the world at large due to the internet being operational in the school.
This is what had made us so desperately try to get internet to Kakrana and it is indeed very satisfying to see it produce such a great surge of creativity in so short a time. Digital justice and the cause of child rights have been eminently served by this endeavour.

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