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Old 01-13-2005, 07:02 PM
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KevRyan KevRyan is offline
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Default To sengir: A Fire for the Fish

There were many sensitivities about the area around tribal rights, illegal logging, Narmada Dam related issues and in 1998 violence towards Christians and the burning of a couple of churches - the political motivations around which one might speculate. I think Western visitors were formally discouraged from visiting the area for a while - but I don't know if that applied toi the hill station 'resort' of Saputara.

Our hosts were very concerned about the permissions for us to film - we were not there for any religious reasons but working with an Indian organisation to record holisitic rural development projects in the Surat/Navsari/Dangs Distircts in 1997/8. Subsequent visits by other local friends of these projects were diverted from visits to the Dangs and for the comfort of their hosts visited tribal groups and meetings elsewhere. Some people said the Government were concerned about organised and possibly armed resistance but I never saw any evidence other than a commitment towards peaceful protest from the people I met. Obviously there was some violence in 1998.

The gun running episode related to a 'drop' over Bihar (I think) but the escape was from Bombay Airport south of the districts we were in. A couple of hundred miles away but only a train ride and a car out from Surat. Not that difficult a journey.

We were also filming tribal customs, culture and talking about tribal issues so inevitably we may have been covering things others might not have particularly wanted a wider world to hear.

As for the boys I was coming down from a higher level and they may, at this point have wondered whether I was annoyed having narrowly avoided the water plume from the last stick of dynamite - I wasn't and it was all smiles after this. They had just come in from scooping up the fish or between fish - this was the only photo I took - I just wanted to capture this moment.

best wishes

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