Difficult to believe that there could be persons born in this very country and leading a typical life for a known period of more than 150 years without being recognized as the bonafide citizen of India. Known in the neighbouring areas as Jungle Villagers near Katraniaghat in Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh but this is a reality.The area in olden days belonged to Nanpara State later taken over by the Forest Department. These inhabitants are a harassed lot –police chases them as inti social elements, forest department staff considers them thieves blackmailing them on some count or the other and administration is only prompt enough to give a blunt ‘no’ to their demand for freedom and citizenship. Nearly 5000 in number, their life pattern is more or less like people in the stone age. When chased by police or the forest department employees, they at times have to hide themselves in the bushes and on the tree tops. They and their children have to survive on tree leaves, begging and preying with no regular source of sustentation.
They do cry for freedom at par with others in the country with similar citizenship rights themselves and through the small group they have formed for the purpose but theirs remains just a cry in wilderness and there is none to bother about so tortuous a phase of life they are leading. Denial of citizenship can in no way be a matter of reasons. Most surprising is the feature that even those political guys, who can run several miles at a strentch in search of smallest possible number of votes, are also not caring for them. They possibly will find it worth rubbing their heals only when these virtually downtrodden people are given recognition as bonafide citizens of the country acquiring right to vote.