We had entered the villages with a conviction that struggle alone would lead to learning, and thus had the determination to face issues squarely. For practical purposes, however we had classified struggles into simple and complex; the former being for issues like drinking water wills and electrification since they do not involve any deprivation, and the latter for issues like land and wages where the people’s being benefited would automatically result in some other Group being deprived of what they were hitherto unjustly enjoying. We had said that we should slowly gravitates from simple to complex struggles, taking the latter only when we were sure our base with the Harijans and other labourers was sound.
Issues, however, did not come up in this convenient order. While in one village it worked like clockwork, our Community Worker in another village was put to the test when a group of Harijans approached her and asked whether she would be prepared to assists them in getting back some lands that they had lost to the Landlords.
Very soon we realised that it is only through struggle that a base can be built. We were put to the test, and depending upon the way we face the risks, the people either accept or reject us. We learnt that it was not possible to grade struggles and pre-plan cautious approaches, however sensible this may sound before we actually get involved.