20 September, 2020

Identity Crisis

Prodded by a 109-year-old manic messiah, a group of adivasi villages 'secede' from India

Identity Crisis

DEEP in the heart of Nasik district, nestled beyond the Bafalon hills and kissing the borders of Gujarat are strings of adivasi hamlets—Umbarthon, Dodhipada, Mhaiskadak, Boricha Gavta, Patali, Toran Dongri, Darapada, Amdabare, Kukudne Guhicha, Mangadha.... Untouched by tar and unmarked by criss-crossing electricity lines, power has suddenly become a problem—over 110 families have decided to take some into their own hands. These adivasis, who sport the name of AC Bharat, want to sever all ties with the Indian Union, and don't understand why such a to-do is being made over their decision. Apparently they have succeeded in working local politicos and the CBI into a cold sweat.

Masterminding the operation is Baba Kunver Keshrisinghji, all of 109 years, armed with a pre-Independence BA degree and a post-Independence criminal record and who has declared himself the owner of India. He operates from the interiors of Gujarat and his influence extends to the simple adivasi folk of the border areas of Mah-arashtra. Here Kunver Keshrisinghji's...



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