In 1980, one-year-old Gladson Dungdung and his family were displaced from their agricultural land for the construction of Kelaghat dam in Jharkhand and pushed into the forests of Simdega, where Dungdung’s father was arrested on allegations of felling trees. Ten years later, Dungdung’s parents, during another land struggle, were murdered.
In his book, ‘Whose country is it anyway?’ Dungdung writes, “The Kelaghat dam was constructed with the aim of irrigating land in Simdega block. Three villages, Bernibera, Bara Barpani, and Budhratoli, were submerged and it affected 3,500 people. Currently, the water reaches only one village — Meromdega.”
The book published by Adivaani and launched on Thursday at the Delhi World Book Fair by Himanshu Kumar, Swami Agnivesh and Felix Padel, is Gladson Dungdung’s attempt to tell the story of his people and their struggle.