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Sadhguru's Rally of Rivers is "meant to help" corporate interests; why is it silent on sea intrusion in Narmada?: NBA

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded statement, well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), has accused the Rally of Rivers campaign, led by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Maharaj, going on across India allegedly with the support of the establishment, of playing in the hands of India's corporate interests.
"Jaggi Maharaj has gathered millions of rupees from many corporate and many media houses, and also mobilized many environmental lovers, common citizens and young people together", NBA notes, adding, "Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi also appear to be associated with it."
"Corporates like Adani and Ambani are behind Jaggi Vasudev", it says, adding, the corporates are backing it because his campaign supports government plans like Namami Devi Narmade, or river-interlinking, waterways etc., where there is a "huge investment opportunity for them", and the "Rally for Rivers campaign creates opportunity for them."
Asks NBA, "Why is Sadhguru silent on forest conservation, and talks of industrial farming, talks about crop insurance despite its failure, or about water decentralisation but not about dams? Why such silence on matters of importance, is it because he is hand in gloves with the powers that be?"
Believes NBA, "In Jaggi Vasudev’s concept of saving the rivers, there is no special thing except tree plantation. They talk about river catchment area, water bodies, sub-rivers, ecosystems, maps and descriptions, but not of the causes that bring destruction to rivers."
Pointing towards massive sand mining continuing along Narmada river, NBA wonders, "On one side tree plantation, and on the other hand illegal sand mining, is it acceptable to Sadhguru Maharaj? Encroachment in the catchment area of rivers particularly by big capitalists, (not just by the poor who have are always targeted), what is his stand on that?"
NBA goes on, "In his conception and recommendations, Sadhguru and his Isha Foundation say that it 'will not say anything about hydroelectric schemes, river water transport etc., will not take emotional or political role, and will speak only on classical/scientific basis'. Will it be a scientific practice to ignore the impact of these projects?"
NBA queries, "Today, sea ingress till 30 km is happening in Narmada, in Gujarat, making it saline, why does Sadhguru remain silent on it? Sadhguru says the overuse of water is a big reason behind it. At the expense of drinking water and irrigation the water from Sardar Sarovar and Indira Sagar reservoirs are being given to Coca Cola and other industries, is this the right use?"
"Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and his followers who talk about the heritage of the river valley, do not mention the destruction and submergence of the centuries old river valley like Narmada with its ancient temples, mosques, archaeological treasures, and even a few million trees standing today. Isn’t that a big contradiction?", asks NBA.
Giving reason why he is not talking about all this, NBA says, "Sadhguru who has taken up to saving the rivers by spending millions of crores of rupees himself is accused of violation of many environmental laws in Tamil Nadu. Encroachment on the Kundakoi tributary of the river Noyal, construction of ashram with nearly one thousand buildings on the reserved forest, encroachment on the elephants corridors, are some of the acts he is involved in."
It adds, "There are many petitions filed before the court against him, which are in progress. In this regard, the government officials of Combatore district have confirmed these violations in affidavits and even given stop order."

Comments

Aman Sharma said…
Surprised to read this. Three points

1. Clearly, the NBA team has not read the 700 page document submitted to the gvt for river revitalisation. For their benefit, here is the link http://rallyforrivers.org/draft-policy
2. Sand mining issue has been covered in this document. Check page 17, point (g). Screenshot here https://www.dropbox.com/s/bam9ksl5vncgrf6/RFR%20Screenshot.jpg?dl=0
3. Asking why Sadhguru does not talk about the Narmada dam is like expecting him to expand the scope of the rally itself. The NBA should avoid imposing its agenda on others.

Aman Sharma
Twitter - @amancool5
Raj said…
Accusations are being floated left, right and center but not backed by facts actually. That Sadhguru has gathered millions of rupees in itself is an accusation not backed by any facts produced. Secondly the NBA team had clearly not gone through the Rally for rivers policy document .. the issues of farming failure, sand mining, etc. have been addressed in it. That NBA expects Sadhguru to support them is like forcefully imposing their idealogies on others.
Kumar said…
Respected Sirs, Its very clearly seen in your article that its articulated from the mind from which no fruitful solution comes out for the country and it always pull back if anything good happening in the country. Still you have time to change your mindset and be proud to be an Indian.

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