the friend online
16 November 2007

Peasants’ long march - preview

Kuldip Nayar, a senior columnist based in New Delhi, gives his view on where India goes from here

It was a long march all right
  • But there were no clenched fists, no display of weapons, not even loud slogans
  • It was not like the long march in China to conquer the country for communism
  • It was a peaceful demonstration of some 28,000 landless people from different parts of India
  • They had waited quietly in their villages and forests for a peaceful solution to their deprivation

  • Big dams, industrial projects or special economic zones had devoured their lands and houses
  • They had come to Delhi on foot all the way from Gwalior, the meeting point, nearly 400 kilometres from Delhi, to tell the Manmohan Singh government that they could not live in the cold any longer
  • They wanted their own land or some other, not promises, not procedures, not the endless rounds to the corrupt patwari (village functionary), policeman or mahajan (moneylender)

  • Kuldip Nayar

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