Video | Portraits of Dayamani Barla known as the “Iron Lady of Jharkhand”

Ballad of Resistance is a video portrait of indigenous tribal journalist and activist Dayamani Barla, her perseverance and tireless fight against corporations and the state machinery.

The film follows how she, from a humble background became one of the pioneering adivasi journalists of India and later a writer-activist.

Her current leadership in the Anti Displacement Movement with Nagari villagers against land acquisition of 35 villages by State in the name of “development” is the very impetus of Ballad of Resistance.

From a child of bonded labourer parents to a social activist contributing change by giving voice to the myriad problems facing the Munda people and other tribal communities in the Jharkhand region, the life and work of Dayamani Barla’s life inspires the film.

Written and Directed by Leena Manimekalai

Produced with the help of IAWRT Documentary Grant.

Five minute carve of the film is available as Still I Rise >>

Festivals : Nepal Human Rights Film Festival, 2013, Signs Film Festival, 2013, Vibgyor Film Festival, 2013, United Nations Premiere Duration – 42 minutes HD -DV Contact :

Source: “Ballad of Resistance” by Leena Manimekalai (posted 1 April 2014)
Date Visited: 15 November 2021

Learn more: Bondage | Bonded labour | Human trafficking | SlaveryZamindari >>
Human trafficking is a crime. To report in India, call Shakti Vahini
+91-11-42244224, +91-9582909025 or the national helpline Childline on 1098.

There is a need to explore the tribal consciousness in the backdrop of climate change, development, and deforestation.

Deepanwita Gita Niyogi in “India’s Adivasi Identity in Crisis” Pulitzer Center May 27, 2021 >>
More about climate change | Illegal mining >>

By the same film maker: “Still I Rise” Documentary (directed and produced by Leena Manimekalai, IAWRT Documentary Fellowship 2012)

“Still I Rise” is a video portrait of indigenous tribal journalist and activist Dayamani Barla.

“I was amidst the world of non Adivasi journalists because I was completely a newcomer in this field. The history of Adivasis was unwritten existing primarily in oral traditions where generally Adivasis are regarded as uncivilized, naive foolish and so on. It is a stereotype for people to say that Adivasis are stupid. Now we try to prove that we are not stupid.” – Dayamani Barla (English subtitles in “Still I Rise”)

Her [Dayamani Barla’s] current leadership in the Anti Displacement Movement with Nagari villagers against land acquisition of 35 villages by State in the name of “development” is the very impetus of “Still I Rise”.

This is a five minute carve of a longer version titled “Ballad of Resistance” which is inspired by Dayamani’s Barla’s life from a child of bonded laborer parents to a social activist, contributing change by being a voice to the myriad problems facing the Munda people and other tribal communities in the Jharkhand State.

Source: Still I Rise – YouTube
Address :
Date Visited: Sat Feb 23 2013 11:10:19 GMT+0100 (CET)

Tribal journalist and social activist Dayamani Barla has become known as the “Iron Lady of Jharkhand”. She was the opening speaker at the National Dalit and Adivasi Women’s Congress 2013.

Source: Ivy Imogene Hansdak, Convener, Santal Literary Meet 2013, message 22 February 2013

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