Friday, June 7, 2013

Disturbed Areas

I’m on my way to Kerala for Part 2 of my Summer Vacation. The Hatia-Yeswantpur special train happened to stop at a non-descript station called Orga. For people who does not know about the region, stations such as Bano, Orga, etc are major fruit growing regions.

You could see packages of jamuns waiting to be transported to Ranchi. And then there were girls and ladies selling some brown colored fruit which I took some time to identify as dates. Then there were water-melons. I was surprised that there were no litchies.  

As I was happily snapping away at the rustic scenes of the station, there appeared one middle aged man out of my coach and told me to stop taking photographs. I asked him the reason.

‘These are all disturbed areas and the people are also unpredictable’. He appeared like a senior government official on a trip. I got back into the train without any ado. He disappeared the same way he came.

Of course, he was correct. Bano, Orga, etc were in the middle of areas which has been on the throes of Naxalitism or Naxalism. A movement where people have been at war against the state.

An outcome of poverty and marginalisation used by secessionist forces to meet their own ends against the country, Naxalitism has been a major headache for few of the state governments of the country.

I wondered how easy we’ve stamped regions of our country disturbed and undisturbed. As I meditated on that word, I realised that there was not a better word to describe the scenario.

When we use the word ‘disturb’, there is an implication that there is a second force acting to cause the disturbance. For example, when you throw a stone into a placid pool of water, there is a disturbance caused. An adverse event in the life of a person can cause his mind to be disturbed.

Therefore, the connotation of a ‘disturbed area’ means that there has been some sort of an external intervention in the region which has caused the disturbance.

Is it not up to us that we become absolutely sure of this disturbance and make amends to remove it from our midst?

If we don’t do this soon, we could lose people and regions of our country beyond all expectations. Any one group will not be able to do this. This needs concerted efforts from all stake-holders, who are willing to look at the equitable development of the region.

The red plastic covered baskets are jamuns waiting to be transported to Ranchi


  1. Oh My! look at those bicycles hanging upside down from the train windows :D

    Very nice read :)

  2. Perfectly captured. This happens in India only :)