Sunday, 27 December 2009

Crushed walls, unflinching spirit

When I visited the site where Vanvasi Chetna Ashram (VCA) earlier stood, amid a virgin forest, the dirt patch to the site was compensated by the scenic beauty on either sides of the road. As I walked past all that was lying scattered, I could sense what Himanshuji must have felt in his large heart when his work born out of intense love for life was razed down in a matter of few hours. Here are a few words which I hope would reflect what goes on in his mind when he sits under a large tree, smiling, sipping water, and explaining to people on the phone the meaning of satyagrah.

Vanvasi Chetna Ashram
Built over 17 years
Razed down in 3 hours

Nothing spared to a quivering breath of life
Even a telephone tower was forced to bend and break
So that no Idea could change your life

Scrap worth Rs 1 lakh was sold after VCA was demolished


Nothing has changed
Neither have the government’s problems
Nor has my motivation to solve tribals’ problem

Commodes
Hand pumps
Dispensary
All faced an insecure government’s fury


A whole section of the red Earth is now decorated with cylindrical commodes, broken after a community toilet was razed

While gram sabha welcomed me
An aggressive police force surrounded me
All I could do was let go
As I cannot be pinned to a wall
A rogue state’s boots cannot crush my morale

Once adorning my wall was Vinoba Bhave’s photograph
The police tore it too, as it aced hungrily to get me my epitaph

Rooms now resemble a grave; but only bricks have been crushed -- no human spirit

The sky is still bright blue
And the evening sun renders it many hues
The clouds scatter themselves in billows
Much like the cloud of debris below

Water
Mid-day meals
Education
Equal wages
NREGA
Sanitation
17 years I strived
Another 17 and more I will still strive
To return dignity to life

With this dispensary now in a rubble, villagers have to hire a cab, to get to the nearest hospital which is 14 kms away, and then get fleeced of their meagre money bag by the apathetic doctors


As I sip only water today
And like millions of deprived brothers here
I keep nutrition at bay

I cannot be silenced
My independence cannot fenced

"This child is hungry for food; I am hungry to get justice for him."


My fear, if any, is a product of my own assumptions
My assumptions are none other than the immortality of my motivation