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Eco-Injustice and Human Rights in India: The Death of the Last Earth Tribe

Genocide in India: You Won’t Hear About it in the Mainstream Media. Genocide in India: You Won’t Hear About it in the Mainstream Media.

Daksha once lived in what she describes as a paradise in India. Then came the Indian government, hydroelectric dam builders, mineral prospectors, mining companies and soldiers. Now living in the west, exiled from her beloved homeland, Daksha says the movie Avatar reminds her of what’s happening to India.

“There’s no blue skin or flying on dragon birds,” she says, “but like Avatar there is a military and corporate war against the earth and those of us who live in harmony with it.”

According to Daksha, as well as internationally-known Indian journalists such as Arundhati Roy, the Indian government is colluding with multi-national corporations and bankers to forcibly remove ecologically-minded native peoples from India’s last remaining wilderness areas and to eradicate native culture.

This coincides with a recent government-multinational corporate push to turn Indian agriculture into a testing ground for genetically-modified crops, as tens of thousands of small-scale family farmers were forced to buy genetically-modified seeds from Monsanto and other biotech corporations. The seeds didn’t grow properly and farmers were prevented from pollinating crops to create seed for next season.

Racked with debt and distraught about the ruination of their farms, many thousands of Indian farmers chose suicide, often by drinking pesticide.

Daksha says rural, native Indians are comprised of many ethnic and cultural tribes, castes or groups collectively known as the “Adivasi”. Estimates differ on how many Adivasi there are: some say 90 million people, other estimates put their number as high as 160 million. The Adavasi’s misfortune is that their native homes are in areas rich in minerals, trees, rivers and other “resources” coveted by the government and corporations.

Claiming the Adivasi are equivalent to “Maoist guerillas” fighting an insurgency against the Indian government, paramilitary soldiers are torturing and exterminating the Adivasi.

When India’s few activist journalists such as Arundhati Roy report the Adivasi genocide, the journalists receive death threats or are threatened with imprisonment. In the meantime, India’s growing middle class has been bought off by corporate interests intent on turning one of the earth’s last great wilderness and tribal areas into an industrial extraction zone.

The corporations provide millions of dollars to fund hospitals, universities and charities. Its public relations arm is in league with government spokespersons who portray the tribal peoples as backwards, in need of modern technology, enemies of India’s “economic progress”.

“The root of the matter is the Adivasi now comprise the only large group of people on earth who know how to live well without using industrial technology,” Daksha says. “These people live rich lives without using petroleum, electricity and modern toys. It is a war against the earth tribes. It is a war against people who can do without capitalism.”

You’ll notice that the Adivasi genocide is never mentioned in mainstream North American media. This article is the first you’ve heard of it, right?

“What is happening to India is equivalent to what your American settlers did to steal the North American continent from native peoples,” Daksha says. “Imagine if right now today the U.S. Cavalry was wiping out Native Americans, but you heard nothing about it on your television or computer. This deliberate silence in the media about what is being done to India is part of how corporations work together worldwide as they kill the earth and the people who love it.”

For more information on India’s war against the Adivasi read prize-winning author Arundhati Roy’s powerful new book, Walking With the Comrades.

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Last modified on Thursday, 12 July 2012 13:44

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