The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


  • She made headlines like ‘why Pakur is not Nandigram’ way back in 2007 when the court had lambasted the police on her arrest for leading the 'Rajmahal Pahar Bachao Andolan' since 1995 with December 2006 successful compromise reached on compensation to be given to the 510 displaced families.
  • She extended her fight to ensure that these promises were met.
  • She was credited to bring hundreds of crores of revenue to this non-descript district of Jharkhand.
And yet she was brutally killed last night in the village – Pachwara – that she made her home during the years of fighting for the tribals to get justified compensation. Valsa John was beaten with sticks and then axed to death. No one knows why she was killed and what message the killers wanted to convey by hacking her so brutally.

Valsa John (Photo Courtesy: Indian Express)
But a conscious soul is gone and she is yet another addition to the list of great fighters like S Manjunath, Satyendra Dubey, Shehla Masood. Valsa, 52, was a nun from Ernakulum. She was introduced to the problem of the villagers’ displacement during her stint with the Fatima Mission Girls’ School. She organized the local tribals of the area and led a successful agitation against the Panem coal mines project. The settlement reached at in December 2006 promised practical gains to the tribals. An Indian Express report lists them as:

  • The cost of the land acquired at the current market rate
  • A job
  • A school, education for students of the displaced families free of cost
  • A hospital to provide them free treatment
  • Rs 6,000 per acre per annum to compensate for the loss of agriculture income
  • Rs 210 sq m of land for home stead
  • After mining complete, the land to be reclaimed and returned to its rightful owner
It is said she had active support of the then Deputy Chief Minister Stephen Marandi.  “Valsa John gave her consent only after she was convinced that the company had offered the best compensation to the people,” said Stephen Marandi. As a witness to the Movement, Marandi had signed the agreement between the Movement and Panem.

Her killing raises many questions. According to her family members she was receiving threats from coal mining mafia of the area. Apart from investigation into her death, a comprehensive recheck is needed to be carried out to see the progress report of the promises extended to the tribals in the 2006 agreement. She was away from the village for sometime and one needs to know why there were protests when she returned there in the first week of this month.