Mission Saranda. A War for Natural Resources in India
Dedicated to the martyrs of Saranda Forest, who have sacrificed their lives to protect their ancestral land, territory and resources.
This book and the Saranda issue it highlights are of greatest national significance. Gladson Dungdung has performed a profound service by writing courageously about this, bringing out the voices of Adivasis faced with displacement and atrocities from multiple directions.
Like Raoghat mountain range in Chhattisgarh, Khandadhara range in northwest Odisha, the Niyamgiri range in southcentral Odisha and neighbouring-bauxite capped mountains near Karlapat presently under threat from Vedanta, and surviving forest and Adivasi villages in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh – among many similar areas - Saranda right now poses a set of key questions of national importance. What is the relative value of money to be made by mining the minerals in the ground, and of the Adivasi communities and the rich biodiversity forests where they live? Should the minerals under these forests and communities be extracted fast and sold for maximum profit, regardless of costs to communities and ecosystems? Given that the mining industry has rarely, if ever, benefitted the majority of local people displaced, could these projects be organised differently? Or is the mining industry inherently ruthless xviii Mission Saranda and corrupt? Could it be that these Adivasi communities, and extensive forest areas such as Saranda where they live, are actually of much greater intrinsic value than all the money the minerals could be sold for?