शिवपुरी में एक स्कूल की प्रिंसिपल और पढ़ाकू बिंदु छिब्बर ने ये जो देश है मेरा की समीक्षा लिखी है, उसको यहां शेयर करने से रोक नहीं पायाः
It is a non-fiction account of a few rural-tribal pockets and the sufferings and agony that lead to the poor going destitute or committing suicides.
The book is basically a study of five troubled areas. There are the poor landless farmers of bundelkhand, wrestling with the parched land, failing crops and indebtedness. Second are the tribals Seheriya, displaced from their native land and resources for an outlandish sanctuary.
The third chapter highlights the fascinating Dangariya-kondh tribes of Niyamgiri, who locked horns with Vedanta, the company that wanted to exploit for bauxite their sacred mountain Niyamgiri! Their united action through gram-sabhas proved their vehement stand against dacoity in the name of development! The pristine greenery of kalahandi belies their long combat against starvation. When land is over-exploited and forests are brutally razed, an entire local civilisation is put to death.
The fourth part of the book is about the sinking lands of coastal Orissa..a place called Satbhaya. The land rich in bio-diversity, mangroves, crocodile and breeding place of Ridley turtles is being gradually gobbled by the hungry sea. Some experts blame global warming,coastal erosion and building of artificial ports. Infertility of soil affected crops, caused poverty and malnutrition and resulted in a reluctant exodus.
The last chapter depicts the trials and tribulations of ethnic group called Santhals in lalgarh, West bengal. Struggling for livelihood, they were caught in the deathtrap of the administration, fear of naxalites and manipulating Marxist communists and predatory capitalists. Fear prevailed over the green haven abundant in natural resource but notorious for violence, starvation and despair.
The book is easy-to-read and replete with official statistics that assert its trustworthiness and anecdotes that move you to compassion.
In our democratic set-up, regional imbalances, corruption and apathy in the system, lack of far-sightedness and injustice are rampant. It would not be patriotic but foolish to deny it. It is an impartial, thought-provoking account of the challenges before the nation and more sensitivity is required to overcome them.
I applaud the efforts ofManjit Thakur and recommend the book highly especially to the many idealistic youngsters I can see desirous of making a difference.