Mahua Memoirs

Posted on December 2, 2007. Filed under: Documentary Films in Chhattisgarh |

Mahua Memoirs
(Documentary, 82 minutes)

They live on lands where mineral treasures have lain
buried for centuries; treasures that have now become
the biggest source of their terror. Through their
stories and songs, Mahua Memoirs unfolds the life
visions and the struggles of the adivasis against the
mining that is mercilessly consuming their lands and
their lives.

Saloo, the bard and Thirku, the Baiga takes us on a
journey through the lives of the many adivasi
communities who live in the mountain tracts and
forests of the Eastern Ghats across the states of
Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. As
in most indigenous homelands the world over, these
regions too are rich in natural resources including
minerals; resources that have become the source of
their greatest insecurities.

Through their stories and songs interwoven through the
metaphor of Bewar, a form of shifting cultivation
practiced by many adivasis, the film unravels and
unfolds both their life visions and their struggles
against the merciless mining that is consuming their
lands and their lives.

Since the early nineties particularly, as part of the
new wave of liberalisation, thousands of mining leases
have been issued, giving away prime Adivasis lands to
national and global private mining corporations. And
this despite a number of constitutional safe guards
that attempt to protect the interests of these
vulnerable communities and their fragile but
ecologically rich environs with which they share a
symbiotic relationship.

Any attempt to protest is crushed brutally either with
the ideology of progress or the instruments of raw
state power like the lathi and bullets. In the past
six years about a hundred Adivasis have been killed by
police firing.

What does this violence mean for a people who remain
unseen and unheard? What does the notion of 9 percent
growth of the national economy, mean for 8 percent of
its people who are the victims of this growth?

Mahua Memoirs makes visible those voices that
systematically dismantle the claims made by policy
makers and industry that projects like mining bring in
employment and therefore development and prosperity to
the region and its people. It is a fact, that major
mining districts of the country are also the poorest
and most underdeveloped. Not only because the profits
generated from mining never go back to the mining
areas or the local communities, but because the
dominant paradigm of development within which the
mining policy has evolved, encourages the extraction
and exploitation of the natural wealth of a region in
such a way that it can never be replenished.

This documentary by Grass Roots Media Pvt Ltd is in
partnership with EQUATIONS (www.equitabletouri
and supported by HIVOS India Regional Office. To
purchase copies of the film, please contact

Director and Photographer: Vinod Raja
Executive Producer: Ashok Maridas
Script: Madhu Bhushan & Vinod Raja
Editor: Atul Gupta
Sound Recording: Hari Kumar Pillai & Jayanth Pradhan


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One Response to “Mahua Memoirs”

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hi this is piyush
i am very much interested in acting ,i am from allahabad

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