Blogging a satyagraha – hunger strike – to save homeland in Sikkim

BB reader Jim Ratcliffe writes,

This link points to "Weeping Sikkim," a blog that chronicles an ongoing hunger strike by the youth of Sikkim, India to demand goverment transparency and accountability regarding hydroelectric projects in Dzongu, the homeland of the Lepcha people.

The good news is that hunger strikes by the Buddhist community in Sikkim have sucessfully stopped hydroprojects in the past. However, the projects planned for Dzongu are much much larger. The government of Sikkim is not evil, and has made remarkably progressive environmental moves in the past (e.g Sikkim was one of the first states in India to ban plastic bags).

Sikkim works hard to position itself as an ecotourism/buddhist pilgrimage destination for western tourists, so getting the word out about this hunger strike may help tip the balance.

The people behind the Sikkim protest blog are also uploading YouTube videos like this one (Video Link), which shows ACT (Affected citizens of Teesta) members Dawa Lepcha (age 35) and Tenzing Gyatso Lepcha (20), on the 34th of their hunger strike. Here's another video about the protest, and the hydroelectric project: video link.

The latest post on this blog includes a statement from the government of Sikkim demanding that the hunger strikers stop within 24 hours, or face punitive actions for a protest that now deemed illegal.

More here.

The hunger strike is being described as a form of satyagraha. Here's more on the origin and meaning of that word.