Chengara struggle revolutionary: Arundhati Roy

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Kochi, May 3 (UNI) Extending solidarity to the Chengara Land Struggle by Dalits in Pattanamthitta District, Noted Writer and Environmentalist Arundhati Roy today said it was a radical and revolutionary fight which 'grew from the soil.' Addressing a gathering at the 'National Solidarity Conference on the Chengara Struggle for Land,' Ms Roy said ''one could never forget the link between the Dalits and land issue, and the problem is the people in Chengara are Dalits.'' She said no other society in the world practised ''untouchability and unseeability'' of the Dalits, which was very shameful.

''When I went to Changara, I found a 'nation within,' which we pretended did not exist and do not want to touch,'' she said.

Ms Roy said the struggle by the people was from within and that was the greatest victory for the fight for rights.

While at Nandigram in West Bengal, farmers were protesting against corporates taking their land, in Chengara, people were fighting for getting back the land 'encroached' by private company, she added.

Inaugurating the conference, Supreme Court Advocate Prasanth Bushan said presently the reversal of land reforms was happening as now the land was confiscated from the farmers and poor people and distributed to the corporates.

More than 27,000 people, mostly Dalits and Adivasis, had pitched tents and were agitating to free around 3,000 acre of land from the grip of a private company, for the last nine months.

UNI MA GM LS BST1903

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