Angry Hills: An Uttarakhand state of mind

When Delhi papers label the demand for Uttarakhand secessionist, racist and rejectionist, they ignore the economic and cultural factors behind the agitation. Meanwhile, because the hill people lack coherent ideology and organisation, their righteous anger and energies are being squandered.

The eight hill districts of Uttar Pradesh state that make up Kumaon and Garhwal have always made news quite dispro¬portionate to their size and population. More than elsewhere in South Asian hill or plain, Garhwalis and Kumaon is have been fighters for social justice— whether combatting turn-of-century feudals to emancipate forced labour, daring the British in pre-Independence times, or fighting government and big business through the Chipko movement.

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Himal Southasian