Anitha spits blood and wipes her lips as she talks to me. A few sentences later, a large blister on her lips begins to glisten with blood again, and she has to spit it out one more time. Hundreds of villagers at Idinthakarai have similar clusters of blisters on their lips. They say that they developed the sores as a reaction to the tear gas that was used during the clash that took place between police and protesters who were protesting the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. This event occurred on tenth September. Nearly a week later, the sores continue to remain fresh and open, and a scab does not seem to be forming for any of those who were involved in the clash.
(Please see an update made at the end of this post.)
I am watching the fog of tear gas shells descend on Ramlila Maidan on the live television feed on my computer. What was supposed to be a ‘yoga camp’ led by Baba Ramdev, and the fully-funded-free circus of his so-called ‘indefinite hunger strike’ against ‘Black Money’ has now turned into a tear-gas purgatory. It is midsummer, but inside that big tent it looks like a particularly foggy-smoggy night in a Delhi midwinter. It must hurt like hell, in the nostrils, in the lungs. With every breath that Ramdev’s disciples take (and how well they know the art and science of heavy breathing) their eyes must sting. Pranayam was never so painful. I hold my insomniac breath as I sit watching, riveted. Continue reading Pranayam was Never so Painful→