Skip to main content

Did Modi lie that he served people in Morbi after Macchu dam burst? Senior Gujarat academic: He wasn't around

Prof Niranjan Dave
By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment for Narendra Modi, Prof Niranjan Dave, who was head of the department with the Government Engineering or LE College, Morbi, has contested the Prime Minister's claim in in an election rally that he served people in the aftermath of the tragedy that befell the town after the Macchu dam burst on August 11, 1979.
In a Facebook post, reproduced by senior Gujarati journalist Hari Desai in his blog, Dave -- who was head of the department at the college when the calamity took place, served as director, technical education, Gujarat government, and vice chancellor of the North Gujarat University for two terms -- has said that he did not spot Modi in the town.
Dave, who also served as advisor with the Gujarat government, said in his post, "Today when I listened to the Prime Minister's speech at Morbi, I almost re-lived nightmare of August 11, the evening of Machchu Dam burst", insisting, "Nobody should claim credit for the service rendered to people in distress", and "Modiji has missed that point."
Pravin Maniar
Recalling those who helped the town in distress, Dave says, late Pravin Maniar of Rajkot, along with his volunteers, "was the first RSS leader to reach Morbi on August 12 evening." Recalling that he was present in Morbi "on that fateful day", Dave says, "My house was totally flooded just up to terrace, where we -- wife, two daughters and three year old son -- sought refuge for nearly five hours."
Pointing out that the waters receded leaving behind mud and slurry in the house and outside, and his family "passed the night in shock, still fearing the worse", Dave says, "Next day I moved out and around. There were several dead bodies hanging around. Late in the evening , my brother-in-law informed us that Pravinbhai has come from Rajkot."
Noting that in the aftermath he had the privilege to meet many volunteers, "including late Ashok Bhatt, late Arvind Maniar, late Shukla", Dave insists, "Unfortunately I had no privilege to meet Modiji, though I was continuously at Morbi for four months of massive restoring work."
Further recalling how "the roads were being cleared, debris was being removed from interior lanes and each house", Dave takes a dig at another Modi remark, that Indira Gandhi had covered her nose with a handkerchief, saying, "Added to this was extremely bad odour due to grains stored in the houses and shops. We all were covering our nose with mask. It was sickening."
Babubhai Jashbhai Patel
In fact, Dave says, "No wonder Mrs Gandhi covered her nose. She had deferred her visit instead of rushing to MORBI for the simple reason that her visit earlier would have disrupted rehabilitation work of officers and volunteers."
Dave goes on, "Our low profile chief minister late Babubhai J Patel, rushed to Morbi and established Chief Minister's Office at Manimandir. He stayed there till he was satisfied that the city and surrounding villages were practically restored to working conditions. He used to take daily round in the city to monitor the progress and understand the need for additional resources and assistance."
Pointing out that he "practically" belongs to Morbi -- he I studied at the LE College, Morbi, and thereafter served as faculty for 16 years, and all spent 19 years of his "prime time" in the town, -- Dave says, others who were active included college staff, volunteers of the Swaminarayan sect, Ramakrishna Mission volunteers and others.
He adds, "There were several other volunteer agencies who did marvellous work. Industrial houses from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat gave coordinated services to repair machineries and restore all laboratories. Those working at LE College were immensely happy to retain heritage buildings, the legacy of Morbi Maharaja."

Comments

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”