New Internationalist

I am terrified – and optimistic – for India’s future

Arvind Kejriwal [Related Image]
Aam Aadmi Party Leader Arvind Kejriwal Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons Licence

I wish you all, dear readers, a wonderful new year. Apologies for my long silence.

For India, 2014 starts on a note of optimism. A fledgling new party, the Aam Aadmi Party, AAP, or common peoples party, flaunting an anti-corruption campaign, decency, and other values not commonly associated with politics, inspired India’s middle classes to come out on the streets to protest against rampant, pervasive corruption. Although most people approved of and felt inspired by the movement, few gave the party much chance against our two mammoth political power centres. The Congress (India’s oldest and for four decades only strong party) and the BJP or Bharatiya Janata Party.

The AAP has shaken the powers-that-are – Congress and BJP – to the core. In the Delhi Legislative Assembly election held on 4 December 2013, AAP won 28 seats to BJP’s 32. For a decade now, secularists have watched in horror the steady ascendance to power of the BJP, a party that openly demands that India give up its constitutionally defined secular identity to become a Hindu state. Initially, this demand did not threaten me as a minority Christian woman. But post-2002, after the state-led massacre of over 2,000 hapless Muslims in Gujarat, I am definitely terrified for India’s future.

An India, my India, of Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Muslims as well as majority Hindus, with Narendra Modi as PM will not be the country whose freedom our grandparents fought for and won 67 years ago. In the words of our unfailingly polite and mild-mannered Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, we cannot have as the next PM a man who oversaw the genocide in Gujarat. ‘If by strong prime minister,’ said Dr Singh, ‘you mean you preside over the massacre of innocent citizens in the streets of Ahmedabad – if that is the measure of strength – I do not believe it is the sort of strength this country needs.’

Yet, India appeared poised for a BJP take-over. Everyone expected it. The Delhi victory of the AAP in December was as unexpected as it is unprecedented. It has given us hope. Most people want change and if the main criticism of the AAP is that they are ‘idealists’ not realists, then surely there is hope.

The parties of the Left are doing a rant about how the AAP is middle-class and lacking a mass base. This is probably true. But the fact is, the party has won an election with no money, no corporate backing and a spotlessly, clean image. Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP leader, is a man with fire in the belly. Not a charismatic sort, he has nevertheless inspired millions of apolitical people to back him with small money and big time. His party has won purely thanks to tireless, door-to-door campaigning by legions of volunteers – young people, middle-aged people, women and old people. His critics disparagingly dismiss it as lacking a larger vision. But no-one can deny that the change feels good. Suddenly our little princeling politicians are aspiring to cut short their motorcades, down-size their privileges, giving up palatial bungalows. They are scrambling for the ‘common’ touch. It’s hilarious. And the nation loves it.

The predictions, predictably, are gloomy. There’s idealism but no experience. True. Nevertheless, with the party’s unexpected victory, experienced bureaucrats, policy-makers and civil servants are flocking to it, eager for change, for a chance to build a clean India. Perhaps the fledgling party will have teething problems, perhaps chaos will reign for a while. But Arvind Kejriwal and his team deserve our ‘salaams’ and support. May they succeed in their mission and bring hope and idealism back into a disillusioned, tired nation. May the force be with them.

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  1. #2 Mandeep Kumar 17 Jan 14

    Hello Mari - Good article ...you put across a nice view of probable damage to the country that BJP can cause ..if Modi is elected as a Prime Minister , i am in agreement with that.
    Infact congress is no more different ,they did nothing in last 50years since independence .
    Secondly - you mentioned a wrong name of AAP(Aam Aadmi Party)chief and Delhi CM ..Its Arving Kejriwal ...NOT Arjun Kejriwal.

    Mari - I appreciate that you measure Congress & BJP in a appropriate scale , I am with you on this ,but you look like too optimistic with AAP. On the surface level this party looks like better ,honest with the decent people ...all that they want is a corruption free , neat & clean governance but in the same capitalist state. which is not at all possible. Its a self contradictory phenomenon .AAP wants to get rid of from the legal corruption There is nothing on their agenda against the Illegal corruption from which country is fed up now and needs radical change. Arvind Kejriwal announced that he will eliminate the 'CONTRACT SYSTEM' and made all the workers permanent..its not gonna happen except a few sectors, because capitalism will never let that happen specially in current scenario of worldwide economic crunch either they are Industrial or service sector or govt contractors , they survive only on that contract system through looting & exploitation of working class .
    Infact Capitalistic system is corrupt by itself which survives only on the surplus value & working class's exploitation. Kejriwal oppose only that corruption which Capitalism too wants to eliminate.
    per Mark Twain - ’If Elections could change something ,capitalism would have banned the Elections’

    So Kejriwaal 'Bubble' may be a psychological relief for some people living away from real time world but ultimately it will break very soon.(infact it has started to brake ,Kejriwal is taking a clear U turn on so many promises that he made to the people of Delhi prior to election)...
    -having said that ,India is now in an extreme stage where it needs a real radical revolution that should be led only by a ideologically strong socialist party, period !

  2. #3 Brahman Chatra Sangh 18 Jan 14

    @[email protected] ...first of all i would like to inform both of you that you people are writing wrong name of Kejariwal...his correct name is Arvind Kejariwal.
    Secondly I want to say that both of you are wrong in criticizing Modi...You are criticizing Modi because of lack of knowledge about Indian History and polity....you have very easily criticized Modi on gujrat riots and forgot what happen with Kashmiri Brahmins in Jammu &Kashmir and what is happing with Hindus in Pakistan and Jammu &Kashmir and also what Madarsa's are doing in India..they are training terrorists for ISI in India.

  3. #4 Pierson David 18 Jan 14

    It is unfortunate the BJP could not find a candidate with better credentials. The writer has identified the core principle in which the BJP is formed to make India a Hindu state. The AAP has shown that there are enough people who do not believe in the divisive politics.

  4. #5 Arin Basu 18 Jan 14

    Arjun Kejriwal, the AAP leader is a man with fire in the belly.

    Who is Arun Kejriwal?

  5. #6 mari 20 Jan 14

    Apologies all around. I cant believe I made such an unpardonable error. Had a massive headache while writing but still cant forgive myself.
    Arjun instead of Arvind!!!It will be corrected shortly

    mari

  6. #7 Pushpanath 20 Jan 14

    Happy New Year to you and to NI- for the blogs you do with an unwavering devotion and for NI bringing such range of issue often bye passed by global media.

    I really appreciated your take on AAP- No amount of armchair wise advise will help them.AAP is going through a true Baptism in Fire-(I may not be allowed to us this in a Hindu rastra -will they?)and they have have to go through the ropes in the way they see it.Probably the first time the Chief Minster of Delhi is going on strike and publicly admits he is an anarchist.All this brings much excitement and I am in anticipation of such unorthdox political approach.
    Like you I am optimistic a bit worried too but I am not scared as this country will find some how will find sanity amidst great madness.

  7. #8 Merlyn Brito 20 Jan 14

    I agree with your point of view Mari because a third party in the ring will bring about more accountability & question the excesses of the two dominant parties.India needs to return to the principles & values on which the nation was founded & can only do so if & when corruption is controlled.Secularism is the foundation of Modern India & we have to ensure that every man (Aam Aadmi) has a voice that will be heard.The future of India is bright but the reins of government needs to be in capable & clean hands.

  8. #9 Gerard Oonk 20 Jan 14

    As Mari is saying: bringing hope is the crucial thing here. And of course there will be disappointments, but just forget that change will be neat and perfectly organized. Rather remember the words of the old singer poet Lenard Cohen who is his song Anthem says:
    'Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.'

  9. #10 Sneha 21 Jan 14

    Lovely article Mari. Have tapped into my sentiments exactly.

  10. #11 Jo Lateu 21 Jan 14

    Thanks to those who spotted the incorrect spelling of Arvind Kejriwal. The error has now been amended.
    From Jo, New Internationalist web editorial.

  11. #12 Peter Berger 21 Jan 14

    Hi Mari, I was reading about this party at the end of last year and while I hoped for the best I expected the worst, a thorough drubbing at the polls or a false, lying scandal to make a mockery of an honest person's clean image, concocted by the powers that be. I hope the leader of the new party maintains his clean image and starts to force some long needed changes among our dyed in the wool politicians.

  12. #13 christine bent 23 Jan 14

    Hi Mari

    I loved your article … and tried putting a comment, but it did not accept it.

    It said : Sorry, but we are unable to accept data from your ip address.

    So here it is..sending directly to you


    chris



    ----------------------
    Hi Mari

    Thanks for the Taza khabar! 2014 here we come!
    We have so much of unrest and conflict in India. No one seems to want peace. There is so much negative focus on religion - and for what - only to ignite a civil war? Shame on those who instigate this kind of civil unrest. And shame on those who do nothing to stop it.

    Religion is so beautiful - it teaches us how to live in harmony - to respect one another - to love our neighbour - and care for another person - to be kind and help the unfortunate – but instead we do just the opposite. Some of us Indians are really not a very clever lot. We do have idiots who mess things up for everyone ..

    I am putting my money on the AAP... If they are a fair lot – then India will rise above all the differences and problems.

    Jai Hind!! I am proud to be Indian!

    Christine Bent
    PA to Professor John Chalmers, Professorial Unit
    and Professor Mark Woodward

    The George Institute for Global Health | AUSTRALIA

  13. #14 Niral 24 Jan 14

    The recent happenings in New Delhi makes one wonder if Kejriwal is at all serious of governance. Now that he has the CM's gaddi if he does not deliver on his promises and with all his flip-flops, his political opponents will laugh all the way to the general elections just a few months away.

  14. #15 Leslie 24 Jan 14

    Hopes for AAP are getting quite a drubbing since this article was written. They seriously need to invest in people who can produce some governance and also in people who can manage media -- the likes of the clowns who represent them on NDTV and Times Now are really giving their image an unwelcome downturn.

  15. #16 Ludwig Pesch 27 Jan 14

    For anyone who - like myself - cares about the real India and the people there we know and respect, Mari's reflections provide an overdue boost of optimism. Having followed her blog for some time I know that there's nothing naive in her pieces on current developments of which she has first hand experience (as evident from this and previous items). A modicum of optimism is surely needed in order to cope with turbulent developments on all ’fronts’ or levels of existence (politics, education and environment).
    Cynicism as regards past failures would be no less counterproductive than naive, even utopic visions of a new national/international order where righteousness prevails - a tempting prospect but for the question of whose values, whose rules and whose power of enforcement should apply? (And whose values must therefore be sacrificed in cases where they don't ’align’ with those of the dominant group? Genuine democracies protect their minorities rather than fostering a climate on the lines of ’the winner takes it all’.)
    The reason for my shared optimism is the plain fact that India has a constitution worth protecting in spite of its inevitable flaws that can (and are being) analyzed and fixed; and this by those qualified and legally entitled to do rather than the military or the newly rich. India has long subscribed to the United Nations's Charter of human rights (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/) and protection of minorities including religious and ethnic minorities. It remains a thriving democracy as seen here. By availing of their rights as voters, citizens are shaping their own future. This fact is humbling to all their friends-cum-critics that includes us NewInt-readers!
    Remains to hope with Mari that new entrants in the democratic process as Arvind Kejariwal's AAP get a fair chance of initiating the changes in response to citizens’s legitimate demands; starting with the most obvious ones: that the rule of law and their freedom are guaranteed and impartially enforced rather than compromised for the sake of a few beneficiaries. Let's compare this with China, among other dominant world players today, and feel justified in expecting, as Mari does, that much will indeed get better for Indians fed up with corrupt, discriminatory practices; and with new faces in powerful positions and a free and thriving press (the envy of many around the world!), this may be sooner than anybody had dared hoping until now! I look forward to see it happen, keep getting more insider perspectives from Mari - thanks for that - and then join the celebration!

  16. #17 david cohen 28 Jan 14

    Here is my comment, please post:

    The Aam Aadmi party has riveted me. I have had a lifetime of fighting institutionalized and endemic corruption in the USA at all levels. Campaigning is far easier than governing. So those who have fought the corruption of the secularist Congress party, and the BJP fundamentalists, who have encouraged violence against others, need to give space to Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party. Middle class is not a sin and shouldn't be rejected by poverty romantics. Mari Marcel Thekaekara recognizes the hope that comes with this change. Holding Kejriwal, and Aam Aadmi to the highest standards goes without saying. But remember to recognize its gains even if they are incremental and partial.
    David Cohen
    Washington, DC
    January 28, 2014

  17. #18 Josette Kersters 29 Jan 14

    With you, Mari I hope and pray for a good outcome of the elections. ’New young blood’ can bring new life and vigour in politics too long run by the same party(ies). Sometimes we need to have the courage to ’risk’ change.
    Love,Josette

  18. #19 Gouthami 02 Feb 14

    I am more optimistic than last year - which is not saying much. What worries me about AAP is that they have no clue on anything other than corruption. On issues related to women, they are as bad as any other party - and that is 48% of India. I come back to wonder - does ’aadmi’ mean ’man’ or ’people’?

  19. #20 Gary 28 Feb 14

    Mari, you appear to be deeply biased and confused. You have tried to portray an image of the BJP as an anti secular party responsible for genocides. Let me help clear up some misconceptions, not for you, but for other readers of your article.

    First of all the BJP does not openly demand that India give up its secular identity. The demand is that Hindus do not become third class citizens in the only country in the world where they are a majority. It demands that Muslims not be given special rights, such as the government of India paying for the Haj pilgrimage (For the record, no Christian country would pay for Muslims to go on the Haj either). The BJP also demands that Christians be treated equal to Hindus, and not superior. It is extremely unsecular for the government of India to take all charitable donations made to Hindu temples and use them for whatever they see fit, whereas donations made at Muslim and Christian places of worship are considered off limits. These are only 2 examples of unsecularism that are opposed by the BJP. Being a Christian of course you must have enjoyed the special status bestowed upon you by the Congress, and do not wish to have your religion treated as an equal rather than a superior.

    You also implied that it is the BJP that was responsible for the Gujarat riots. First of all, you left out the fact that India has a long history of religious violence. Independence itself was marked with the slaughter of more than 1 million Hindus and Muslims during partition. And over the last 50 years there have been numerous acts of religious violence all over the country. You fail to mention any of that, attempting to imply that it is only in the rule of the BJP that violence can happen. In fact you mentioned that 2,000 Muslims were killed, you did not mention that 800 Hindus were killed as well. Is the life of a Hindu not important to you? If the events in Gujarat from more than a decade ago are so fresh in your mind, then how about the events in Punjab where the Congress led government massacred Sikhs and defiled their temple? I suppose that is OK since the congress has given many benefits to Christians over the years, so why should the rights of the Sikhs matter to you.

    In fact Indias history of religious violence extends long before Independence, but the Congress party, which you consider secular, has chosen to leave those out of text books. We have had Portuguese and Spanish inquisitions in India, yet our children are not allowed to read about this in their history text books. The British, all through their rule, attempted to Christianize India, yet there is little mention of this in text books. And the Muslims, by their own admission in records kept by some of their emperors, ran around India slaughtering Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs. In fact Sikh gurus themselves were murdered by Muslims. Yet none of this is in our school text books. You are against the BJP, which wants these facts to be revealed, and instead consider the Congress secular for helping you hide your religion's history.

    Let me conclude with this - the reason the BJP is going to win this election, and Modi will be PM, is because they are seen as progressive, not fundamentalist. Only a few Muslims and Christians like yourself are spreading this message of fear. The truth is the BJP will bring progress and prosperity to all, irrespective of religion, and most people have the sense to realize that. The only thing the Congress has done for the last 50 years is put fear into the minds of people like you, to keep you voting for them. Other than that there has been no effort on their part to develop the country, the economy and the social life of India.

  20. #21 Ram Babu 17 Mar 14

    Hats off to Gary for raising very valid points about the Congress, our colonial history and what India suffered at the hands of Muslim rulers. I cannot agree more with him that we should scrap policies that favour one religion against another - unless such favourable treatment will result in leveling the playing field. And one must surely agree that we do not have a level playing field. In a country which is committed to equality for all perhaps we have to do something special or extra for people who are less equal. Which can and must be the only reason for
    reservation or any other form of positive discrimination.

    I am no historian and I take no issue with the points raised by Gary. (isnt this a Christian name?) But it does occur to me that something is awry when one's wrongful action is sought to be explained away by pointing out the wrongs of another's action. Let us not justify one massacre because of another. What happened in Gujarat under Modi's watch cannot be justified or explained away by what the British did, the Muslim rulers did or even by what the Congress did or did not do. Let us rather seek to condemn all such acts and learn from them and ensure that they do not take place in the future.

    I for one cannot believe that electing the BJP and anointing Modi as PM is the way to ensure that this kind of religious hatred is not allowed to flourish. Communal hatred will destroy this country faster than the collapse of the rupee or crash of the sensex. But then the Congress seems in such total disarray - endemic corruption is just one of its many problems - that they hardly seem the answer either. Which is why I agree with the writer that AAP and Kejriwal offer some hope - they have no track record but they should be given a chance to see if they have something different to offer. Or they hiding all the same old thinking under new Gandhi caps. Only time will tell if the writer's optimism is displaced or not.

    I have read much on the subject of BJP vs Congress, Modi as PM - the pros and cons - but nothing scared me as much and tilted me away from any possible support to the BJP and Modi as this You tube link someone sent me. I know much on the internet cannot be believed but this appears to be much more factual, accurate and real for it not to be believed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFZBNUnG5pI

    Please watch and form your own opinions.

  21. #22 Cavery 18 Mar 14

    Thanks Mari,
    AK has been really brave.
    We need to pray for his well being and safety.

  22. #23 Betty 18 Mar 14

    Gary – MODI WILL NOT WIN. There’s going to be a hung Parliament. You call the writer “deeply biased and confuse” well – I think you are gullible, wet behind the ears, simple and foolish in your analysis of the Modi agenda.
    Modi is taking a leaf out of Obama’s election winning handbook – frighten the masses with innuendo, smear and downright lies. But, I believe the Indian electorate isn’t going to be so easily deceived.
    Below is an extract from “The Guardian” 6 March 2014 by Jason Burke which proves my point.
    “Even his detractors admit that Modi is a formidable public speaker. In smaller meetings, he varies his tone from the confidential to the triumphant depending on the audience. When he speaks to the crowd in Meerut, his tone is simply angry.
    ’Even now, more than 150 years after the rebellion of 1857, we have to fight for roti [bread] in the houses of the poor. The date of this rebellion is important yet this government did not see that importance. Congress has forgotten the number of young people who gave their lives for the 1857 rebellion. But we must remember them.’
    In three sentences Modi has touched on national pride, the anti-colonial struggle, continuing poverty, youth, sacrifice and disappointment. He talks about a key 19th-century reformist Hindu scholar and activist, Dayananda Saraswati, whose message, he says, is relevant today and then turns to Meerut. The town, Modi says, has been left behind.
    ’Do you get power 24 hours a day? If your mother is unwell can you switch on a fan? If your son has exams can you turn on the light so he can study? When the British were here they saw the people of Meerut as enemies … but your own government? Why does Meerut not get roads, railways, an airport? What has Meerut done? What is Meerut's crime?’ Modi thunders. There is a growl of assent from the crowd.
    ’Do you believe your sisters and mothers are safe?’ Modi asks. ’When your daughter goes out, do you think she will come back and say: 'Daddy, nobody troubled me'? Terrorists and criminals are rewarded in this state these days. In Meerut, there is a riot all the time. Ten years ago, in Gujarat, there used to be many riots. But now the people of Gujarat know they have to live in peace, to live free from the politics of polarisation. They know they have to take the path of development. And all is calm.’

  23. #24 Dhun daruwa25la 18 Mar 14

    Excellent article.looks as if we haven't hit rock bottom yet or we have and still digging !

  24. #25 Nirupama 18 Mar 14

    Dear Marie,

    I would agreed to what you see if Arvind Kejriwal had not quit the CMs post and not got into petty politics of threatening industrialists. Changing the systems does not come by ’inaction’.’threats’, ’resignation’ etc. I would have appreciated if they have a committee which decides what needs to be done rather than pointing fingers at anyone and everyone. It honestly stinks. To me inaction in any form is more criminal since you are setting expectations and wasting everyone's time and money. If he was a good man he would have thought about the amount of money that was spent on the Delhi elections which have gone waste. He could at least stayed till elections and performed and shown results. The next thing of him standing of Lok Sabha elections shows that he is a glutton for power and is not here to clean up!

  25. #26 Pravin Mahajan 18 Mar 14

    Thanks Mari for resending the link and calling attention to Gary's comments.
    At the outset let me clarify that referring to Journalist's religion or religious beliefs and ridiculing arguments put forward by them is not acceptable. In this particular case knowing Mari for last few decades, I never felt that she writes as ’Christian’ journalist. I sincerely urge commentators to refrain from such accusations.

    After reading the article (again) and comments, it reminds me of a book, ’What is History’ by E H Carr, where he convinces the readers that historians 'select' facts. I see journalists are no exceptions, nor commentators! Both in this case have selected suitable facts from the past.

    On secularism and Indian constitution, lets remember India became constitutionally ’Secular’ and ’Socialist’ during emergency by 42nd amendment; it was originally not a part of our preamble. Yet no one can say India was not secular before the amendment, especially if we consider it is secular after the amendment. Interestingly, the Apex court has declined to define both the words (Secular and Socialist), accepting the fact that there cannot be single interpretation of these words. How interesting, isn't it? Its free for all to interpret.

    It is difficult to accept the argument that by declaring a Nation of a particular religion, makes that nation ’asecular’ or Non-secular. There are several nations having their declared national religion yet remain secular. So lets not worry about future of secularism in India, even if, for the moment, we accept that BJP is demanding India to be a Hindu Nation.
    As Gandhi was secular, so was Jinhha. I am sure France , despite national ban on Hijab is also considered ’Secular’. One thing is sure there is a desperate need to unpack this jargon.

  26. #27 Rebecca Cowden 20 Mar 14

    I appreciate Mari's points and I join her in her hope for a less-corrupt India and things work out better for all Indians. I think her ideas are helpful and reasonable in fact and tone.
    I am puzzled by the attacks by ’Gary’ on Mari's religion and more, which are cheap and detract. I trust Mari's view of India and its future. Gary's vision of India is ominous as he alters facts and stoops to ad hominem attacks. His comments strike me as selective with the facts and transparently political. I'm with Mari in hoping India's future is the exact opposite.

  27. #28 Natasha 21 Mar 14

    It is true that the BJP does not ’openly’ demand that India give up its secular identity. But,there has been a sustained agenda of communalism for the past so many years now. I grew up in the Mumbai of the 70's and the 80's where there was a culture of mutual respect and the different religions were a cause for celebration and not division.The demolition of the Babri Masjid, in December 1992, marked a clear shift, in the ethos of the city. In Bombay, fear, exclusion and mistrust grew deeper and became very much a part of the culture.The name changed along with a lot of other things.It is irrelevant to to compare violence that has occurred over generations, and who the perpetrators and victims were. All forms of violence and fundamentalism must be worked out of our psyche and system. We should come together to stop this.
    The AAP is a ray of hope in this scenario.It is not important, whether they succeed this time or if they will implement change.The fact that they exist, and our voices have a chance to be heard, is enough to give us hope, for the future generation.
    I support Mari in her comments and her optimism.

  28. #29 priya thomas 22 Mar 14

    post godhra then prime minister atal behari Vajpayee and senior party leader jaswant singh had mooted the idea of modi's resignation-the resignation request was rejected by the bjp party members under l k advani-why would Vajpayee ask fr his resignation if he believed modi's innocence-today jaswant singh is denied a party tkt for the elections 2014-senior party leaders like advani and joshi have to fight for constituencies of their choice-we Indians have a very tough test ahead of us-do we vote for dictatorial modi-who we pray will not repeat godhra or bhuj should he become pm- do we vote for the politically naive Rahul Gandhi or should we vote for the ’full of sound and fury’ arvind kejriwal- whoever comes they should realize we are Indians first and the greater good of the country is all that matters-not petty politics,not dynasty and certainly not religion.

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About the author

Mari Marcel Thekaekara a New Internationalist contributor

Mari is a writer based in Gudalur, in the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu. She writes on human rights issues with a focus on dalits, adivasis, women, children, the environment, and poverty. Mari's book Endless Filth, published in 1999, on balmikis, is to be followed by a second book on campaigns within India to abolish manual scavenging work. She co-founded Accord in 1985 to work with Adivasi people. Mari has been a contributor to New Internationalist since 1991.

About the blog I travel around India a lot, covering dalit and adivasi issues. I often find myself really moved by stories that never make it to the mainstream media. My son Tarsh suggested I start blogging. And the New Internationalist collective are the nicest bunch of editors I’ve worked with. So here goes.

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