INDIA: Kings of the Jungle

Outside the eastern India hill resort of Ranchi last week 5,000 people, many in loincloths, some decked out in peacock feathers and silver ankle bangles, listened to a dapper, cigar-smoking orator clad in a natty green bush jacket and gabardine trousers. "Adibasis I" he addressed them. "The most ancient aristocracy of India, the original settlers of this country, the most democratic element in the land are everywhere shouting Jai Jarkhand [Victory to Jungle land]." As the crowd heard their fellow tribesman, Oxford-educated Jaipal Singh, 46, mention Jarkhand, the province they wanted carved out for themselves in east central India,...

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