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

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

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

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".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

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.

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”