Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
25Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
ORISSA in the CROSSFIRE-Kandhamal Burning

ORISSA in the CROSSFIRE-Kandhamal Burning

Ratings: (0)|Views: 2,882|Likes:
Published by Haindava Keralam
BY By Brannon Parker

“Orissa in the Crossfire’ provides many vital details related to the Hindu-Christian violence that has swept Orissa's Kandhamal district. The book also highlights the history of Orissa and its tribes. While many have familiarized themselves with the propaganda that has fictionalized the events surrounding the Kandhamal crisis, few have had access to the facts. The true history of Kandhamal and the struggles of its people deserve a fair hearing in the court of public opinion. Is the Kandha religion sinister or sacred? Are they bloodthirsty savages or a people of a noble and ancient heritage? Can the tribes people of Kandhamal rise up out of their undeserved shame and be seen for who they really are? Long labeled as ‘a cruel human sacrificing tribe of ruthless savages’ it is time the truth be revealed. It is time for the world to learn about the Kandha ‘God of Light’ and their Culture of Life.
BY By Brannon Parker

“Orissa in the Crossfire’ provides many vital details related to the Hindu-Christian violence that has swept Orissa's Kandhamal district. The book also highlights the history of Orissa and its tribes. While many have familiarized themselves with the propaganda that has fictionalized the events surrounding the Kandhamal crisis, few have had access to the facts. The true history of Kandhamal and the struggles of its people deserve a fair hearing in the court of public opinion. Is the Kandha religion sinister or sacred? Are they bloodthirsty savages or a people of a noble and ancient heritage? Can the tribes people of Kandhamal rise up out of their undeserved shame and be seen for who they really are? Long labeled as ‘a cruel human sacrificing tribe of ruthless savages’ it is time the truth be revealed. It is time for the world to learn about the Kandha ‘God of Light’ and their Culture of Life.

More info:

Published by: Haindava Keralam on Jul 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/11/2014

pdf

text

original

 
1
ORISSA
in the
CROSSFIRE
Kandhamal Burning 
PREFACE
I arrived in India in early September 2008. It had been over four years since mylast visit. During my previous trips to India, I had travelled throughout the Northeastpart of the country. In Arunchal Pradesh, Assam and Nagaland I had met with manytribal people and was fortunate to gain first hand experience of the culture andconditions prevalent in that part of the country. Northeast India is abundant andverdant. Its people represent an amazing diversity of languages, traditons and lifestyles.Unfortunately, despite the beauty and innocence of the region it is plagued by politicalviolence and economic disparity.In early September 2008 I found myself in Northeast India. This time I was inHojai, Assam. Located near the Bangladeshi border it is an area of some tension and likemany towns of NE India, it is a frequent target for bomb blasts and machine gunkillings. I had been invited by the tribal organization VKA (Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram) toparticipate in their Tribal Leadership Conference. During this meeting I met withthousands of Indian people and with the representatives of nearly every tribe of theNortheast including delegates from Sikkhim. The diversity expressed by these variouspeople emphasized the ideal of
‘Unity in Diversity.’
Here I met with the Buddhists ofTawang and Sikkhim, the Hindu Tribals of Tripura and Manipura and the tribalfollowers of Danyi Polo. I also met with various other representatives of the diversetribal faiths of NE India as well. Though Northeast India is home to many Indian tribesit is actually a State to the south of India that is home to a majority of India’stribespeople. This state is called Orissa or Odisha.Coincidently, a mere two weeks before my arrival in India the tribes of Orissahad gone on the warpath. According to media reports, countless Christian churcheswere being burnt and worst of all Christians were allegedly being hunted down andkilled. The violence had erupted after an 82 year old Hindu Monk dedicated to theupliftment of Orissa’s tribespeople had been assassinated in a most brutal manner. Theday chosen for his assassination was also seen as an intentional provocation. The daywas Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna; a holiday celebtrated across India. Thelocation of the assassination also caused great anguish to the tribespeople. A group ofsomewhere between 18 to 36 armed men had descended upon a local girls school,
 
2
lobbing grenades and firing machine guns into the air. The headmistress of the schoolwas gunned down as she attempted to shield the life of her mentor, the 82 year oldmonk and founder of the school, Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati. A visiting parentalong with two junior monks were also viciously slaughtered as the young students fledfor their lives.Orissa was stunned by the violence and the entire State went into mourning.Hindus throughout the world were outraged. Yet worst was to come. As a stunnedpeople began to confront the fact that the authorities had failed to protect its citizens,the media began a campaign of calumny. Ignoring the brutal assassination of a belovedspiritual leader as the root of the crisis the media began to depict the response to themassacre as the story. Report after report flooded the world media depicting theoutraged tribal response as the actions of blood-thirsty criminals and marketers of hate.Ignoring the hundreds of years of anguish and the long simmering disputes betweenthe local Kandha tribespeople and the Christian converted Pana, the media and politicalleft created an artificial template lambasting the Hindus as the sole perpetrators of theviolence.It was in the midst of this crisis that I arrived in Orissa to investigate thecircumstances surrounding the violence. I arrived in Bhuvaneshwar, the capital ofOrissa, on September 15, 2008. The monsoon season was in full swing. The worst floodsin nearly 70 years washed over the land. The state highway was washed out severaltimes and thousands of people were left homeless. Amazingly life went on as usualwith very little interruption. I had a couple miraculous escapes as we drove aroundOrissa crossing bridges only hours before they were swamped by the swollen rivers ofthe region.During my 5 weeks in Orissa I met with many people on all sides of the issue.Most people were forthright and clear about the issues plaguing the people. Many ofthe people, in fact, most of the people I met with had excellent solutions to the problemsat hand. However the violence and disparity experienced by the people of Orissa andIndia at large has created a kind of chaos and instability. Thus India moves from onecrisis to the other. The greatest obstacle in the way of India’s progress is the state ofdenial that is endemic to country. Without understanding the true foundation of theproblem it is almost impossible to provide any solution. The truth is most often buriedand manipulated by vested interests. Any effort to reveal the truth is highlighted as a
‘communal’
or
‘prejudiced’
effort. Victims are ignored and culprits are emboldened as thevarious political players entrench themselves in the suffering of the people. India’speople are categorized and cataloged and thus divided againt themselves by language,religion, ethnicity, caste and clan. Government benefits are given out and fought over.
 
3
Many take advantage of government largesse based upon their greed as the truly needyare left on the way side. India’s tribal people have been left far behind as some ofIndia’s non-tribal citizens expertly and criminally manipulate the system. In this waytribal lands and rights are being accessed by non-tribals to the disadvantage of thetribals. Long embittered, India’s tribes are only now attempting to regain lost ground.Their struggle has been a long one and is ongoing.In this report I have attempted to present the facts as they happened. I havereferenced many experts in both the history of the region and personally interviewedthe leading investigating journalists and other informed parties in regard to Orissa’stribal crisis. I was also quite fortunate to have met with and interviewed the world’sleading experts on India’s tribal condition. I am grateful to the faculty, staff andstudents of North Orissa University’s Tribal studies program. It is the only one of itskind in the world and is located in the heart of Orissa’s tribal country. In particularProfessor Laxman Sahu of NOU’s Tribal studies program and his students were veryenlightening. I also gathered much information from Orissa’s Tribal Museum expertsand was delighted to see the many artifacts from Orissa’s living cultures. The expertsfrom the Governments Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes (ST-SC) Dept were alsogenerous with their time and I am grateful to them for their help. These many expertviews on Orissa’s tribal condition are irreplaceable and crucial towards gaining anaccurate understanding of Orissa’s socio-political conditions. I am also grateful to Janmejay Sahu and Sanjay Jena for their hospitality, assistance and guidance during mystay in Orissa.The information in this report is primarily based upon the testimony of theleading academics of Orissa, authoritative and verifiable news reports and my personalobservations obtained during interviews and during my interactive visits to variouslocations during my fact-finding mission to the region.
“Orissa in the Crossfire’
not only provides many of the vital missing details relatedto the Hindu-Christian violence that swept the Kandhamal district of Orissa in 2008, ithighlights the history of Orissa and its tribes. Forgotten by most is the fact that Orissawas once a great naval power. Its ships plied the ancient seas from Japan to Rome.However today, Orissa is one of India’s poorest regions. Ironically it was once one ofthe wealthiest kingdoms of the ancient world. Its city of Puri has long been a place ofgreat significance and it remains as an epicenter of devotion and faith for countlessmillions.In August 2009, this report was presented to the US State Department by RamMadhav, a National Executive of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha. It is now

Activity (25)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Vinoth Raj liked this
deepak408 liked this
hriaum liked this
Sasank Isola liked this
pradeeporissa liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->