At the end of the Cold War, political scientist Samuel Huntington who taught at Harvard University created a hypothesis. As the break up of the Soviet Union resulted in ethnic conflicts – across Central Asia and Eastern Europe most government officials and foreign policy analysts used his Clash of Civilizations as a prescient bible –… Continue reading The Clash of Civilizations-revisited.
Watch my documentary: My Name is Honour Not far off the highway, less than 100 kilometers from the nation’s capital, the districts of Western Uttar Pradesh seem to have become synonymous with violence based on caste, religion or gender. The constitutional guarantee of a fundamental right to life is challenged every day by notions of honor. But what is this notion… Continue reading My Name is Honour
Weapons of War is my news documentary on women who have become collateral damage of a bloody conflict between Maoist insurgents and the state. Weapons of war exposes the ugly reality of brutal sexual abuse that Bastar's impoverished tribal women are subjected to, and the constant intimidation of those who try to bring them justice.… Continue reading Weapons Of War: The Women Of Bastar
In Chhattisgarh’s Sukma town, a brand new 100-bed hospital stands as a proof of the healthcare crisis in conflict-ridden Bastar region. The new building was made operational two months ago, but marred by acute shortage of doctors, even the most basic facilities are unavailable. The hospital has one X-ray machine but no radiologist. There’s no CT Scan,… Continue reading New Hospitals and equipment, but no doctors.
I am still reeling from the implausibly stunning fact of a baby slipping out of a womb into a dustbin. Finding the words to write this was not easy. But it is important for Soni Baghel’s story to be public, so that the Maharani College in Jagdalpur- in whose care almost all of Bastar’s tribals… Continue reading Doctors Chat on Phone, Baby Falls From Delivery Table into Dustbin.
The feedback to this is overwhelming. I suppose even those who look only through a security prism can’t ignore the absolute depravity of this violence.
“Without emotion, as though she were talking about the weather, Manju (name changed) tells us how she and six other women in her village (Kunna in Bastar’s Sukma district) were subjected to “inspection” by a police party that came through their hamlet chasing a group of Naxals. Fearing harassment, torture, arrest or death, each time forces approach, boys and men flee into the forests, leaving women to face the brunt of the search. While they all pointedly say they were not raped, their stories of physical abuse are horrific.”
I returned from Bastar, In Chhatisgarh from an assignment to report on issues women face in conflict zones related to their health and safety. While healthcare is as abject in its villages as in many parts of rural India, the over riding narrative in Bastar for women is of sexual violence- used as a weapon of war. While activists and lawyers try to…
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"Without emotion, as though she were talking about the weather, Manju (name changed) tells us how she and six other women in her village (Kunna in Bastar’s Sukma district) were subjected to “inspection” by a police party that came through their hamlet chasing a group of Naxals. Fearing harassment, torture, arrest or death, each time forces approach,… Continue reading How Breastfeeding Women Are Abused In Bastar – And Other Horror Stories