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politics & violence, Select Writings of Balagopal »

[21 Feb 2010 | No Comment | 5,657 views]
Have We Heard the Last of the Peace Talks?

It began as a tenacious essay in political realism, entered a phase of sheer drama unbelievable in its unreality, and ended in the bitter rattle of gunfire.
The reference is to the ‘talks’ between YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s government in Andhra Pradesh and the Naxalites. To be fair to the devil, Rajasekhara Reddy never really believed in the talks and never joined the effort, nor the theatre that was enacted in Hyderabad for about a week. That is about the only good thing one can say about his conduct in the matter: …

Land Rights, Select Writings of Balagopal »

[21 Feb 2010 | No Comment | 7,762 views]

The tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh present a disheartening picture: events are fast overtaking the adivasis, and there is no concerted effort to oppose them. Land and the produce of the forest remain their main source of livelihood, but availability of land is restricted by forest reservation on the one hand and non-tribal encroachment on the other. They cannot move out of the forests and seek livelihood in the strange and – it often seems to them – hostile society of the plains. Where they do, they are exploited ruthlessly …