Skip to main content

South Gujarat tribal social worker stuns Left-supported land rights meet, seeks revival of Gandhi's swarajya concept

Ashok Chowdhury
By Our Representative
The three-day national convention on land rights ended in Ahmedabad with nearly 500 activists, gathered from 15 states, “pledging” to expose illusions around Gujarat “model of development” amidst a top Gandhian tribal social worker from South Gujarat objecting the use of term “Modi's Gujarat” at the meet.
Gandhian social worker Ashok Chaudhari, who leads Adivasi Ekta Parishad, told stunned activists that it is “Gandhi's Gujarat” and not “Modi's Gujarat”, even as insisting on the need to revive Gandhi's concept of swarjya, which requires self-governance as the
mainstay of any developmental activity in the rural areas.
When he spoke, CPI-M politburo member Hanan Mollah, along with other some other senior activists such as Ashok Chaudhury of the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), Ashok Shrimali of the Mines, Minerals and People (MMP), and Sunilam of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM).
Refusing to endorse Chaudhuri, NAPM's Sumilam, one of the organizers of the meet, told the convention that the issues raised by Chaudhari on reviving Gandhian ways to fight the challenges of development would be discussed at “some other time.” Top social activist Medha Patkar, who leads NAPM, was not present when Chaudhari made the comment.
A Gujarat-based farmers' leader, Lalji Desai, who came to the meet in his “individual capacity” as he is a Gujarat Congress general secretary, wanted the meet to drop the word “Gujarat” model. “It is Modani model”, he said, pointing towards the alleged unholy alliance of Modi with top industrialist Gautam Adani.
The resolution said, “Many people harbour the illusion that Gujaratis today live in the good old state of Gujarat”, but insisted, instead, that it would be “more fitting” to name of the current Gujarat as a state where a series of special economic zones (SEZs), special investment regions (SIRs) and Delhi-Mumbai Corridor (DMIC) are coming up.
It should be called “SEZ-SIR-DMIC Pradesh”, the resolution, prepared by Anand Mazgaonkar, a well-known environmentalist with the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, said. Pointing towards huge corporatization of Gujarat, the resolution added, “The districts can no longer be called Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Surendranagar etc.”
“They would more accurately be identified as Adaninagar, Ambaninagar, Nirmanagar”, the resolution said, referring to top industrial houses of Adani, Ambani and Nirma.
“Debunking” the myth of Gujarat model of development was also debunked, the resolution said, “That the jamborees called Vibrant Gujarat summits and the thousands of MoUs and investments worth tens of lakhs of crores promised were never going to be realised is an open secret.”
It noted, “Given the absurd number of documents signed, one MoU would have to be signed every 4 seconds and no more than 6 to 10% of the investments promised would materialise”, adding, “The list of lies broadcast by a captive media – whether it is the discovery of trillions of cubic feet of gas discovery by Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), or 7.5% GDP growth, or 14.5% agricultural growth in Gujarat – is endless.”
“The reality is that Gujarat’s public debt stands at a whopping Rs.1,65,000 crore (2016), its performance on social indicators such as gender ratio, female education, infant malnourishment, allocation to health and education sectors, income disparity, collapsing public services etc., can only be termed abysmal”, it said.
The resolution said, it is against this backdrop that people are fighting against the model – “fisherpeople, farmers, cattle herders of Kutch, farmers affected by highway in Junagadh, nuclear power plant in Bhavnagar district, Adivasis in eastern tribal belt from Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Aravali to Dangs, Valsad and Tapi districts, slum dwellers of Ahmedabad, representatives of the expressway affected of South Gujarat.”

Comments

Unknown said…
Mischievous reporting again on the succesful completion of All India Land Right Conference. Authorship of the report is also doubtful.
Anonymous said…
What was a CPM politburo member doing on the rostrum?
Sunil said…
Strange resolution on Gujarat. Growth rate of Gujarat's GDP was declared at 7.7 per cent for 2015-16 by Socio Economic Review of February 2016. It is lower than many states, and lowest in three decades. Those who prepared the resolution should get facts checked. It gives no credence to organizers of a conference for providing a wrong figure

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

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.

Russia, China to call the shots in Middle East, as Muslim nations turn into house of cards

By Haider Abbas* Only a naive would buy that the ‘situation of ceasefire’ between the State of Israel and Hamas would continue, as if the foiled attempt to demolish Al Aqsa this time, is not be repeated, if not in any near future then in sometime to come. Israel already has spurned the ‘ceasefire’ by storming Al Aqsa after the Friday prayers on May 21.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Modi-led regime 'contributed' 60% to rise of global poverty, yet Hindutva is intact

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* In recent years, the Hindutva politics has caused long term damage to India and Indians. The so called 56-inch macho PM, the propaganda master manufactures and survives all political crisis including the current mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic in India. In spite of deaths and destitutions, the social, cultural, economic and religious base of Hindutva is intact.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.