Skip to main content

Declaring there are no divisions, JAAG decides to agitate against pro-SIR lobby in Mandal-Becharaji region

By Our Representative
The Jameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (JAAG) and the Azad Vikas Sangathan, the two main organisations campaigning against the Mandal-Bhecharaji special investment region (SIR) in North Gujarat, have sharply criticised certain unnamed "individual in the business of land dealings" for "raising a pro-SIR voice." A joint statement issued by them said, they have "gone to Gandhinagar with their demand", adding, "We need to remain alert and continue our efforts to strengthen the local organisation, the Azad Vikas Sangathan, and the movement against the SIR."
The statement expressed the apprehension that "these vested interests may procure the land records of individual farmers directly and forge signatures on resolutions to government." Hence, it was decided to write to to the mamlatdar that without the farmer making a request in person, no one else should be given land title (7/12) records. "Despite this if records are given, then the administration will be responsible and the farmers will be forced to take legal action against the concerned officer", the statement said.
Drafted after a meeting of JAAG and Azad Vikas Sangathan at village Vanpedi, the statement recalled, the Gujarat chief minister "has promised the leaders of a positive response by August 15", but indicated, the movement against the SIR would continue. "Women would demonstrate in large numbers in village Hansalpur on July 24, 2013 against those in favour of the SIR", the statement said, adding, later, on August 15, a massive public programme would be held, and "whether that will be a celebration of victory or another challenge thrown to the government will depend on the response of the government."
With the decision to hold a mass rally on the Independence Day, the earlier decision to hold a consultatino at Gujarat Vidyapeeth on July 20 on whether to continue with anti-SIR stir or wait for Modi's statement and then decide what to do has been cancelled.  The statement stressed, "If the government cancels the SIR and brings the de-commanded areas of Narmada under the command areas then the farmers will have an occasion to rejoice on the Independence Day. If the government does not keep its word then the farmers will use this occasion to plan and announce their future programmes."

No division in JAAG: Lalji Desai
Meanwhile, in response to www.counterview.net news item, “Pressure from Gujarat powerdom forces JAAG to hold consultations on whether to continue anti-SIR stir,” (July 18, 2013), senior JAAG leader Lalji Desai has clarified that there is no division in the ranks of the JAAG and "there appears to be some misunderstanding and consequent misreporting."
The clarification said, "There was no pressure from the state government for the talks", adding, "When the agitation is against the government and we want to discuss our demands, there can be no question of pressure. The meeting is in fact was in answer to one of the most primary demands of the movement, viz. to talk with the government and take its views into consideration. It is in fact a victory for the people’s movement that its successful mobilisations have made the government see the farmers’ anger and forced them to respond to it."
Secondly, the report state that “... (T)wo senior leader of Jameen Adhikar Aandolan Gujarat (JAAG), which is behind the campaign against the Mandal-Bhechraji special investment region (SIR), Lalji Desai and Sagar Rabari, have finally admitted that the movement they were leading today stands divided in the face of the powerful offensive launched by the Gandhinagar rulers.”
However, the clarification insisted, "The fact is that we have done no such thing. The update that we sent out did not say so, and you or any other reporter has not spoken to us where we could have made such a statement. For the record, we admit to no such thing."
Thirdly,  the www.counterview.net report concludes that the movement stands divided, which is "not correct". The clarification contended, "In fact the movement is just as strong and perhaps more so. The fact that the state government chose to invite a few leaders does not mean that the movement has been divided or fragmented."
It added, "In fact, the same update has emphasised, and you have also noted, that despite a few individuals being invited the entire leadership of the local organisation went to meet the CM having resolved that the issue was a collective one. In case the chief minister refused to meet all of them, no one would meet the CM -- was their stand. This is hardly division or fragmentation."
Finally, the clarification agreed, "It is true, and our update mentions this, that a group of persons (no more than 20 or so) went to Gandhinagar to demand SIR." However, it added, "However, none of these people are part of JAAG. So the question of division in the JAAG and the protest movement does not arise at all."

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Cyrus Mistry, PM Modi’s brother: What do these accidents have in common? Merc!

By Rosamma Thomas*  In September 2022, in an accident at Palghar near Mumbai, Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of the Tata Group, died in a road accident . On December 28, 2022, a road accident in Mysore left one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brothers injured. What is common in these accidents? The car that crashed into the divider on the road, in both these cases, was manufactured by “prestigious” German manufacturer Mercedes Benz. One former dealer of Mercedes Benz cars in India has been raising issues of the threat to the lives of those riding these cars for many years now. Cama Motors, among the oldest dealers of foreign cars, having started business in pre-independence India, noted over 10 years ago that Mercedes Benz was indulging in corrupt practices . The cars are currently priced between Rs 41 lakh and Rs 2.92 crore in India; few people realize that the pride of owning a Merc comes at considerable risk to life. Cama Motors carefully documented several of the flaws on a websi

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen