19 November 2011| Society & Public Issues
Himanshu Kumar has been working for more than 17 years with the tribals in Dantewada (Chattisgarh, with his outfit “Vanvasi Chatana Ashram”. He has been helping tribals to plug into the Indian democratic system, not just through systems of education and health but by teaching them to vote. In 2005, when the government raised a civic militia to fight the Maoist movement, it set tribals against tribals and unleashed unlimited violence. When Himanshu Kumar spoke against injustices, the might of the State came down on him and his ashram of 17 years was razed to the ground. Kopa Kunjam is a tribal from Dantewada who worked with Himanshu Kumar for 13 years. This interview was conducted when he has been released on bail after being charged for a murder he had witnessed, tried to prevent, and had himself reported to the police. Can justice find the people of the forest?