It is impossible for one to be internationalist without being a nationalist. Internationalism is possible only when nationalism becomes a fact, i.e. when peoples belonging to different countries have organized themselves and are able to act as one man. It is not nationalism that is evil, it is the narrowness, selfishness, exclusiveness which is the bane of modern nations which is evil. Each wants to profit at the expense of, and rise on the ruin of, the other.

Indian nationalism has struck a different path. It wants to organize itself or to find full self-expression for the benefit and service of humanity at large … God having cast my lot in the midst of the people of India, I should be untrue to my Maker if I failed to serve them. If I do not know how to serve them I shall never know how to serve humanity. And I cannot possibly go wrong so long as I do not harm other nations in the act of serving my country.

Mahatma Gandhi (Young India, 18 June 1925, p211)

NON-COOPERATION WITH EVIL IS AS MUCH A DUTY AS IS COOPERATION WITH GOOD (GANDHI)

NON-COOPERATION WITH EVIL IS AS MUCH A DUTY AS IS COOPERATION WITH GOOD (GANDHI)

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ALL TRUTH PASSES THROUGH THREE STAGES; FIRST, IT IS RIDICULED, SECOND, IT IS VIOLENTLY OPPOSED, THIRD, IT IS ACCEPTED AS BEING SELF-EVIDENT. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

I WILL TELL YOU ONE THING FOR SURE. ONCE YOU GET TO THE POINT WHERE YOU ARE ACTUALLY DOING THINGS FOR TRUTH'S SAKE, THEN NOBODY CAN EVER TOUCH YOU AGAIN BECAUSE YOU ARE HARMONIZING WITH A GREATER POWER. (George Harrison)

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Thursday, September 26, 2019

Chenchus stand guard to save the forests of Nallamala

CHILDREN OF THE FOREST (Chenchus)
https://youtu.be/dSe4UMTb6vI

Nimmala Bayanna, long-headed and thickset, wields a bow and arrow not to hunt for food but to attack treasure hunters or trespassers in the lush green Nallamala forest which he inhabits.

While mining and land clearing continue to eat away the country’s largest remaining tiger reserves, the Chenchus, who live in 137 hamlets that dot the forest, are pushing back. Bayanna, who is in his 30s, is a member of Nallamala’s Chenchu tribe and has been spearheading the fight against the recent proposal of mining uranium that is likely to destroy a landscape rich in biodiversity, besides supporting the livelihood of the hunter-gatherer Chenchu community.

On a monsoon day, Bayanna and other Chenchus prepare to patrol the catchment area of the Krishna river, which flows through the forests marking up the boundary of Medimakala Penta (hamlet) in the interiors of tiger reserve. The land is inhabited not just by the Chenchus but also a variety of fauna. It is now under threat of uranium mining.

The Nallamala forest has been a permanent hunting ground for those who want to become rich quickly by digging into the suspected treasure.

While the Chenchu men patrol the forests, the women guard their hamlets by making sure their forest and all the living beings that survive on it are safe.

“If we go looking in our territory, we always find illegal things going on these days,” says Bayanna before he left with his men to patrol the forest.

“We patrol, we find intruders, we destroy their vehicles and we send them away. We’ve stopped many illegal miners and loggers by adopting this method. It’s working,” he said.

After the in-principle clearance granted for uranium exploration in the tiger reserve, the Chenchus fear re-location and have become more protective of their forest, says Y Balayya, general secretary, struggle committee against uranium mining.

Vigilant Chenchus caught a few trespassers suspiciously wandering near one of their hamlets.

“The Chenchus are well-known for their affinity with animals and understanding of the forest. Lack of enforcement by the state government has forced the Chenchus to take matters into their own hands,” said Balayya.

Tribal territories seem to be acting as the best line of control for the forests of Nallamala, and these Chenchus are ready to go to any lengths to defend their greenery amid a sea of destruction.

“We know it’s risky and we have enemies. But now’s no time for hiding. We are ready to die protecting this forest but will never let anyone take control of our lives,” said Lachamma, a Chenchu woman while guarding Medimakala hamlet located about 5km from the Krishna river.

The Nallamala forest has been a permanent hunting ground for those who want to become rich quickly by digging into the suspected treasure.

However, the number of treasure hunters trying to enter the core areas of the forests seems to have increased manifold after the recent in-principle clearance given by the central government for exploration of uranium.

The Chenchus are well-known for their affinity with animals and understanding of the forest.

Tribal territories seem to be acting as the best line of control for the forests of Nallamala, and these Chenchus are ready to go to any lengths to defend their greenery amid a sea of destruction.

Vigilant Chenchus caught a few trespassers suspiciously wandering near one of their hamlets. “We have no idea from where they have entered the forest. They looked very suspicious. We deflated the tyres of their vehicles and warned them of serious consequences if they come back again,” said Nimmala Anjaiah of Medimakala Penta.

“When we asked them, they first told us that they came to do some research in the forests, but we did not believe them. If they really came for research, they would have come from the main entrance instead of taking other routes,” said Anjaiah.

“There has been an increase in the number of people trying to enter the forest for gold and diamond. The Chenchus have increased their vigil and make sure no illegal activity takes place inside the forest,” said Balayya. (TNN | Sep 8, 2019)

READ MORE
In tiger country, tribals, greens cry foul over uranium mining

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