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From 50 Years Ago: Bluster in Bastar.

Weekly Note from Volume XII, No 50, December 10, 1960.

The Madhya Pradesh Government has not enhanced its prestige by the way it has handled or failed to handle Shri Pravinchandra Bhanjdeo, the former ruler of Bastar State. The young ex-ruler, who appears to exercise considerable influence over the Adivasis, has been accused by the Chief Minister of ‘extremely objectionable and irresponsible acti vities’ among his follow-ers. Operating through the Adivasi Seva Dal, a tribal organisation, he is reported to have been campaigning for the separation of Bastar from Madhya Pradesh on the ground that the State Government was acting in a manner inimical to the interests of the Adivasis. But the chief mo-tive force for the agitation seems to proceed from a sense of personal grievance, nursed par-ticularly over declining financial resources.

Following merger of his State, the ex-ruler had joined the Congress and was a member of the State Assembly until sometime ago. His quarrel with the Congress and the State Gov-ernment started when his personal estates were put under a Court of Wards. He has been complaining since that his estates are being mismanaged. He has other complaints too: cancellation of his annual privy purse of Rs 2.1 lakhs... As a cover for these personal grievances, he has brought in the issue of the Adivasis as a whole who are supposed to be facing op-pression at the hands of the authorities...

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