Manish Kunjam, a leader of Communist Party of India (CPI), recounts the horrors of Bastar; where the State has become synonymous to oppression. He talks in detail about the police harassment and false cases being framed against activists.
Kunjam was elected as an MLA in the early 90s. He was recently attacked in his office in Jagdalpur by 25 young men from AGNI (a vigilante group supported by the police to harass activists in Bastar region). He has been asked to leave Bastar repeatedly but has stayed firm. Speaking about the increasing violence at the hands of the police over the last couple of years under the regime of IG SRP Kalluri and his cohorts, Kunjam talks about the relationship between land and the struggle waged by adivasis for decades. The right to life with dignity and the fight against displacement have been portrayed as insurgency problem in central India. Contesting this, Kunjam reminds us that the adivasis are fighting for protecting their lives from the corporates and development ‘mafia’.
See the coverage of feminist historian Uma Chakravarti's talk at the Indian Social Action Forum's (INSAF) event 'Bearing Witness: Voices from Bastar', here.