Skip to main content

Anti-ADB protests begin across India: Planks include loss of livelihood of indigenous people, eco-destruction

By Our Representative
People’s movements and civil society organizations have begun a series of protests against the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB’s) across India to protest against what the organizers call “gross human rights violations, loss of livelihood, and environmental destruction caused by the its development model.”
To end a week later, on May 7, kick-starting the campaign, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), the apex body of several mass organizations of the country, has collected statements by several senior activists, and distributed their video.
Planning over 100 actions of protest in 21 states, the programmes are geographically spread out from Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, Mundra in Gujarat and Dibrugarh in Assam. The Peoples’ Forum against International Finance Institutes (IFIs) is coordinating the programmes.
Shaktiman Ghosh, general secretary of the National Hawker Federation, a trade union conducting some of these programmes said in his video message, “The model of development pushed ahead by ADB resulted in the loss of livelihood and forced eviction, pushing people to poverty, contradicting ADB’s stated motto of fighting poverty.”
“In urban areas”, Ghosh said in a, released by NAPM, “The hawkers are most badly hit. With increasing privatization of services, even the middle class has not been spared.”
Manshi Asher of Himdhara - Environment Research and Action Collective said in her video message, “ADB needs to seriously review its push for hydro-projects in India, particularly in the Himalayas, in the name of clean energy program in the light of the adverse environmental and social fallouts of its projects and the complete failure of its safeguard policies in this context.”
Commenting on the Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd (Tata Mundra) a $4bn, 4000 MW coal based thermal power plant in Kutch, Gujarat, co-financed by ADB, Dr Bharat Patel of the Machimar Adhikaar Sangharsh Sangathan said in his In a video message, the ADB is “causing damage to people and environment.”
Dr Patel said, this is “confirmed by its own accountability mechanism, Complaiance Review Panel. The project has violated ADB’s policies on consultation with communities, the sanctioning of the project was based on erroneous social impact assessment and due to the project the fish catch has reduced drastically, threatening the livelihood of thousands of fishworkers.”
In a separate statement, Ratika Yumnam of Indigenous Perspectives, Manipur said, “ADB’s investments are resulting in undermining local governance bodies and other traditional institutions”, adding ADB’s development model is “arrogant”, as it is leading to “destruction of cultures and communities by way of bulldozing rights and beliefs of the indigenous peoples of North-East.”
Leo Saldhana of Environmental Support Group, Bangalore, said, “ADB has always played the role of influencing a form of development that ensures revenue from loan recipient countries flows out to the coffers of countries that control the bank's stocks.”
He added, “ADB pushed for Metro projects in India, and after these super-expensive mega projects were well on their way but without serving the real need – of addressing public transport, the bank backed out.”
“The way had already been paved of Japan Bank and JICA to step in to finance the Metro project, as is the case in Bangalore”, Saldanha said, adding, “Interestingly, the project has 300% cost over-runs and is yet not functional. Meanwhile, the entire city has been reduced to a mess of what it was before: India's 'garden city', but not anymore!”

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
Of late I have been quite pessimistic about the country uniting as one people but this article fills me with a faint hope. The ride towards this unity may not be smooth--in India, that is too much to expect--but at least it has brought the people together and hopefully this will pave the way to an understanding of each others' life styles and thinking. 👍

TRENDING

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Drèze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.