Wednesday, March 27, 2013
It’s been a year since my last post. The reasons are obvious.
During the last 2½ years, I’ve been travelling relentlessly, by foot (almost 2000 kilometers) and by car (more than 200,000 kilometers). I’ve addressed more than 4000 public meetings, both large and small. I’ve been arrested, tear-gassed, water-cannoned and baton-charged at least 200 times in every district and block headquarters of Chhattisgarh.
And to top it all, Richa, my poor wife of fifteen months- whose greatest attribute, according to me, has been her stratospheric tolerance- has not only had to put up with my constant absences but also the increasing invasions of our fast-shrinking marital space on the rare occasions that I’m around.
Politics, for me, isn’t so much about persons as it is about issues. In particular, those issues that affect citizens most directly: like when the state uproots them from their homes and hearths at the behest of powerful industrial lobbies; when it fails to protect their right to life- their right not to get killed, their right not to get raped repeatedly, their right not to die of poisonous air and water; when it time and again betrays their faith, taking them for fools; when it brazenly turns into an extortionist and a robber of the state-exchequer; when it under-sells to outsiders the land and its untold natural wealth, which their ancestors had so carefully preserved for them since time immemorial; when it over-charges them for things they shouldn’t have to pay for at all; when it willfully tries to turn an entire people into a generation of wife-beating drunks. To me, these ‘existential issues’ are infinitely more important than who occupies what position.
If I can, in some small way, contribute to an Awakening whereby the people of Chhattisgarh, especially its Youth, rise up to take charge of their destinies, I think my politics would have served its purpose.
Amit Aishwarya Jogi
March 27, 2013
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