Skip to main content

Anti-Narmada dam footmarch ends, satyagrahis begin indefinite protest against impending submergence

By Our Representative
Medha Patkar-led six-day padyatra along Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh has ended after activists led by her moved from village to village, through lush green fields and thickly populated bastis meeting thousads of Sardar Sarovar Dam-affected oustees, apprising them of the dangers of submergence because of taking the dam from 121.92 metres to full reservoir level of 139 metres.Called Jeevan Aadhikar Yatra, on reaching Badwani's Raj Ghat they began indefinite satyagraha with the participation of farmers, landless workers, fisher people, others both in the submergence affected villages and resettlement sites of Badwani and Dhar districts.
Over the six days, the yatra passed through 25 villages of Dharampuri, Manavar and Badwani Tehsils. A Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) statement said that "the reality that emerged from virtually everywhere was of incomplete rehabilitation, denial of cultivable land to farmer and livelihood sources to the landless workers, and fishing rights to the fisher people."
There was large-scale "corruption in cash disbursements, deplorable civic amenities at the resettlement sites, unlawful submergence without provision of resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R), and most shockingly, fraudulent change in the backwater levels,stripping 16,000 families of the R&R benefits", the statement said.
Among activists and experts who joined the yatra on different days and expressed solidarity with the struggle were Kailash Meena, Anti-Mining Activist, Rajasthan; Yashwant Bapu, Anti-Corruption Activist, Maharashtra; Satish Bhingare, Former Secretary, Water Resources, Maharashtra; Suniti S.R., NAPM and Editor, Andolan Magazine, Pune; Ramesh Kode, activist, Mumbai; students from Pune, Jharkhand, Ahmednagar and activists of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan.
Participating in the yatra, and remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki from August 6 to 9 and calling upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Chauhan duo to “Quit Narmada” on the Quit India Day and Adivasi Rights Day, "the valley exposed through numerous examples, the fraud in the entire rehabilitation process and illegality in the decision to raise the height of Narmada dam, catering to corporate interests", NBA said.
There were packed meetings "in halls, under trees and in the streets of all the villages with the participation . hundreds of women and men, from various villages", NBA said, adding, the places visited included Dharampuri Town villages Khalghat, Pipaldagadi, Sala, Nimbola, Khujawa, Khatadgaon, Hatnavar, Sulgaon of Dharampuri Tehsil; Gogawa, Malangaon, Bada Barda, Sharikpura, Perkhad, Kothada, Sarasgaon, Jalkheda of Manavar Tehsil and villages Chhota Barda, Piplud, Pipri, Avli-Segaon, Kundia, Kasaravad and Pichhodi.
On August 12, thousands of oustees from different villages assembled at Shaheed Chowk and marched towards Rajghat, pasting the main streets of Badwani, appealing to the town that their doom would not be far away, if all the surrounding villages were damned by Sardar Sarovar.
Thousands of people began an indefinite at the satyagraha at Rajghat, until the Government relents and resolves the issue. The protesters were joined by more than 200 supporters from Mumbai who, after having fought at Mandala for their right to housing recently, were now "with their brethren in the Narmada valley," NBA said.
Earlier, Patkar wrote an open Letter to the Prime Minister, calling him to "convey his Mann ki baat on the realities of Sardar Sarovar". The letter was read out in village Semalda. Drawing a poetic parallel between Uttarakhand and Kedarnath disasters, the letter warned of the impending catastrophe due to the cascade of dams on the Narmada.

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

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.