Skip to main content

Xi Jinping's Ahmedabad visit: Slum areas, including historic Dandi bridge, on way to Sabarmati Ashram covered up

By Our Representative
In an unusual development, the Gujarat government on September 17 morning quickly moved to cover up with long green curtains the entire slum area on the two sides of the road leading to the Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad. Keen passersby noted that even the Dandi bridge, from where Mahatma Gandhi began his famous march towards Dandi for his historic 390-kilometres-long Salt Satyagraha in March-April 1930, was covered up with the curtains, as the slums are situated just next to the Dandi bridge. Only recently, the Dandi bridge was “repaired” and provided a “new look”.
While officials are keeping their mouth shut about the development, the reason, say observers, is simple: Visiting Chinese President Xi Jiping, on his way to the Sabarmati Ashram at 5.00 pm, should not see the "dirty side" of Ahmedabad. “All this is happening at a time when a two kilometre stretch of Sabarmati river riverfront was given a new makeup ahead of Xi's visit, as he must have dinner with Narendra Modi in the garden of the riverfront. The coverup began on September 17 morning, probably as an afterthought”, Umakant Mankad, who shot the snaps of the coverup and sent them to Counterview, said.
This is not for the first time that a coverup of this type has happened. Those who attended the Vibrant Gujarat summits in January 2011 and January 2013 recall, a similar coverup took place on the road leading to the venue of the world business meet, Mahatma Mandir. There, the slum areas on the left hand side of the road were covered with long, white curtains. "Covering up poverty and destitution is a favourite pastime of the establishment", said an observer, adding, "This runs parallel to the effort to cover up bitter realities of life, including the 2002 riots."
Meanwhile, social media is abuzz with comments that such dignitaries should visit Ahmedabad more often, in fact “every week”, to quote a scribe of an Ahmedabad daily, so that at least some portions of the city, where they are supposed to travel, are kept neat and clean. Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Guruprasad Mahapatra posted photographs to showcase beautiful does Sabarmati riverfront, sold as the Gujarat model across India, has been lighted up.
When someone on the social media commented that Mahapatra needs to go not very far, just about 50 kilometres south of Sabarmati, to see how Sabarmati turns into a stinking channel, full of industrial effluents, the top IAS bureaucrat agreed that there was the “other side” of the story as well, but one shouldn’t sound “negative but optimistic.”
Meanwhile, senior human rights activist from Ahmedabad, Father Cedric Prakash, in a blog commentary said, Ahmedabad looked like a “police state” ahead of Xi’s visit. “Thousands of police everywhere! Some just sitting idle-huddled up in groups, not knowing what to do”, he said, adding, one of them told him they “really did not know” what they were supposed to do, while others “threw their weight around, questioning innocent passers-by and harassing residents who live in the societies around.”
“The poor are roped in to sweep the dirt (under the carpets) and to whitewash as much as possible and as fast as possible”, the blog said, adding, “The slumdwellers live without access to the basic amenities of life, they are being covered with huge banners. After all, no one should know or see the truth of Gujarat -- just as they do so in China”. Prakash added, “There is however a great commonality or exceptional synergy” between the two – the is Tiananmen massacre in Beijing in 1989 and the Gujarat riots of 2002. “We surely do understand the bonding!”

Comments

Anonymous said…
This is what Mr Modi s style hide the povet,ry to show prosperity there were never real development in Gujrat BUT FR FEW the same JHOOT he has sold all over the country

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

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".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.

Narmada Valley's fossil evidence: Ground for 'nationalists' to argue primates' India roots?

By Saurav Sarkar*  In December 1982, a geologist digging in India’s Central Narmada Valley found something he did not expect. Arun Sonakia, who at the time worked for the Geological Survey of India, unearthed a hominid fossil skullcap from the Pleistocene era. The discovery sent shockwaves through the field of paleoanthropology and put South Asia on the map of human prehistory. Some experts concluded that the skull likely belonged to a member of a predecessor species of ours, Homo heidelbergensis , or perhaps was a hybrid of homo species, while Sonakia himself suggested “ an affinity… to Homo erectus .”