Skip to main content

Conserving Ganga: Delhi-Haridwar march to start on March 9 in support of fasting saints

Swami Atmabodhanand
Counterview Desk
Several people's organizations are all set to begin a foot march from Delhi to Haridwar in support of sadhus fasting for conservation of Ganga, starting on March 9. The march will end on March 17. A statement ahead of the march, issued by well-known civil rights leaders, Sandeep Pandey, Faisal Khan, and others, says, "If the government had listened to saints then 40% of Indian population who live on banks of Ganga or one of its tributaries would have directly benefited."
Those supporting the long March include Matri Sadan, Lok Rajniti Manch, Khudai Khidmatgar, National Alliance of People's Movements, Nodi Bachao Jibon Bachao Andolan (West Bengal), Koshi Navnirman Manch (Bihar), Matu Jansangathan, Ganga Bachao Samiti, ToxicWatch Alliance, Sarva Dharma Samanvaya Parishad (Jharkhand), J.P. Health Research Foundation, Parents' Forum for Meaningful Learning, Sanatan Sanskriti Raksha Dal, Jal Jan Jodo, Paigam-e-Insaniyat, Prayatna, Humanity Welfare Society, Indian Industries Association, Ecologize, EGC Enterprises and Socialist Party (India).

Text of the statement:

Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand who earlier served as Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and was the first member-secretary of Central Pollution Control Board began a fast unto death on June 22, 2018 demanding a law for conservation of Ganga. After 112 days of fasting he died at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh because of alleged cardiac arrest on October 11.
He wrote letters to the Prime Minister before and after beginning his fast. However, Narendra Modi did not dialogue with him. He sent a condolence message on twitter the day Swami Sanand died. We hold Bharatiya Janata Party government and Narendra Modi directly responsible for the murder of Swami Sanand.
In 2011 young ascetic Swami Nigmanand had died on 115th day of his fast in Haridwar against illegal mining in Ganga. It is alleged that he was murdered by a mining mafia who was close to the then BJP government in Uttarakhand. Swami Gokulanand who observed the first fast against illegal mining in 1998 with Swami Nigmanand was murdered in Nainital in 2003 by mining mafia.
Baba Nagnath died on 114th day of his fast in Varanasi in his effort to save Ganga. Sant Gopal Das who started his fast for uninterrupted flow and clean Ganga on 24 June, 2018 has been missing from a Dehradun hospital since 6th December, 2018.
Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand wanted "aviral" or uninterrupted and "nirmal" or clean Ganga. He was demanding that all proposed and under construction hydro power projects on Ganga be stopped immediately. He wanted complete ban on illegal sand and stone mining in Ganga basin as well as on deforstation.
Presently another young ascetic Brahmachari Atmabodhanand has completed more than hunderd days of fast with the same demands continuing Swami Sanand's struggle. He is fasting is the same room which was used by Swami Sanand at Matri Sadan. Swami Punyanand is next in line already on fruit diet ready to go on fast if anything happens to Brahmachari Atmabodhanand.
Swami Sanand had fasted five times during Manmohan Singh's government in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. That government stopped the Lohari Nagpala hydro power project and declared 135 km of Bhagirathi river as eco-sensitive zone on his demand. During his 2013 fast Rajnath Singh as then BJP president had sent him a letter that all his demands related to Ganga will be met when Naremdra Modi government will come to power. However, sitting once on fast in this government proved fatal for him.
If the government had agreed to Swami Sanand's demands not only him but Ganga would also have been saved. Now Swami Sanand is not amongst us and one day Ganga will also disappear. Many rivers in the country including Sabarmati have dried. Ganga and other rivers will also meet the same fate.
If the government had listened to saints then 40% of Indian population who live on banks of Ganga or one of its tributaries would have directly benefited. But as the elections approach issue of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, from which nobody knows who'll benefit, is being raked up, and in the case of Sabrimala temple, RSS and BJP as well as Congress are opposing the entry of women into the temple. On the other hand all big parties are promoting corporate loot.
Neglecting the common people's issues like implementation of Allahabad High Court Justice Sudhir Agrawal's judgement making it compulsory for all persons receiving salaries from government to send their children to government schools, Justice Sudhir Agrawal and Justice Ajeet Kumar's judgement that all people receiving salaries from government and their family members get themselves treated in government hospitals, bring an employment guarantee Act for the educated unemployed on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or minimum support price for farmers, there is an attempt to expoit religious sentiments of people and give free hand to corporates.
We need to reject this politics.

Comments

TRENDING

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

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.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

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".

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Khorigaon demolition: People being 'brutally' evicted, cops 'restricting' food, water

By Ishita Chatterjee, Neelesh Kumar, Manju Menon, Vimal Bhai* On July 23, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that they have cleared 74 acres out of 150 acres. Despite the affidavit of the Municipal Corporation, the court, on the complaint of various litigants, that the arrangements for living, food etc. have not been made for the people.