Calling for sensitisation of the judiciary towards displacement of tribals in India owing to development projects, former chief justice of Delhi high court, AP Shah, on Friday said, “Adivasis are continuously exploited and dispossessed all over the country for wider economic development”.
Shah was speaking at a function in the city to launch a book on the writings of Anuradha Ghandy, ‘Scripting the change’. Ghandy was a communist activist who died of cerebral malaria in 2008 in Bastar, Jharkhand, while educating the tribals against societal oppression. The book, published on behalf of the Anuradha Ghandy Memorial Committee, is a compilation of her articles on women, caste and other social issues.
Shah delivered the landmark judgment decriminalising consensual gay sex in 2009. Admitting that he was moved by Ghandy’s writings, Justice Shah read out passages from the book that spoke of abolition of caste oppression and upliftment of the downtrodden. “Tribals today are the most backward people in the country with literacy rate among them being the lowest. They are continuously exploited and dispossessed by the traders, contractors and forest guards who function like rulers of the forests.”
He also termed as unfortunate the 2000 Supreme Court judgment that favoured the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the Narmada belt.