Mumbai, Aug 12: EMBATTLED BASTAR : Seeking Answers A Seminar on the Development Model in South Chhattisgarh

Three years into Modi’s regime and it is evident that the development agenda on which the government came to power is not for the laboring classes and the poor, marginalised sections of society. Anti-people policies like demonetization and GST have been forced down people’s throats. At the same time, looting and plundering of natural resources by multi-nationals have been given a free hand.

Bastar in South Chhattisgarh has been turned into a war-zone because of the government’s eagerness to welcome private and multinational mining companies to plunder the minerals, which is their only agenda of development . Such a plunder means the loss of home and hearth for the adivasis who have not only lived there for generations but for whom the forest is their home and source of livelihood. The move by the government to displace them is facing stiff resistance from the people. In order to crush this resistance the government has deployed battalions of security personnel and converted Bastar into a war zone. The security personnel are armed and not only kill innocent adivasis, branding them as terrorists but also plunder their homes and ravage the women. They supervise the building of roads and claim this is development. Those who oppose such development are declared “unlawful” and often labelled as anti-nationals and terrorists. This war has seen false encounters, sexual assaults, eviction of human rights lawyers, journalists and basically anyone who “bears witness” to the repression by the government. All this in the name of “development”?

But for whom is this development? For whom are the roads being built when there is no public transport running in the area? Is it development when schools are turned into military camps? Is development about diverting gallons of drinking water enough for quelling the thirst of people for over a year to industries?

If this is development, then clearly the local people, the original inhabitants are not the beneficiaries.

With this seminar we try to look into the past and understand how the pattern of development that has taken place in Bastar and identify the potential beneficiaries of this model of development .

Please participate and make it an enriching experience.

All are welcome!

Important Note : This event is completely crowd funded. We request your monetary and emotional support in making this a success. Please contact us if you would like to contribute towards the organising of the event.

About Bastar Solidarity Network : We are a loose network of artists, writers, journalists, lawyers, activists and groups standing in solidarity with the people of Bastar in South Chhattisgarh, India. We are against all forms of oppression and exploitation and we extend solidarity to the struggling people in various corners of the world!.


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