Here’s my article that was on The Guardian yesterday. It talks about the recent violence against protesters in Orissa and the difficulties of balancing development and conservation when there’s so much corruption around:
Is industrialisation the answer to reducing poverty in the developing world? Or should the priority be conservation of tribal communities and the environment? The debate around these questions is increasingly bitter and, for those on the frontline, increasingly violent.
In a rural corner of eastern India, in the state of Orissa, armed police have been moving in on demonstrators who refuse to make way for two controversial steel projects. Tribal villagers in Kalinga Nagar, protesting against a Tata Steel plant being built on their land, defended themselves with bows and arrows as the police advanced. An estimated 25 demonstrators were injured and one killed, in a grim replay of events in January 2006 when 12 villagers were shot dead by police.