Indian villagers look to Raj in face of power cuts

Union Jack-waving residents complain British treated them better than Indian authorities

Indian villagers look to Raj in face of power cuts

World Bulletin / News Desk

Fed up with electricity blackouts in temperatures reaching 47C (116F), villagers in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have been looking back nostalgically to the days of the British Raj.

After two months of protests in Chhatarpur district, locals made some makeshift Union Jack flags to draw attention to their plight.

“We have been protesting almost every day for the last two months against 18-hour power cuts every day,” Chatur Singh, one of around 2,000 villagers affected by the power cuts, said on Friday.

“We lodged our complaint with the administration and electricity department but no-one was interested in listening to our problems. British rule was much better as they were ready to listen to our problems.”

However, the villagers’ wistful reminiscence of the Raj, the 1858 to 1947 period of direct British rule in India, was interrupted by police sent to clear the highway and disperse those gathered with their homemade flags outside the district head office.

Officers arrested 22 protesters for disrupting the peace and inciting against the state.

“These people blocked the national highway and protested along with the British flag and refused to obey orders,” Supt. Neeraj Pandey told Anadolu Agency. “They again raised the flag at the district administration.”

Defending the protesters’ actions, villager Ambika Prasad said: “We were left with no option. Our own government was treating us like an outsider.”

Local authorities have ordered the electricity department to resolve the villagers’ problem immediately.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2017, 16:14