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

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Beneath the Gloss and Glitter: A Report from Kashipur

The gloss, the glitter and the corruption of the Commonwealth Games are behind us and we return to "a normal life" of misery and poverty. A report on an apathetic government amidst death and suffering from Bahardulki village in Kashipur block of Rayagada district of Orissa, where demands for accountability are met by the state government foisting false criminal cases against the protestors.

Corruption in high levels in this country is becoming increasingly apparent, and there is much outcry when Lalit Modi mishandles things in the Indian Premier League, or things do not go well with something like the Commonwealth Games.

However, the insidious corruption that eats into the vitals of the people of this country, is invisible, and untold. The press and the media turn a blind eye to this, indifferent, and uncaring. They sensationalise sad stories of death, hunger and epidemics, in the rural and tribal hinterlands, and move on with little care about the real causes. In Kashipur and other tribal blocks and panchayats in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts of Orissa, the sceptre of epidemics and deaths has once again raised its ugly head. While, ministers and politicians visiting these areas write off the problems by putting them down to the strange habits and traditions of the “uncivilised and backward” tribals (“They only like to drink water from the streams”, “they prefer to eat mango kernels”, “they have a habit of carrying their sick on cots”…) there is little effort to find any long-term solutions. There is panic and a patchwork approach that seeks to cover up the follies, and omissions of the different players more than anything else.

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