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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
Outlook.com

A Thieves' Spring

A Thieves' Spring
A Thieves' Spring
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
It's unlikely that the slogan, 'Spring outside Delhi', would start a torrent of tourists, like it might if one said, 'Spring in the Valley of Flowers'. But just beyond Delhi, barely within Haryana, a 10-minute drive beyond the dlf Golf Course is the nondescript village of 'Ghata' (which translates to 'total loss'!). First described to us as a village of thieves, it is aptly named, populated as it is by the Haryanvi branch of the Gujjars. Once berated for his poor agricultural skills, our Gujjar general factotum Khazan Singh declared, "Ham kisan thodi hai, ham chor hai (We are hardly peasants, we are thieves)." So beyond the village of Ghata, the road runs out at a steep stony descent. Thereafter, tractor and truck tyre ruts mark out a track to the next village. At Ghata, the power of the collector and the state runs out. Beyond are buffaloes and wild Indians. A kilometre down this track is a modest two-acre 'farm'—at least one postage stamp area we can vouch for where the ecological decline...
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