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

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

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.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.