Letters of blood and India’s most controversial diamond mine

Letters of blood and India’s most controversial diamond mine

How the fight to save the Buxwaha forest in Madhya Pradesh came to be synonymous with the movement for the recognition of Bundelkhand state.
03 July 2021
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The latest in the batch of 17 letters, all written in blood, reached Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office shortly after 5 June, which is celebrated every year as World Environment Day. Whether the letters were ever opened we do not know; what we do know is that the crimson-hued communique was the handiwork of four organizations vying for Bundelkhand statehood: Bundelkhand Rashtra Samiti, Bundeli Samaj, Bundelkhand Kranti Dal and Bajrang Sena.

The movement for establishing a separate state for the Bundelkhandis—those who inhabit the semi-arid region spanning seven districts in Uttar Pradesh (Mahoba, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Banda, Lalitpur) and six in Madhya Pradesh (Chhatarpur, Panna, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Tikamgarh)—has been running since 1949. But the demand was intermittent at best…

…until now, as India’s first, largest and most controversial private diamond mining project is slated to take off.

That project,

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