Sunday October 28th 2007, saw the enfolding of a another tale of two Indias in the streets of its capital city: thousands of well shod and well clad beautiful people ran a well sponsored half marathon in one part of the city, while 25 000 landless and often barefoot protesters silently entered another part of the city to demand their usurped land rights. They had no sponsors. They had simply donated one fistful of food grain and one rupee a day for the last three years.
Their march had begun on October 2nd, 350 kilometers away a stunning reminder of Gandhian ways in a new age avatar. Dignified and silent and yet so vibrant. Most of them tribal and dalits displaced by big development projects and given no alternative source of livelihood.
Whereas the marathon ended with winners and prize money, their fight has just begun as they intend to stay on till they are heard. What disturbed me this morning as I opened the newspaper was a deafening silence: whereas the marathon was covered in large headlines and full pages, this silent and dignified march was strangely absent.
Is this not another instance of the reality of two Indias?
Labels: two indias