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

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Top ex-Gujarat babu tells Modi: Not yoga but solar system is our biggest source of energy

By Rajiv Shah  An email alert to Counterview from a top ex-IAS bureaucrat, termed as Gujarat’s turnaround man for revamping loss-making state public sector undertakings (PSUs), has sought to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on the Yoga day – that the ancient Indian exercise provides an “infinite solutions” within ourselves, offering “the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.