Alternative Radio on 09/06/11
Himanshu Kumar on Gandhian Activism (interview)
The legacy of Mahatma Gandhi continues in various ways in India. Gandhi had his flaws but as George Orwell wrote: “compared with the other leading political figures of our time, how clean a smell he has managed to leave behind.” There are multiple struggles for justice and dignity going on all over India. A particularly important one is in Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh, which means 36 forts in Hindi, is a relatively new state. It was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000. It is rich in resources. Corporations have, with government collusion, been coming in, taking land, and displacing the mostly Adivasi, indigenous people. An armed resistance, alternately called Maoist and Naxalite, to rapacious state and corporate power has arisen. Is there a role for Gandhian activism?
Himanshu Kumar is a staunch proponent and practitioner of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy and techniques of non-violence and civil disobedience. He worked for almost two decades serving the poor in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh until he was driven out in 2009. He continues to publicize the situation in Chhattisgarh.