Tuesday, December 7, 2010
'Khani Nahin ta factory Nahin, Vedanta Company Rahiba Kahin'
The agency of local communities in resisting structural oppressions imposed by the state-TNC nexus is well illustrated in the indigenous protests in Niyamgiri. The mining company Vedanta, enjoying strong relationships with the Indian government, worked through the military-political apparatus to set up mining operations in the Niyamgiri Hills that would displace the indigenous people from the sacred forests that belong to them and their ancestors. The global oppression of indigenous tribes is situated amidst the political economic gains of the neoliberal configuration in setting up projects of industrialization and development that inequitably benefit the rich and further subalternize indigenous populations. The Niyamgiri example provides an invaluable lesson on the strength of grassroots solidarity at the margins as an entry point to structural transformation.