In January 2003, tribals 'illegally' occupied a part of the Wildlife sanctuary in Mathunga, Kerala. Forcible eviction by The Police resulted in the death of one tribal and injuries to others. Leading the tribal resistance was Janu, A Young woman who had mobilized their protest at the government's failure to honour their commitment to the tribals : The restoration of land alienated from them for 'development'. Dispossessed of their lands, the adivasis feared they would lose their identity and their livelihood.
In this passionate account of her struggle, Janu speaks of her childhood and her life with Mother Forest, her political awakening as a party worker in the CPM, her growing disillusionment with it, and her break from it after she felt it had betrayed the tribals. Frank, guileless and deeply moving, Janu's unfinished Autobiography is an eloquent testimony to her courage-and her convictions.
C.K. Janu was born in Wayanad District of Kerala in 1966. She was an active member of the Communist Party of India (M) but left it in 1991, and a year later formed the Adivasi Vkasana Pravarthaka Samiti (Organization for Tribal Development Workers.)
Bhaskaran is a Senor Artist with The Week.
N.Ravi Shanker lives and works in Palakkad, and regularly translates from Malayalam and Tamil into English.