Sordid tale of Kauthu – Lalit Shastri speaks up

Newsroom24x7 Network

Jhabua-Alirajpur, predominently tribal districts, on the edge of the expanding modern day settlements, are in the West of the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh bordering Gujarat. One could call it the Madhya Pradesh frontier. The ethnic tribals, who have lived in a blind alley or a cul-de-sac – far from the madding crowd for centuries – deserved a better deal when India attained Freedom. Tragically enough, instead of widening the horizon of transition, social change and paving the way for the smooth development and progress of the tribals, our leaders who have been shouting from rooftops about their deep concern for the welfare of the tribals, have thrived and remained riveted to the seats of power through the use of muscle power and deceit. This news coverage of a violent and barbaric incident 26 years ago when Digvijay Singh was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh presents a gloomy picture….When I went to cover the story, it left me wondering whether I was in Independent India or the Wild West (American Frontier) that was much characterised by anarchy and violence in the second half of the 19th Century.

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