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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Monday, July 10, 2017

Kathiramangalam..



If you thought the ‘Development’ and ‘growth’ that the politicians sell is so nice and worth the chase, u can see the gory (real) side only if  you are the affected party..else its just a far away story..
Some small poor life pawned/battered/murdered for the better good- of a distant urban elite!
We had  gone there in 2014 and covered the story in Thalanmai in 2015!
See here: kaani.org/vaikasi2015/2.html
We had gone bcos Sriram had adopted the ‘Alankudi perumal method’ and had doubled the paddy yield for many traditional paddy varieties..a great production practice.
Even then I had noticed the ONGC’s drilling point and a rig out there near his farm and asked him why they were there? Why were they allowed..and he said they just came and said one fine day “ this land has been ear marked for some helium extraction test’..’ur land has been acquired’ and that’s it..
one cant do anything!
That’s how most acquisitions happen dear friends- for dams, for industries, for oil rigs, for high tension wires, under ground piplelines of ambanis n adanis, for any ‘development project’ like this..and its always the farmers’ lands that are taken at will..
if its tribals or adivasis its even more gory and violent..they are displaced, shoo-ed and thrown far away..and put to so  much physical n mental torture- in te name of Development and GDP!
So here too this monster put its foot long back..but we all thought it will not be as dangerous and evil as it is showing to be now..
Now, come to 2017..one fine day there is a sudden burst of pipeline and a huge artesian well like spray of oil n murky liquid that comes out suddenly just outside this great organic farm..and the oil spill starts getting in to their land..and people of the village are all stunned..
So many rumors go around about its dangers, (in)flammability, etc..but no official statement from the offenders- the ONGC nor any word form the govt..infact the pollution control board that shud have been worried was not there anywhere..the govt and police thought they had to take care of the corporate and oil sharks and not its people and their environment..
A few weeks before there had been another blast and there was fire too, that time..and a women got caught in its vicinity and had severe burns on her body..ONGC and its cohorts acted swiftly, and ensured this news never came out..the woman n her family was warned..ofcourse no media was going to cover this..after all a small poor life..
Now, as 1000s gather outside sriram’s  this discussion about burns, fire  etc are discussed in hush-hush voice..and there is a sudden flame in one corner and immediately all people (1000s) and the police run.. after all the police were the first to flee the venue bcos they always knew there was some thing wrong and dangerous..and so did 1000s who had assembled there..these villagers who were assembled there were not allowed to go in to the farm..not even sriram the owner of the farm..
infact the police was not only outside his farm not allowing him entry, they even were put outside his house and ensuring he never left his house from next day!even when we went day before, the police wud stop us from entering the land..infact i wanted to show the beautiful 50cm X 50cm transplant and his great ecological practise..and the bounty that they harvest - to my other friends..and the police attempted to stop us..
and we explained and went in and when we were coming back, to our surprise we saw bunch of police that had gathered there! such intelligence!!
Oh, yeah, we are a free country, striving for Development at all costs!
And to continue that story of the evening- as all were running away from the leak venue, a fire engine comes in and just runs amok in to the crowd that was running away..and suddenly the police start lathi charging the public randomly and arrested many who are still kept in custody..
The offender ONGC is happy there..the collector has not visited the venue nor spoken to the citizens..obviously politicos are in the hiding..
the village is in such tension..there are 7 such sites in kathiramangalam..and the whole place is mired with under ground pipelines..
Probably carrying this infamous dangerous liquid..and ready to burst and leak anywhere..
Who is accountable here? Who is responsible?
What is the Govts action? (except ridiculously stating its not a big issue)

why shud police treat the public as such villains instead of treating the corporation, its contractors and other offenders as guilty and accused?
Why shud corporate goons like ONGC be allowed such free hand- to take over any space at their will?
Why the respective stake holders  are never consulted & their permission sought?
This is the biggest problem of the ‘development craze’..and for the state to unleash violence at will against the already grieved and affected citizens..to think that their role is to ONLY safeguard the corporate and their interests and not public..
Shame on such democracy..and its not only the state govt..its the centre too (whether cong or BJP..

And we cannot and should not be sitting in our distant urban safe confines and think ‘its after all for the country’s good..its after all Development..its after all some small cost paid for bigger growth’..
no..#notinmyname
 #notoKathiramangalams

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