Skip to main content

Demolition of Gandhi Samadhi in Badwani, use force on fasting NBA activists: Protests held in Delhi, Karnataka

Gandhi Samadhi being removed in Badwani
By Our Representative
Even as Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar, accompanied by Sardar Sarovar dam affected communities, started indefinite mass fast against the alleged Madhya Pradesh government attempt at "drowning and forcefully evicting people from Narmada Valley without complete and Just rehabilitation", her supporters gathered at Jantar Mantar in Delhi in solidarity protest.
Before Patkar and her supporters could sit for fast in Badwani, off Gujarat border next to Narmada river, in an early morning operation on July 27, the Madhya Pradesh police dismantled the Mahatma Gandhi Samadhi at Rajghat with the help of JBC. As the police was seeking to take away the Mahatma's remains, NBA activists stopped them, protesting against the "disrespect" to Gandhiji.
The samadhi had ashes of Gandhiji, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadevbhai Desai, Gandhiji's life long secretary. Facing protest, the police tried to forcibly remove the protesters from the spot and asked those sitting on fast, led by Patkar, to vacate the spot.
Failing to do it, the cops retreated, but not before dismantling a few shops in the neighbourhood. In a communique, NBA alleged, "It is clear that police acted as per the government instructions. It is part of its strategy to use violent means to evict communities and try hard to deter the strength of people holding indefinite fast peacefully along with Medha Patkar."
Meanwhile, NBA supporters in Delhi began protest against the use of "brute force" by the Madhya Pradesh police. The Delhi Solidarity Group and the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) held gathered in Delhi at Jantar Mantar in solidarity with Narmada oustees, NBA and Patkar against the "forceful eviction and drowning of not only a valley but a civilization, a culture and whole communities living in Narmada Valley."
Sanjeev Kumar from the Delhi Solidarity Group briefed those who had gathered for the protest at Jantar Mantar about the "injustices happened in last 32 years of struggle led by the people and communities of Narmada valley along with NBA.
Medha Patkar (right), supporters oppose
removal of Gandhi Samadhi
CPI-M leader Hannan Mollah, as representative of the land rights movement Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, said that the government was producing "false information in courts, and attacking people with force when they asked for rehabilitation". He added, "On the behest of corporate forces and for the sake of interests of few industrialists, the government has stopped listening to people for genuine demands of the people and the NBA, which fought for the rights of people for the last 32 years."
Bhupendra Singh Rawat from Jan Sangharsh Vahini criticized the government’s plan of holding Narmada Mahotsav, the celebration of formal closure of sluice gates of the Sardar Sarovar dam, scheduled on August 12." He added, the celebration was being planned, even as 40,000 families residing in Narmada Valley "faced eviction without complete and just rehabilitation."
Soumya Datta, renowned environmentalist, refuted two basic claims of the government to close the gates of Sardar Sarovar dam: One, electricity supply to Madhya Pradesh, and two, water for Gujarat.
Datta said, "Gujarat has failed to utilize the water stored at the dam height of 121.92 metres with gates open as the canal work is not complete. Also, major portion of water is only going to Coca Cola and industries rather than the claimed farmers in Gujarat."
He added, "The other claim of the need of electricity has no basis, as Madhya Pradesh is already a power surplus and is facing corruption charges in purchasing electricity at higher rates from private companies by keeping public sector electricity power plants closed."
Rajesh Singh from the Delhi Solidarity Group, Inamul Hassan from the Khudai Khidmatgar, Rishit Neogi from NAPM, and farmers from Tamil Nadu protesting at Jantar Mantar also expressed their solidarity and raised slogans against government attempt of "silencing" the voices of minority, farmers, workers, women, adivasis and fishworkers of the Narmada Valley and NBA activists.
In yet another show of solidarity with fasting NBA activists and people of the Narmada Valley, supporters from Karnataka held a day-long fast at Talukdar Headquarters in Challekere, Karnataka. Activists assembled and fasted for the whole day and raised slogans in support to the demands of Narmada dam oustees and NBA.

Comments

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Ships recycling Bill 'allows' India to be turned into a landfill for foreign hazardous waste

Counterview Desk
In a letter to M Venkaiah Naidu, chairman, Rajya Sabha, senior activist Gopal Krishna of the Toxics Watch Alliance has said that the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 should be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change to "safeguard country’s maritime environment from harmful and hazardous wastes and materials".

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.