Skip to main content

Gujarat govt externment order to grassroots leader meant to 'silence' Narmada adivasis

By Our Representative

Several senior human rights and environmental activists, protesting against the Gujarat government decision to order externment of Lakhan Musafir from five South Gujarat districts, have said the charges against a grassroots activist fighting for tribal and forest rights in the area around the Sardar Sarovar dam are “ridiculously false.”
Under the order, Musafir is not allowed to enter Narmada, Bharuch, Tapi, Chhota Udepur and Baroda districts. The signatories of the statement are Jyotibhai Desai, Daniel Mazgaonkar, Rajni Dave, Swati Desai, Anand Mazgaonkar, Mahesh Pandya, Dev Desai, Parth Trivedi, Rohit Prajapati, and Krishnakant Chauhan.
The statement said, there is “no evidence, no witnesses, no arguments, no cross-examination, no proper hearing and yet the Narmada district sub-divisional magistrate thought it fit to pronounce his order wholly swallowing the lies presented by the police in their complaint.”
Accusing the magistrate of “turning due process of law on its head”, the order quotes him as stating that Musafir should not be considered innocent because he has not proved himself innocent in other pending cases”, adding, “Orders such as this one make the government and legal procedure a laughing stock.”
Calling the charges against Musafir – inciting people, engaging in “violent” activities, carrying arms, trading in liquor – “absurd”, the statement says, the administration appears to be hell bent on passing this order because courts all over India are "dealing with only urgent matters, holding virtual hearings.”
An activist of 40 years’ standing, Musafir quit his home and studies to first go to Vinoba Bhave’s Paunar Ashram in 1982 and then participated in the satyagraha against cow-slaughter. Realising the importance of cow and its progeny in agriculture, he decided to immerse himself in organic farming, manual labour-for-a-living, sustainable lifestyle, constructing biogas plants, etc.
The statement said, Musafir “would only consume what he could earn from a day’s manual labour”, underlining, it was he who made “chemical-free jaggery popular in Gujarat starting the late 1990s” and “encouraged farmers to process their own produce for better remuneration, grow and process their own turmeric and countless other products.”
Over the last 10 years Musafir has been working with the adivasis in Kevadia area of Narmada district, siding with the people of the six villages of Kevadia, Kothi, Navagam, Vagadia, Limdi, and Gora who lost their lands because of the Sardar Sarovar dam.
“This externment order is not only meant to scare and harass Lakhan Musafir, it is an attempt to silence the Adivasis of Narmada district. It is an assault on the freedom of expression, people’s democratic rights. It will neither scare Lakhan nor the people he works with and represents. The struggle against injustice shall carry on”, the statement said.

Comments

TRENDING

Astonishingly sycophantic: Ex-Gujarat topcop on 2002 Godhra riots probe panel report

By Rajiv Shah  In a scathing critique of the 2002 communal riots inquiry commission report, released by the Gujarat government in December 2019 five years after it was submitted, the State’s former topcop RB Sreekumar has said that it “unequivocally” and “meticulously” takes care “to refrain from probing and taking cognizance of any deviant action of omission and commission by the State administration, particularly those operating in the criminal justice system, who facilitated extensive mass violence and enabled brigands to perpetrate anti-minority crimes.”

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.

Two of 12 top caste-based sexual violence cases from 'model' Gujarat: NGO report

By Rajiv Shah   The National Council of Women Leaders (NCWL), a civil rights group, has compiled what it has called “landmark cases of caste-based sexual violence” between 1985 and 2020 to mark the first anniversary of the notorious Hathras gangrape case, which led to the death of a young Dalit woman in September 2020.

Riddled with Brahmanical mindset, India's health care 'serving' corporate interests

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  In this second part of my conversation (click here for first part), Dr Manisha Bangar speaks about the health crisis in India how the government is trying to privatise things, and where our response during the Corona period was lacking. She also gives us an understanding of people opposing nutritious meals for children in the mid-day meal.

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".

Ram ke naam? Upper caste Hindus 'created' the demand for temple in Ayodhya

By Sahil Mital*  Documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan brought an important issue to the forefront with ‘Ram ke Naam’ (In the Name of God). At a time when religious fundamentalism and fanaticism is on the rise, this movie brings to light the reality behind the thought process of people involved, both inside and outside such issues.

Hard times? Seeking to promote Urdu amidst 'efforts' to brand it as language of Muslims

By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*  Those who believe that Urdu is a dying language, must come to the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), spend some time here and see that Urdu, like any other language, is on a fast track. For the connoisseurs of Urdu, it is a heaven!

Power supply lines in Thar 'pushing' Great Indian Bustard to extinction: Researchers

By Rosamma Thomas*  Electricity supply lines pose a huge risk to birds and affect biodiversity, but there is little research about the numbers of birds dying of such collision in the tropical nations. In August 2021, academic journal Biological Conservation carried the results of a survey conducted in 2017-18 on 4,200 sq km of the Thar Desert in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. This was the first comprehensive survey of this nature in the region.

Bahujan patriarchy? Savarna feminists 'over-state' gender rights in Dalit communities

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Dr Manisha Bangar is a practicing senior consultant gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist, with around 20 years of clinica-cum-research and teaching experience. In terms of her medical qualification, she completed MBBS, MD and DM. She was a governing council member of the Indian National Association for Study of the Liver (INASL), and member of the Task Force for Hepatitis B and Non-Alcoholic SteatoHepatitis (NASH) diseases of the South Asian Association for Study of the Liver (SAASL).

Vindictive raids? Centre 'retaliates' after Delhi govt child rights body's clean chit to ex-babu

By Our Representative  Over 700 academics, advocates, activists, civil servants, writers, film makers, journalists, musicians and artists have condemned the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the offices and private home of top IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights and peace activist Harsh Mander, stating, the aim is nothing but to “harass and intimidate” him.