Thursday, August 20, 2009

Swimming against the current

This week TEHELKA meets some peoples from across the nation. They — like Richard Wilbur’s prophet — are “madeyed from stating the obvious” but refuse to blink. And someday in the future someone will ask: did they really exist? Were they as tall as they seem? And we can answer, yes.

MAGLINE PETER, 41, leads a massive movement of fishworkers that is learning to fight everything from climate change to superstition

SATINATH SARANGI, 55, had planned to stay for a week. Decades later, he is still fighting on behalf of those affected by the gas tragedy

ALOK AGARWAL, 43, was destined for the soft life of an IIT boy. Instead, he courted arrests and broken bones to stop the Maheshwar dam

BHAGABAN MAJHI, 32, lost his faith in the law’s sincerity of purpose. But he still believes that one day Orissa’s adivasis will be a powerful force

ROMA, 44, lobbied in favour of the Forest Rights Act against a State impervious to the possibility of a civil war

ANJALI DAIMARY, 45, has waged war to control the excesses of the armed forces in the North-East

VASU HV, 34, has been working for the rights of the urban poor for a decade and scorns the class bias that thinks of his life as sacrifice

LAHA GOPALAN, 58, has been leading adivasis and dalit agricultural labourers in Kerala to stake claim to land that is theirs

DAYAMANI BARLA, 44, is Jharkhand’s first adivasi journalist. She fights India’s largest steel plant with a mass movement and a tireless stride

AKHIL GOGOI, 34, uses the Right to Information Act and non-violence to unearth corruption in Assam’s rural development schemes

As Tehelka stated that "We have hard work ahead, warned Nehru in the midnight hour. Sure, most of us responded, and went off whistling and thinking of lunch. But luckily, in the place of the giants who are gone, others have sprung, prepared to sleep on railway platforms and footpaths, to have their young bodies broken from lathis, their voices hoarse from shouting — all to preserve democracy, to protect us from ourselves."

Inspiring stories about them here

Type rest of the post here


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