Skip to main content

Global NGO network calls for worldwide campaign against push for big dam in Sikkim

Counterview Desk
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), a multinational civil society network, has opposed the state-owned National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), which is “pushing” for constructing the Teesta Stage IV Hydroelectric Power (HEP) project in North Sikkim.
One of the 21projects planned in Sikkim, calling it a destructive move, IPMSDL said in a statement, the profit-oriented mega-dam would choke a river, which would also mean indigenous people would be lose their lands, rights, culture, and identity.
Calling for worldwide protest against the move, IPMSDL said, protesters should “make a statement of support” to the Sikkim people’s organizations and indigenous people’s (IP) movements everywhere; take video or photo with calls to stop the dams in Sikkim; and dedicate a song, dance, artwork, poem, or other creative ways to populate the social media and internet about these issues and struggles.
It also insisted on the use of hashtag #SaveTeesta #StopStageIV #StopNHPC #LetOurRivers #FlowFree #NoToLargeDams #DefendAncestralLands #DefendIPRights
#StruggleForSelfDetermination, adding, supporters of the campaign should “read and share studies, stories, and write-ups about Sikkim and its people”.

An IPMSDL statement:

The Worldwide Protest Against the Implementation of Dams in Sikkim calls for our solidarity. The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination stands with the IP and communities of Sikkim, North East India in defending their rights and lands from the threats of Teesta Dam. Let us be one in the struggle of Indigenous Peoples (IP) against all destructive mega-dams and hydro projects.
State-owned National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Limited is now pushing forward in constructing the Teesta Stage IV HydroElectric Power (HEP) project in North Sikkim. It aims to generate electricity from the strong currents of Teesta River, a tributary of Brahmaputra River, that rises in the eastern Himalayas and flows through the States of Sikkim and West Bengal through Bangladesh.
The Government of India identified 21 hydro electric power projects to be developed in Sikkim. Six projects have been envisioned in Teesta including the Teesta I-IV. Since the project’s inception, strong resistance from the Lepcha and Dzongu community whose lands, livelihoods and culture will be completely drowned and wiped out once the dam is built.
Amid the pandemic, this July, government is railroading public hearings for the dam’s Social Impact Assessment (SIA). The government’s efforts to dilute environmental regulations were met with people’s protest stressing the threat it poses to the landslide and earthquake-prone environment, and violations of IP land and customary rights. But in response, people have been coerced by paramilitaries, while some were arrested and jailed for months.
Corporate and state development projects fail to benefit vulnerable and poor communities, serve profit-oriented world market
The stories are common whether in Sikkim, in Asia and around the world. More often, IP communities, environment and human rights activists defending their lands and rivers are labelled enemies of the State and anti-development. IP remain excluded as dams engulf their lands. In far-flung areas, defense of ancestral territories is met with militarization and more rights violations.
In reality, corporate and State “development projects” fail to benefit the most vulnerable and poorest communities. Instead, the booming energy demands serve the profit-oriented world market and burgeoning world powers like India. Unless all the issues surrounding the mega-dams and people’s demands are met by States and government, we call that all constructions be stopped.
To stand with the people of Sikkim and IP, let’s join in defending their lands and their lives. It’s the source of their livelihood, identity, ways of life and their vital expression of the right to self-determination. Alternatives and sustainable energy sources must be prioritized. What’s at stake with mega-dam construction is not only the loss of biodiversity and IP culture but the future of succeeding generations. Just like the flow of our mighty rivers, let us brave our fight forward!
Save Teesta! Stop Stage IV! Stop NHPC! Let Our Rivers Flow Free! No To Large Dams! Defend Ancestral Lands! Defend IP Rights! Struggle For Self-Determination!

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Upholding labour rights, Nehruvian scientific temper, Rajni Patel opposed Emergency

By Harsh Thakor*  Rajni Patel, who died 40 years ago, whatever his flaws, had one great quality: his human touch to offer selfless service and ability to galvanise or influence human beings from all walks of life. Few people would ever go out of the way to help someone or serve as selflessly without aim of personal gain. Rajni championed Nehruvian secular ideas and scientific temper. As a master in public relations he revealed utmost humility. As a barrister, he never appeared against the trade unions or workers. A Fabien Socialist he opposed liberal capitalism and radical socialism. Unlike most lawyers, he did not succumb to the lure of amassing wealth. Rajni was born in Sirsa, in Gujarat, on the very day Gandhi set foot on Indian soil, on 9th January, 1915. He gained his baptism through one of Gandhi's speeches calling for the boycott of foreign goods, which was the virtual turning point of his life. Rajni toed Gandhi to organise boycott of foreign goods. Rajni was able to cros

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

Vadodara violence: Fine Arts Faculty alumni raise fingers at Varsity's political appointee

Hasmukh Vaghela with PM Counterview Desk  In a statement, alumni of the Faculty of Fine Arts (FoFA), Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda, Gujarat, referring to the “violence” by right-wing groups for displaying “objectionable” paintings that “hurt religious sentiments” at the one of India’s top fine arts institute May 5, have taken strong exception to “the assault and rustication” of one of the students, and lack of action taken against those who “violated” the institution and committed the act. Floated as an online petition seeking wider support, the FoFA alumni, in their statement, addressed to the vice chancellor, MSU, said, there should be “thorough” investigation in the whole incident and “immediate action” should be taken against syndicate member Hasmukh Vaghela, MSU, who sparked the assault, and “other co-conspirators” for breaching “university code of conduct and unlawful activities committed in broad daylight”. While the alumni statement doesn't say so, Vaghela

UK leader cites Indian farmers' struggle one of top global fights against neoliberal order

Counterview Desk  Jeremy Corbyn, member of the UK Parliament, former leader of the UK Labour Party and founder of the  Peace and Justice Project , in his  inaugural speech to the  Progressive International’s  Summit at the End of the World on May 12, 2022, has said, what is happening across globe suggests that "image of apocalypse -- bombs and raids, oil spills and wildfires, disease and contagion -- is a reality for people across the planet." In an adaptation of his speech, distributed by  Globetrotter , Corbyn, however, said, there are fresh examples action, too -- by Indian farmers forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw three neo-liberal laws;  by workers, communities and activists against the top giant multinational Amazon's "greed and exploitation"; and by Latin American people's struggle to say "no more to the domination by imperialism, the destruction of their communities and the abuse of their environments." Stating that this is n

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.

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Welfare? Govt of India spends just 19% of manual scavengers' rehabilitation budget

By Bharat Dogra*  While the Dalit community has been always known for higher levels of poverty as well as social discrimination, even within the Dalits there is a sub-section known for even worse levels of poverty as well as social discrimination. This is the section which was traditionally involved in manual scavenging. The shocking injustice they have suffered from over the years has been widely recognized leading to a ban on manual scavenging. At the same time there is urgent need for the rehabilitation of those engaged in manual scavenging. Hence a self-employment scheme for the rehabilitation of those engaged in manual scavenging was drawn up. The allocations and the expenditure for this scheme for the last eight years are shown in the Table below: Union Budget for Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of  Manual Scavengers (in Rs crore) By Budget Estimate we mean the original allocation made when the budget is presented. It is clear from this table that the actual expenditure

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They