Sunday, January 27, 2008

BEHOLD, THE ICEMAN COMETH

For the past forty days- and nights- I’ve been truant: the last post on this Blog appeared last year. As such, the Arrival of the New Year- at least as far as ½ Freedoms is concerned- is yet to be acknowledged. It shall, no doubt, claim its due.

For in the only too fertile Womb of Anno Domini 2008, now lie quietly impregnated, Seeds of Great Life-altering, Destiny-shaping Outcomes: come December, they will be in full blossom & we- here, I use the first-person plural pronoun to refer to the twenty million, mostly clueless inhabitants of my home state, Chhattisgarh- shall know for certain whether we, to paraphrase the great Charles Dickens from his A Tale of Two Cities, are going to heaven or whether we are all headed straight the other way (depending of course on one’s point of view).

A cursory glance at the past four years’ national newspapers- and news television- is enough to convince anyone that Chhattisgarh has somehow, almost as if by Black Magic, vanished from the National Stage: it would seem that nothing that happens in these parts is worth mentioning; no, not even the systematic Uprooting & Genocide of tens of thousands of tribals in south Bastar.

India Today, arguably the largest circulated fortnightly magazine of the nation, hasn’t published one word about the rampant killings of Tribals in the aftermath of Salwa Judum, a state-sponsored Pogrom started in 2005 that has led to the evacuation of about 800 villages and the forceful displacement of more than 70,000 tribals into almost 30 Auschwitz-like concentration camps where they exist under conditions that can at best be described as subhuman. Those that dare to raise their voices against this Madness, like Dr. Binayak Sen, the erudite, soft-spoken vice-chairperson of PUCL, a civil rights organization, who ran several health-care centers in the state, are summarily put behind bars on the charge of being Naxalites.

In fact, infinitely greater coverage was given to the mobbing and harassment of two NRI women as they alighted from an all-night New Year’s Eve Gala thrown at an exclusive Mumbai seven-star hotel. Not many people noticed- or for that matter, cared- that on that same night, nine equally- if not more- innocent tribals were axed to death in not-so-far-off Dantewada. Human-life in Chhattisgarh, particularly tribal-life, is cheap; lamentably, not even worth the paper- or the talk-time, as the case may be- on which their story might otherwise have been told to a largely disinterested world.

To a great extent, a similar situation prevails with respect to the state of the Congress party in the state: the people of Chhattisgarh are trying to tell something- their collective voice amplified many times over when they went to cast their votes at Mahasamund, then at Kota and Rajnandgaon, and then shortly afterwards, at Malkharoda and Khairagarh- but nobody seems to be listening in Delhi; even if somebody is listening, nobody seems to be doing anything about it.

It is for this reason alone, then, that we should welcome the Advent of the New Year: if only on the pretext of covering the inevitable Pageantry of the Elections, the several, severed subtexts of our Stories might finally get uncovered, and begin to be told. Who knows, maybe the world wouldn’t be so disinterested after all? And we, the Forgotten of Chhattisgarh, might be spared the destiny of Dicken’s latter possibility: of us headed straight the other way, wherever that may be.

Happy 2008!

AJ

7 comments (टिप्पणी):

Mohit Singhania said...

It is sad indeed that important issues related to our State are not being attended to by the Central Government. Even the media is strangely not interested in the issues related to Chhattisgarh. Every body I know is more interested in the stock markets than the naxal menace.

Maybe we need more blogs like yours to make them wake up. I just hope the naxal issues get resolved soon as it is very sad to hear and read about innocent people being killed every other day.

chaya said...

well written... but i feel that when none of the political party is listening or taking incentive, than movement should come from among the common people of chhattisgarh n person like u can lead and give the direction to the movement. i m very much sure none of the political party can ignore the massive voice

amit tiwari said...

Ah! This blogger takes us again on the ride of his absorbing words into this newly arrived year, the post again voicing for those who have lost their voices during the three year long dark phase of salwa-judum. Sadly enough, when we all mourn for the dead , salwa judum still adding innocent lives in its account. The picture of Dorian Gray becoming darker. This year, in it's corner, has kept an opportunity for the people of this unknown state to decide the fate of coming five years but 'abyssus abyssum invocat' - hell calls hell, the question still stands 'will the ground be washed of the innocent blood'. Nobody is listening in Delhi;or absit invidia no body wants to listen. Very sad.
Only these few, like this blogger, are listening & that too very closely, every shriek that converts into whisper until it reaches our ears; Delhi is still far. Those tribal deaths are no use to even media; they dont help selling while Aishwarya-Abhishek wedding does.
As reads the holocaust museum in Washington - Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.
I trust the Delhites will come to senses & stop being bystanders. But I can just hope.
Thanks again to blogger for voicing them. May his voice added in millions.

Remmish Gupta said...

I guess, there's no better way of welcoming the new year than reading a well-scribed article by none other than Amit Bhaiya. It's indeed farcical that the Indian media, be it electronic or print media or whatever, is not even giving a single coverage to the naxal issues being faced in Chhattisgarh and to Salwa Judum. Naxalism is being desseminated in Chhattisgarh like an epidemic which seems to be ignorant by each individual of Indian Media.

They're more prone towards 'Masala' issues like mobbing and harassment of two NRI women in Mumbai; A college being opened by Mr. Bachchan in the name of his daughter-inlaw, Aishwarya; presence of Deepika Padukone in Australia during India-Australia Cricket series (God knows for what reason); Modi's so-called popular rally in Chennai and so on...

Infact, many Congress leaders too seem to be interested in supporting the state sponsored Salwa Judum which has resulted in many ways, to be a big failure in justifying the main objective of the programm.

Anws, thanks to Bhaiya for bringing such an important issue in our notice. I wish, his blog is read by as many human beings so that the right message could be spread out to the normal public.

Best wishes always,
Remmish

Rituraj said...

hello sir i read your new blog...its very nice this wat people dont know about our state...people are killed daily in tribal districts some in name naxals some in name of police officer whoever is killed is a human being.but i think value of life is different from cities to states.like in newyear party of mumbai some gals were molasted its was breaking news and in northeast tribal women protesting for there rights were beaten and naked its wasnt.

Rituraj

Dr Saibel Farishta said...

The points raised by Amitji are a reminder to Chhattisgarhi people that something has to be done urgently for the development of Chhattisgarh. As such very little news of Chhattisgarh is now published/printed/shown in the National media. Since the past 4 years, 'Chhattisgarh' in the eyes of 'ALL OTHER INDIANS' - has again been rechristened the most underdeveloped & backward state in the country, where Naxalite attacks are common - from where villagers migrate to other state in search of food, a lawless state, where crime rate is the highest in the country, an unmanageable state, where child marriages are rampant AND the state of 'Ajit Jogi - The IAS turned ex-CM'.
After BJP's surprise win in the last assembly elections, there has been a gradual demise of various state institutions, there has been an alarming rise of 'Hindu fanaticm', the state has gone backwards for a couple of years, rich have become richer & poor have remained where they were before, there has also been an increase of insecurity among the minority communities in Chhattisgarh.
During the time of Mr Jogi's Govt., work was being done for the poor & that too very fast - he also had to face numerous personal criticms. esp. regarding his style of functioning, yet not one point was raised regarding the fast paced developmental works being done by his Govt.? Whereas, in the present Govt. there have been no criticisms - only because 'NO WORK' has been done so far. The National media has also been partly responsible for the temporary neglect of the state. The bye-election results in Chhattisgarh, had a clearly defined pattern - people want a leadership change in the Chhattisgarh Congress party. The leader has to have a mass following, someone who can raise people's voice in the state & in the centre. Personally, I don't think Congress will win the Keshkal bye-election either. The alarm bells have started ringing in the Congress camp for sometime now ...

Rajeev Brandra said...

Hello Amitji! I really felt so great to read ur new post on the blog. U have really given a wonderful thought. The kind of words u choose is incredible. Congrats for ur brilliant effort n hope to see more frm U.
Jai Hind; Jai Chhattisgarh !!

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Amit Aishwarya Jogi
Anugrah, Civil Lines
Raipur- 492001
Chhattisgarh, INDIA
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