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Odisha's Baphlimali’s bauxite and Maligaan’s meany alumina!
Maligaan is a small tribal hamlet on the foothills of Baphlimali in Odisha. Promises were heaped when mining started. But now there was no end to people’s woe. Roads were constructed, but only on signboard. Water supply remained only a promise. People were provided jobs, but only for a couple of months after which their services were no longer required. Protest was met with acts of police oppression.
“Kusha worked in Baphlimali mines. He lost his arm when a company vehicle rushed to him. His wife Kumudini ran to the company’s office time and again but to no avail. The company did not give him any assistance. Its Aditya Birla’s Development Dracula and Utakal Alumina’s humbug bauxite in the name of local improvement. To exploit our land, water, forest above all our mother nature and us Aditya Birla Company is spreading the malarkey growth,” Sujanti, an old woman of Maligaan and Rakudhar Majhi, former Sarpanch of the village told this citizen journalist.

Abu Majhi from Baphlimali told, “This hill was everything to us. They attacked us and demolished our houses. They demolished the abode of our goddess. We lost our tradition and lifestyle. The women of Dhamurshi, Chatargada and Kendugudi returned to their village, their eyes filled with tears. Pabitra Naik was attacked.”

The sacred hill of Baphlimali is the most beloved place of thousands of tribal people living on the foothills. Baphlimali is the living example of dying nature for the benefit of a wealthy industry magnet. The poor and innocent people whose life has been shattered and who have lost their livelihood are exploited to fill the coffer of a private company.

“They give some money to petty politicians and their henchmen. And they kill us on the hill,” said Janua Majhi, an old man of seventy from Dandapat village.

It was evening when we climbed down the hill and returned. I saw a woman - Annapurna was her name - fetching water from a near-dead stream. “What will you do with the water?” I asked her. She said, “After bauxite mining started here, all the steams have dried up. After a few more days, these company people will not allow us to collect firewood in the forest. To keep us away from the danger, these places will be declared prohibited area. Baphlimali is in the catchment area of Indravati reservoir. If you can, go and see how the water of Indravati has become toxic and tell it to the government. Why did they invite a bloodthirsty Capitalist Dracula to this hill?”

Her words resounded in my ears. I was reminded of Irish author Bram Stoker’s 1897Gothic horror novel that introduced the character of the vampire Count Dracula.

This development is akin to Dracula model development. In the near future this Draculanian development shall bite into the entire foundation of our democratic system. We need not forget the scary prospect of Dracula multiplying after biting anyone. If our democratic system will convert into Dracula’s development then we can only lament the plight of human civilization.

In the event this Dracula is allowed to go berserk then the end-result would be nothing less than devastation. This Dracula’s model of development has already attacked our five elements of life. Now we will have to decide whether to exterminate or to accept this Dracula model development.

I felt as if the blood-thirsty Dracula is advancing towards Indravati river and Rajani was requesting me please go and see the plight of Indravati river and in the name of this so-called development how the Dracula dance there. Please tell to the government to save our river Indravati.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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