Bela Bhatia on Bastar situation

April 19, 2016

by People’s Film Collective

On 16th April, a cultural programme titled “Stop the War on Adivasis in Bastar and Beyond” was organised by People’s Film Collective in the Muktangan auditorium (Kolkata).

As main speaker of the evening, Bela Bhatia – social scientist and human rights activist currently living in Bastar – spoke at length on the overall war-zone that is Bastar Division and other areas of Chhattisgarh, updating the audience on the current escalation of state atrocities, yet again. In her speech she marked the continuities and differences of the present moment with the past. She shared her first-hand experience as witness and sufferer on the concerted brutalities and, in particular, brutal sexual violence on women, point blank point and shoot murders, and forced silencing of all voices of dissent, launched on Adivasi leaders, journalists, researchers, activists, lawyers by the state – committed to handing over the rich resources of this region to the machinations of corporate greed – through twin tactics of direct war (by the army, paramilitary and police) and indirect war (by social vigilante groups).