remembering movement people....

in memory of NFF Chairperson Harekrishna Debnath 
who passed away in Kolkata on 30th December 2009


they kept sitting on the chair in verandah
in some home in a city called Kolkata
pretending not to listen to the doorbell

fisherfolk from Jambudweep came
asking them to recognise
the traditionally established access rights
to this island to dray their fish catch
during those few months in a year
when they camped [not encroached] on the island

those fisherfolks, friends of Harekrishna da,
also remembered how Anthropological Survey of India
documented their lives and livelihood practices
in a book, which they presumed Bhadralok manush
of Kolkata ought to have read.

alas! those who violently evicted Jambudweep fisherfolks
reminding some of Morichhapi
were seen in intellectual circles in Delhi academia
claiming that they campaigned hard to see that
adivasis and forest dwellers get their land rights to Forestland recognised

Harekrishna, you are gone now
rest in peace Harekrishna
but come back to disturb those Bhadrolok manush
sitting on the chair in verandah
in some home in a city called Kolkata
pretending not to listen to the doorbell

Himanshu Upadhaya


In December, we mark the following days and dates to remember
1          World Aids Day
2          International Day for Abolition of Slavery
3          International Day of Disabled Persons / Bhopal Gas Tragedy Day/ Global No to Pesticides Day
5          International Volunteers Day/ World Dignity Day
6          Dr Ambedkar’s death anniversary/ Babri Masjid demolition Day
8          National Day for Mentally Retarded
10        World Human Rights Day
15        International Tea Day
29        International Day for Biological Diversity

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