Saturday, April 12, 2008

Adivasis were here before us. If India belongs to anybody, it belongs to them......

(weekly market "Haat" near Dantewada)

rime Minister Manmohan Singh's clarion call on December 20 at the high level conference to discuss internal security to crush the Naxalites, now up in arms in several states, brought to mind a line from Zafar Gorakhpuri's popular qawwali featured in the 1972 movie Putli Bai. It runs: "Inke kalai dekho tho chudiyan uthane ke kabhil nahi, phir bhi talwar uthane ki dhamki�" (See their waist and they look incapable of lifting a bangle, but still the threat is to pick up a sword).

I am not alluding to the weight of the PM's kada but to the worn out sinews of the state that are hardly capable of quelling any armed assault upon it let alone assuaging the causes that force normally compliant people to resort to violence. Having traveled several times through the 'affected' areas in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra I have little hesitation in testifying that the insurgency has much popular support. The police, forest and excise departments are truly hated and this is just about all the government the common people encounter.

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(source-jharkhand blog,Pic-Laureen Reagan)

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