ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Arun ChowdhurySubscribe to Arun Chowdhury

BENGAL- Who Can Question the State...

because of financial troubles. Shibu called him 'Master Saheb'.
I also attended the camp court or 'baishi'. It is really an assembly of about 20 villagers. Among other things, the assembly hears quarrels and disputes. The Majhis, I was given to understand, do not go to regular courts any longer, preferring the cheaper and speedier justice meted out by the "baishi'. From independent sources, I heard that the courts in Giridih were practically deserted. The 'baishi' I attended was devoted to explaining the necessity for grain golas, and in telling the villagers to come to a meeting the next day.

TAMRATATRAS- Not for This Freedom

Arun Chowdhury TO celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Independence, the government decided, two years ago, to award a tamrapatra (certificate) and Rs 200 per month in cash to each 'fighter' in the struggle against the British. I was intrigued to hear that an old man of 72, living in a small village in Birbhum district in West Bengal, had spurned the official award. This was a man who had fought vigorously against the British. While he had been in jail, five of his children had died of starvation within a few days during the famine of 1943. When he had come out of jail, he found that his wife had gone mad. Yet this heroic fighter had refused the tamrapatra. Curious to find out the reason, I went to see him at his home.

CONTRACT LABOUR-To Crush the Stone-Crushers

in Patna. All the lathis showered upon them, the tear gas shells fired at them from police vans, motor launches patrolling the river and even aeroplanes (All-India Radio boasted that night that "planes were used in that manner for the first time"!) and the general brutality of the CRP could not prevent nearly 20,000 from joining the procession. In the process even JP was injured, and the next two days were observed as Patna and Bihar Bandhs, respectively, in protest.

RAJASTHAN-Buying Off the Large Farmers

Buying Off the Large Farmers Arun Chowdhury THE Rajasthan government imposed levies on bajra and wheat in the last kharif and rabi seasons, respectively. The experience with these levies shows how rich farmers take advantage of small and medium fanners and their organisations to put pressure on the government but, having once got the government to agree to their demands, leave them high and dry.

Back to Top