Skip to main content

Rajghat on Narmada bank may submerge as Modi prepares for Sept 17 birthday bash at Sardar Sarovar dam

By Our Representative
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares for his gala function at the Sardar Sarovar dam in Gujarat on his birthday, September 17, reports from across the border in Madhya Pradesh suggest that the officialdom is all set to "destroy" Rajghat, situated on the banks of Narmada off Badwani town.
The site, where the remains of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadevbhai Desai have been kept, shot into prominence following the Madhya Pradesh administration seeking to uproot the Gandhi Samadhi at Rajghat with the help of bulldozers on July 27. However, it was forced to re-establish the Gandhi Samadhi because of stiff opposition from the powerful anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA).
According to sources, the state administration has issued instructions to destroy the bridge which connects Rajghat, even as asking hundreds of people living in the Rajghat village to move to rehabilitation sites, which, NBA says, remain without any basic infrastructure to live. People have been warned that the village would be submerged as waters in the dam's reservoir reach up to the brim -- 138.68 metres.
If the bridge is destroyed, says an NBA source, farmers, workers and fisherfolk, who reach Badwani to earn a livelihood, would have to travel a "very long distance". In 2013, the waters at Rajghat had gone up by 15 feet as the Narmada dam got filled up during monsoon, and several of the houses, temples and trees got partially or fully submerged. "With the dam's gates closed, things might worsen this year", the source claimed.
A spot where a large number of local people offer their prayers to river Narmada, considered Mother Goddess, with coconuts and flowers in hand, Rajghat is not the only historical spot that would be adversely affected because of rising waters in the upstream of the dam.
Locals claim, another major spot that would be adversely affected as waters rise is the Maheshwar fort, the 16th century architectural site famous for its spectacular view from Narmada River, constructed by Queen Ahalya Bai Holkar as her residential palace. The spot is well known for its temples, revered by people from across Central India.
Meanwhile, as part of its new strategy, the NBA, after the recent release of its leader Medha Patkar from jail on bail, has started a new campaign, Narmada Nyay Yatra, to go to villages and meet people on the bank to explain how the state and Central governments are allegedly brutally battling against them.
An NBA release said, "The false criminal cases filed as well as the force and intimidation used to try and suppress, oppress and vacate the villages has already faced the challenge of people’s power. Now we are challenging of Modi’s plan to dedicate the dam to the people on his own birthday through a celebration on September, 17."
"During public meetings, landless in villages like Pichhodi and Bhavti have narrated the story of those who signed the official affidavits to receive the package of Rs 5.80 lakh for house construction and left their own old house, but didn’t receive the amount or the package."
"The government has now started allotting housing plots, which are only one third of the area offered by the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award as a legal right. At some spots, the oustees are being asked to return a portion of the plots they had been allotted years ago", the release said.
The NBA further said, "Fisherpeople, boatsmen and potters have not yet received the rights which were recently promised when their agitation reached its peak. Slogan mongering and political expediency are cheating the landless. The Yatra and the large gatherings are an opportunity to let people know of these rhetorics."

Comments

The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS killed Gandhi. MOdi a RSS member participated in the destruction of the Babri Mosque. It is expected that he will ensure the removal of Gandhi from our history.

TRENDING

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

TN woman's No Caste, No Religion struggle 'follows' ideals of Marx, Ambedkar, Periyar

By Sheshu Babu*
In these days of rising communal tensions, a courageous woman from Tamil Nadu achieved her dream of obtaining 'No Caste, No Religion' certificate through persistent struggle. This is quite a significant achievement. It comes alongside some colleges in West Bengal introducing 'humanity', 'agnostic' , 'secular' or 'non-religious' in the application forms for online submission for students who are unwilling to disclose their faith.

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

Modi used to 'run errands' during Emergency, his role was that much: Top JP associate

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp exposure, well-known Gujarati critic, journalist and activist Prakash N Shah, who had been among the main contact persons of Jay Prakash Narayan (JP) in Gujarat, has recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “merely running errands” during the Emergency (1975-77) period, adding the PM’s stature has been “sought to be unnecessarily inflated”, though adding, he is not saying this to “belittle him.”

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Govt of India 'moves' to hold Assam-type foreigners' tribunals across India, warns report

Counterview Desk
A People’s Tribunal on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has warned in its interim jury report that two recent notifications of the Government of India may lay down the groundwork for triggering an NRC process in different parts of the country, pointing towards recent moves towards this.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk
“Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

New sample suggests high pollution off Vadodara effluent channel, 'requires' action

Counterview Desk 
Gujarat’s top environmental group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) has sharply criticized the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s (GPCB’s) “on-serious, casual letter” dated September 5, which allegedly suggests that the top state state agency does not favour taking any action Central Gujarat’s effluent treatment plant, Vadodara Enviro Channel Ltd (VECL).