"Poverty" & "Tribes"
Village Bijli in Narainpur (Bastar)
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This population has accepted the modern living but live in poverty. We can find some educated people.

Before proceeding to Bade Pinjodi I visited one main Village name Anthagarh in District Kanker ( Chhatisgarh) looked to me little modern village. I felt stressed atmosphere in this village. People were not comfortable exchanging views about them and plight. This village is highly affected in terror of Naxalites (militants). Roads were bad, on asking a person (I dont give name) who uncomfortably acknowledged that these Naxalites dont let the Government make roads besides they prevent all development programs which Government intends. Roads are easy way of transportation so if roads are better Naxalites may face tough resistance from in and out. Any activity which may weaken their plan is resisted.  Also he said drinking water is problem here, water in infected with iron. They have to burrow minimum 300 feet to get water. I went to this area 15 days before the election so was more dangerous and some people suggested not to stay and go back before they see you and I decided to quit.


Then I along with very honorable and influential person proceeded to block Naraianpur of Bastar district. This area is more tensed and terrified one day before Naxalites flamed on police station and made 20 families from one village and 10 from the other to leave their houses in fear would be mass assassination. The fault of these villagers was that they offered to participate in election. They also forced Sarpachs (Village elected heads) to offer mass resignation to Government, disobedience is punishable. All Sarpachs did the same though secretly step by step withdrew. Can imagine the intensity of terror in Bastar area!!!  I was not at right time, right place yet I could perceive the fear among villagers.


One of the villagers led us to dance festival in village Bijli. This village though has some 3-4 sub tribes yet main population is of Halba and Gond. Roads were very bad but the houses were nice not like of Bade Pinjodi village. Entire village was in celebration of Jetra festival where Gods and Goddesses join together. Halbaas and Gond together dance.  In this festival men and women together dance and celebrate this auspicious occasion. (Click the dance photos to view how they dance). After dances eat rice and drink liquor, both men and women drink and enjoy. We watched some elements were staring at us, I thought they did not want us to be there also one said they were informers of Naxalites. So we withdrew nicely but without much information. However, what information I gathered wasnt nice, blocking development of villagers is wrong step, if continued one day  villagers will  over power and crush them. This area has transfers of Government officials on basis of punishment transfer. What can one expect from them. For Naxalites, police is like toy for play;  Poor are scared of police and they are scared of Naxalites.  BUT FOR TOURISTS THERE IS NO PROBLEMS PROVIDED THEY GET RIGHTS GUIDES FOR THE HELP.



Little information about Halbaas tribes



Halbaas is originated from Hal in English is plough, they are originally farmers and land owners are rich among tribal. They are more modernized and unlike Gond tribes they enjoy high caste status amongst the tribal castes. Bastar Halbaas perform marriages only within their caste mostly from own Bastar. Rest almost like modern underdeveloped people where women can not divorce husband but one privilege woman has that widowers can marry only widow. Marriages among the cousins are preferred

anthagarh panchayat office

Click to view Jetra dance
flag of jetra  where god and godess join

click to view them dancing

click to video clip of drum dance


Little information about NAXALITES



Late 1960s from west Bengal (India) town of Naxalbari that gave the movement name Naxalism broke away from main stream Marxist (communist) party. These rebels felt the communist party comprising too much with its objective of existence and purpose. These well educated rebels took weapons in their hands declared war against social injustice and exploitation of poor. They needed mass support and force to spread its wings so recruited educated people. First war was against the Marxist Government of West Bengal. Failure of Marxists government to crush their movement not only Naxalism to survive but also their movement spread to other states progressively. It attracted many idealist youth dissatisfied with an unfair social and economic order to join its campaign which helped to grow further. Also one way they gained appreciations from poor awarded more strength and became Robin Hood (heroes) in many eyes helped penetrate strongly into many parts of the country where poverty was intense. 



Other parts of the world communism started fading and began to embrace capitalism and democratic politics. Naxalism movement was against democratic pattern that provided a vent to the anger of masses and therefore kept them from taking guns. Governments assertion of war against Naxalism made them run towards jungle to operate from there, used guns to seek people support. Change of world atmosphere towards democratic and capitalism and shifting of ideas of its objective was discouragement within the movement. Intellectuals and idealists withdrew. It left with only angry outburst ideologists hang on to ideology simply because to fail Government machinery or they do not know better ways to attain objective. Still have some dedicated members but is slim, many of joined them for survival or this movement became their employment. Money became more as objective to procure weapons and its survival. They adopted extortion as a method from traders, rich farmers and others from whom they could extort and became Robin Hood to terror creators. They let government machinery function as long as favorable to them or does not harm. Now the situation has come that they do not know what they are fighting, why and for whom.


As forests are their resort local population tribals are most affected by their actitivities. Many of this movement are involved with trading in forests to make money in the name Naxalism. Any objection by tribal or village is punishable to the law created is punishable either shot or houses burned.


What I observed as why Naxalites are very effective and successful in their operation especially in rural and interior villages:


        Governments failure to overcome poverty and rural unemployment crisis. Many of the Naxalites cadres are because they did not get opportunity in other areas despite their education. Naxalism gains strength by support from socially & economically exploited.  This issue is fuel for them so in order to restrict public support Government has to bring policies to generate employment and social services in rural and interior villages.

        Governments failure to understand the real issue and problem. Do not consider this issue as law and order problem.

        Weak intelligence and information system of Government machinery. Intelligence system of Naxalites is better and faster than the Government thus they are fast in operation and movement. I came across some village seniors who said generally posting done as punishment posting, if any superior does not like a person, is posted there as punishment. How can one expect for the solution. Person posted will only be rather helping hand to Naxalites. Corruption and inefficiency among posted staff makes Naxalites objective more successful and easy movement in the village and forest. In many cases the situation is OK in the books but in actual is different

        Naxalism is also one of the sources to some politicians to gather mass votes in the village.

        Insecurity and fear among the public and government machinery. Disobedient is killed. Life is important so Governments responsibility to save life.



Tribes generally live in group of 5-6 houses, some places in one village there are 5-10 families or houses. Each have own identity and ritual. In main festival these villagers carry own idol to join main tribe like many branches of one tree.

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