Skip to main content

Vibrant Gujarat "jamboree": Farmers detained as corporate honchos were offered red carpet: NAPM

By Our Representative
At a time when farmers across Gujarat were being detained for demanding a fair price for their produce, red carpet was being spread for national and international corporate honchos, the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) has said in a stongly worded statement condemning the arrest of farmers in Gujarat. Qualifying the Vibrant Gujarat business summit, which opened on Sunday in Gandhinagar, as “jamboree”, NAPM said, wondered if it "is a crime to raise the issue of farmers' suicides and low cotton prices".
The non-party platform Sanyukta Khedut Sangharsh Samiti was only planning to hand over a memorandum to the Gujarat Government, NAPM, which is the apex body of tens of people's organisations across India, added.
“Farmers have been preparing and heading for their action spot in Ahmedabad in thousands since morning”, NAPM said, adding, "In a wanton display of its paranoia as well as dictatorial tendencies the Government first tried to scare away bus and other transporters and attempted to force them to cancel farmers' bookings. But farmers demonstrated their resolve by finding other means to reach the appointed spot. Meanwhile, thousands of farmers are being detained in tens of places across Gujarat".
First, Shivlal Vekaria (ex-MP) and Chandulal Shingala were detained in Rajkot and then followed the detention of hundreds of farmers in various districts. In the dead of the night - around 12.30 am - Sagar Rabari and Lakhan Musafir were arrested on January 10. Other prominent farmers being detained include Mansukhbhai (Rajkot), Pradyumansinh and Ramdevsinh Chudasma (Dholera), Mahendrasinh Karmariya, Nipul Patel, Yakub Gurji (Bharuch), and Lalji Desai (Becharaji-Mandal).
This apart, Mansa MLA Amitbhai, Dehgam MLA Kaminiben and Jashubhai Rana of Gandhinagar were arrested. Persis Ginwala (Jamin Adhikar Angolan Gujarat or JAAG), Krishnakant and Swati Desai (NAPM) were also detained in the morning.
The farmers' main demands were:
(1) Support price for cotton at 1200 per 20 kg, and Rs. 1000 per 20 kg for groundnut,
(2) No de-commanding of Narmada waters and diversion for industries,
(3) Repeal of draconian anti-farmer laws such as Special Investment Region (SIR) Act, and Irrigation Act, and
(4) Immediate withdrawal of the Ordinance making the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Act meaningless.
"It has become the standard practice for the Government of Gujarat to clamp down on demands of the poor and toiling people of Gujarat rather than addressing", NAPM said, adding, "This Government believes in ruling via Ordinances on the one hand, and organising meaning public relations jamboorees - all at tax payers' expense."
Condemning the "wanton attack on the rights of the people and suppression of our democratic rights to assemble and protest", it said, "We will continue to protest this loot being promoted by the government in name of investors summit and development of Gujarat and nation."

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018). "In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).