A strange new war has broken out in the remote Himalayan statelet of Nagapur, pitting ancient Serpent Deities against the global bureaucrats of the World Bank.
Not to be confused with Nagaland, Nagapur is a small ‘princely state’ in the Himalayan foothills between Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. Its highest peaks get winter snow, its lowest plains join the heatchoked tiger-and-orchid jungles of the Terai, but all within a hundred-odd square miles.
Nagapur was mentioned in the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata as one of the ‘cities’ of the Nagas or semi-divine were-snakes. Nagapur is still noted for its tantrik snake temples, some of them decorated in medieval Nepalese style with ‘obscene’ carved wood sculpture. The former ruling family claimed descent from an ancestral cobra, the Sheesh Nang. […]
In the past few years however one clan of the family has achieved some degree of notoriety thanks to its connections with an emerging ‘Fourth World’ resistance movement in Nagapur. Poor peasants and ‘tribals’ who depend in part on the forest for economic sustenance have struggled against various ‘Green Revolution’ agricultural policies, dams, and development projects, some launched by the Indian Government and others by Global institutions such as the IMF and World Bank. […]
In 1997 a great-grandson of the Begum was born and named Nagarjuna, and proclaimed Crown Prince. The infant’s horoscope was said to be unusually auspicious, and rumors began to spread amongst the adherents of the Naga Goddess. As Hindu-Moslem syncretists they came to believe that the young prince was both the Kalki Avatar (the savior incarnation of Vishnu) and the Mahdi or Hidden Imam revered by Nagapur’s Shiites and sufi mystics.
Very interesting. Worth reading the whole thing.