27 July, 2021

Naxalites? It's A Stick-Up

Rankled by a PWG unit's harassment, tribal women give Naxals a taste of their own medicine

Naxalites? It's A Stick-Up

IF there is a whiff of an agitation, can women be far behind, in Andhra Pradesh that is? In the recent past, the womenfolk have successfully organised themselves to launch a vigorous anti-arrack movement, forcing the state government to ban the sale of the brew. Now, they have declared war against one of the most dreaded Naxal outfits, the People's War Group (PWG), in East Godavari district. If it was Rosamma in Dubagunta (Nellore) who spearheaded the prohibition drive and drove the then Congress government headed by Kotla Vijayabhaskara Reddy to ban liquor in 1982, it's Bodeti Lakshmi of Peddamallapuram who has now stormed into the limelight with her bold initiative to teach a lesson or two to the PWG.

Both women's struggles are an offshoot of awareness campaigns launched by voluntary organisations in the district. The anti-arrack movement came on the heels of "Operation Blackboard", where women were inspired to take on their alcoholic husbands after reading all about it in textbooks; the decision to fight the PWG's harassment...

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