It has been eight years since my father departed from this world on 3rd May 2012. Gurucharan Murmu, who entered the hallowed IPS (Indian Police Service) in 1972, is the first ever Santal to serve the Union Civil Services. Being his daughter and having to see him suffer all his life for his integrity and for upholding an incorruptible moral universe has been an agonizing experience. While it was personal pain earlier, it is more of anger towards gross violation of social justice that triggers me these days. The persistence of the skilfully devised myth that the thirty four years of left front rule in West Bengal has somehow abolished caste based discrimination is due to the pervasive dominance of the forward caste Bengali bhadralok over political, social, economic and cultural domains and academic discourses. Dismissal, oppression, deprivation, injustice, contempt and most importantly stigma and trauma of humiliation and harassment, violation of dignity and human rights on account of caste disparity remain brutal everyday realities for adivasis in this state.
Author: Maroona Murmu
Maroona Murmu is currently Associate Professor at the Department of History, Jadavpur University. After passing her undergraduate course from Presidency College, she received her M.A., MPhil, and PhD degrees from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her book, Words of Her Own: Women Authors in Nineteenth-Century Bengal has been published by Oxford University Press. She works on gender studies in colonial India, environmental issues and the caste question in Bengal. She is presently engaged in studying the condition of Adivasis in West Bengal and has been working on a project on the inclusion of Adivasis into formal education in Hingalganj block of North 24 Parganas, West Bengal.