DISAPPEARING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Friday, February 7, 2014

Bastar in black and white (1979)



The photographs below taken by me in Bastar in 1979. The district had remained a place of curiosity for long because of its tribes' observance of their peculiar lifestyle. Unexposed to the outer world they remained confined to their domain once ruled by a maharaja observing their native mores. The late antrhopologist, Verrier Elvin, spent some time there and later the former chief scretary of Madhya Pradesh did a lot to bring the people of the district into the mainstream. While working as collector of the district in the late '50s and early '60s by travelling right through the district including its unexplored and, I dare say, the feared parts.

In 1979 the district was still taking baby-steps towards modernisation. Unlike in the past, women had started draping themselves in saris and men , of course, remained their tough, muscular ans sinewy self. The photographs are in black & white as I had only such a roll.

Chitrakoot falls

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