IN a once sleepy hamlet in Garhwal's Chamoli district exactly a year after Uttarakhand activists were raped and killed by Uttar Pradesh police personnel on October 2, 1994, Kailash Devi resolutely ignores repeated messages from Gopeshwar, the district headquarters, asking her to participate in an event marking the anniversary of that black day.
For her it is a time to look back in anger at the brutal assault and rape by the guardians of the law. "I feel humiliated and, of course, I am bitter," she says. "But my anger is directed as so-called colleagues in the Uttarakhand movement as the perpetrators of the crime."
And so while Kailash Devi fervently hopes that her 'sacrifice', and that of the others who were raped and killed sugarcane fields of Rampur-ka-Tiraha near Muzaffarnagar has not been in vain, she has made a conscious decision to keep away from the agitation. "it is not the assault that has instilled fear in me, it is the attitude of those around me that has left me disillusioned," she admits.
Meanwhile, in Gopeshwar, Usha Bhatt, a primary school principal...