Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Once upon a time there were three friends, in a sleepy town in non-descript central India.One of them was the newly appointed Deputy collector of the mostly rural Rajnandgaon District , in Madhya Pradesh(Now Chhattisgarh). Another was a Union Leader of the Mine workers who worked in the iron ore mines in the nearby Dalli-Rajhara. And the last;probably the quietest of the lot was a Dr. working the for tribal people.

Although they were like any other group of young Indians living in the yet undeveloped third world country...they were kinda not the same too.They were different.they had a dream.of making india a better place.everyone told them that it was impossible.It had been tried but could not be achieved.It was sheer madness to even think of,let alone devote ones life towards dreaming of, a better India.

The Union Leader, Mr Shankar Guha Niyogi..[http://otherindia.org/dev/images/stories/niyogihis_work.pdf].was a close associate of the harbingers of peasant revolutions in India,the pioneers of the Naxalite movement, Charu mazumdar and Kanu sanyal.


But he disagreed with the champions of armed resistance.He believed a peaceful settlement to India`s woes is possible.He worked with the miners and laborers of the omnipresent sponge iron establishments in chhattisgarh.He fought with them to ask for better compensations, payments and job benefits from the feudal employers.All he wanted was for the workers to have what was guaranteed to them by Law.After having worked in the underground CPI (ML) for a few years and having traversed the whole expanse of Chhattisgarh for a few years he ultimately set up his base camp in Bhilai and to fight against Bonded labour formed the Chhatisgarh mInes Shramik Sangh and Chhatisgarh Grameen shramik sangh.He also founded the Chhattisgarh Mukti morcha to demand for the creation of a separate state of Chhattisgarh,carved out from madhya pradesh.

The District collector , Harsh Mander , was a newly inducted member of the prestigious Indian Administrative Services.But,unlike the other members of this coterie who became a part of the franchise for better prices in the dowry and corruption markets,Harsh wanted to create a better India. To change the System by being  a part of it.He thought that it was possible.and why not.Being a part of the administrative services afforded you the opportunity to do a lot of welfare work and social justice.He was happy working for the enfranchisement of the tribals.

And then there was the Doctor.what better way to help the people than by curing them of disease,right?
Or so thought Dr Binayak Sen...[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binayak_Sen]who as of today is  a more potent threat o the safety and security of Indian State than Pakistan-backed insurgencies or the Government-backed poverty and illiteracy.(If we believe the Chhattisgarh Govt.)Dr Sen Worked for establishing a system of health care for the poor tribals of chhattisgarh.He and his wife, also believed in Human Rights for the poor,another crime punishable by death in India.He worked towards establishing Shaheed Hospital,Alongwith Niyogi Ji. The hospital was built completely by the mine workers for the health care of their lot.
So in Essence what he was doing was to show the feudal lords of neo-colonial India,that the people could very well look after themselves,or so he thought.

All the three friends,young men in their prime decide that india could be changed. and they would change india for them better.So let us have a look at where their struggles finally led them.

Anybody who has ever been to bhilai can testify to seeing some writings on the wall..pun intended.."NIYOGI JI KE HATYARON KO PHAANSI DO { HANG NIYOGI JI`S KILLERS}"

since after coming to bhilai Mr NIyogi`s battle of 14 years,of empowering workers and bonded labourers of chhattisgarh had begun to threaten the most powerful lot in the country,the Rich Industrialists,something had to be done about him.And something was done.He was killed in 1991,in cold blood,in his party office.

More than 3 lakh workers stopped work in chhattigarh that day,and more than two lakh participated in his funeral procession.And although his dream lived on,culminating in the carving out of a new state of Chhattisgarh,how happy the workers and peasants are today is anybody`s guess.So niyogi ji had to pay the price of believing in a better india,by his Life.

Harsh mander worked for twenty years in the tribal areas of chhattisgarh when twists of fate brought him to Gujarat which was on the cusp of change.Under a new and dynamic BJP leadership Gujarat was about to try something new,Ethnic cleansing of moslems.The gujarat Govt under its Hitler-esque leader Narendra Modi had decided to kill muslims left right and center under the pretext of a riot.and that they did.

They counted on the blind obedience of all the money and power hungry bureaucrats of the state,but By mistake Harsh Mander was also there and he refused to comply with these barbaric orders.He decided to protect the inocent minorities of his distrct and succeeded too, to a certain extent.hen all hell broke loose.Before he could understand anything he started getting shunted from one place to another and a whole litany of charges were framed agianst him.Ultimately he had to leave the IAS and is now working with a communal Harmony NGO.
HIs dream of a better india,dead in the quagmires of communal politics.

And lastly,the Dr wo decided to fight till the end.Binayak sen, as part of a PUCL commitee visited the villages of bastar and investigated the whole situation of naxalism and the govt militia SALWA JUDUM.
he authored a scathing report which accused the Chhattisgarh government of blatant murder.[the report can be viewed in the home page of PUCL]Lo and Behold..he was castigated as a maoist,was incarcerated and accused of treason.SO the dreamer of a better India now apparently was a threat to the Indian state.

the courts of chhattisgarh,hand in glove with the fascist govt have kept him in prisons since 2007.Everybody who is in the know of the the case,says,off the record for sure,that outside chhattisgarh,the case does not stand a chance but even the chhattisgarh Govt. knows this. Its sole intention is to keep him behind bars as long as possible and to harass and make an example out of him.So that everybody who has the guts to Call its bluff,to call its campaign of salwa judum the murderous mob that it is,should KNOW what lies in store for them.


SO the moral of the story is,having faith in India gets you killed,harassed or arrested.

Long Live the Indian Dream.