Gandhian activism, fiery journalism & cocktails!

If Medha Patkar was the “box item” girl of the Narmada anti-dam saga, Himanshu Kumar is fast emerging as the poster boy in the Maoism story.

No newspaper, magazine or television article on “the gravest threat to internal security” is complete without a mention of (or quote from) Kumar, whose non-governmental organisation Vanvasi Chetna Ashram in “ground zero” of Maoist activities, Dantewada, was torched in May this year.

In Delhi recently, the “Gandhian human rights activist from Dantewada” was the cynosure of the swish set at the fifth anniversary celebrations of Tarun J. Tejpal‘s e-zine turned magazine, Tehelka*.

After holding forth eloquently for 30 minutes on tribals, poverty, disease, despair, neglect, pro-people this, anti-people that, surely Himanshubhai‘s heart should have skipped a beat, as he slung his jhola over his shoulder, to hear the emcee—Tehelka executive editor Shoma Chaudhury—announce that cocktails would be served on the on the other lawn?

For the record, the scotch maker, Whyte & Mackay, was one of the sponsors of the evening.

Champagne socialism?

Cognac communism?

Perrier proletarianism?

Evian egalitarianism?


Link via Nikhil Moro in Dallas, Texas

* Disclosures apply


Watch the first three parts here: One, two, three

Also read: Campaign to free Laxman Choudhury

BBC journalists secure abducted cop’s release

There’s a new ism in town, Arnab-ism

How well do you know your alphabets?