Skip to main content

Around 90 activists arrested ahead of Modi's Statue of Unity inauguration

Some of the prominent activists who have been detained
By Our Representative
In a swoop ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicating the Statue of Unity to the nation, more than 90 activists from around Gujarat have been detained by the Narmada district police in Rajpipla and other places. The move comes amidst a civil society declaration that, as a mark of protest, people of 72 Narmada-dam affected villages have decided not to cook food on October 31.
Among those who who are reported to have been detained include Gandhian activist Nita Mahadev, social activist Mudita Vidrohi, top environmentalist Rohit Prajapati, anti-Narmada dam campaigner in Narmada Valley Lakhan Musafir, apart from several tribal activists such as Amarsinh Chaudhary, Bhupendra Chaudhary and Virji Varadia. Narmada is a predominantly tribal district. No reason for detention has been given.
According to reports from local sources, a whole government -- the executive, administration, regular police, Reserve Police Force, Home Guards-- from across the state has descended on Kevadia for Modi's celebration of the Iron Man's statue.
In a statement protesting against the government move, several activists have said, "Sardar Patel, who fought for the farmers, the poor, and the nation as a whole, would have been deeply pained at the kind of wanton destruction of natural, human and financial resources seen there. Tens of thousands of trees have been chopped off for road widening, houses pulled down, people summarily thrown out."
The statement recalls, those are angry with the way Statue of Unity area is being turned into a tourism spot include the residents of first six villages, whose land was acquired for colony of the staff needed to build the Sardar Sarovar dam. These villages were never recognized as project-affected. "They are fighting back", it adds.
Then, it underlines, there are 19 villages, who have been recognized as project-affected, but are fighting because promises made to them again and again were not kept.Also fighting back are seven villages "that would be affected by the Garudeshwar weir" being built in the downstream.
The statement, signed by Anand Mazgaonkar, Swati Desai, Michael, Ghanshyam Patel, Shaukat Indori, Deepali Ghelani, Kamal Thakar, Daniel M, all senior activists from Gujarat, says, if one further looks into growing disenchantment in the area, there are "28 villages on the right bank of Main Canal, under whose noses the water flows, are not allowed a drop of water for their parched farms."

Comments

TRENDING

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.