Skip to main content

Gujarat farmers denied permission for 2000 km motorbike rally, Khedut Samaj protests, writes to Election Commission

By Our Representative
In an unusual turn of events, top farmers' body, Khedut Samaj Gujarat (KSG), which had planned a 14-day motorbike rally from South Gujarat's Bhilad to North Gujarat's Amirgadh starting on November 17, has been denied permission to pass through Surat district. "We were told by that they don't have enough cops to handle the bike rally", Sagar Rabari, general secretary on the non-political farmers' organization told Counterview.
Insisting that KSG would continue with its rally, which will start at 9.00 am, come what may, Rabari said, "If they wish, they can detain us. All that they need is a police jeep to along with the motorbike rally. If they want to detain us along with our motorbikes, they would need several police vehicles. They have got staff and heavy vehicles for that!"
Rabari, while announcing the decision to take out the farmers' motorbike rally for about 2000 km, had told newspersons on Wednesday that the KSG would campaign for voting against the BJP, whose policies have been "anti-farmer." He had said, the "pro-industry" government was forcing farmers to part with their prime farm land in the name of development.
Protesting against the state administration behaving in a "high-handed" manner despite the fact that it is not under the state BJP rule but is under the Election Commission of India (ECI), Rabari said, "We demand that the ECI should immediately act and ensure that permission for our rally is given."
Meanwhile, KSG president Jayesh Patel, who proposes to lead the rally, has written a letter to chief electoral officer, ECI, Gujarat State, BB Swain, saying, "Under the pretext of election, every right is being denied in Gujarat", even as seeking his "urgent intervention".
The letter says that KSG has organised statewide motorbike rally to make farmers aware their "democratic rights" ahead of the Gujarat state assembly elections, even as educating them about "how to exercise their vote to achieve good, people friendly governance."
"As per the prevailing rule of law, we applied for permission to all concerned district/taluka officers. We wrote the same letter to the Surat district magistrate on Novembrr 15, 2017. In response the district magistrate denied permission citing a government order No 464/INST/2014/EPS dated April 10, 2017."
"We have gone through the above order and find nothing in it that restricts people to express their right to express their grievances, organize rally or public meetings for awareness", Patel said, adding, thr refusal to give permission "indicates police’s partial role and negligence to peoples’ rights."
"The only reason one can assume is, being administered by one party for long, the police machinery has become part of the misdeeds of the ruling political establishment, doesn’t want any change in government to save its interests, and is seeking to hide its misdeeds. If such is the case, how can people trust that the elections would be fair and just?"
Asking ECI to grant permission "to carry on our declared programme", Patel demanded the immediately transfer the concerned officer who has misinterpreted ECI instruction and misused the letter to deny permission. He regretting, "We sent SMS to you and the nodal police officer to intervene but there was no response, hence this letter..."
A copy of the letter has been forwarded to the Gujarat High Court chief justice.

Comments

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.