DEVELOPMENT AT WHAT COST, AND HOW
A DAM THAT DISPLACES 40,000 FAMILIES AND EVEN MAHATMA GANDHI MEMORIAL
New Delhi; 28 July 2017: ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy), a socio-cultural organization that stands for justice, secularism and democracy since 2002, strongly condemns the destruction of the local Rajghat in Barwani, Madhya Pradesh, that has housed the urns of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba and Gandhi’s secretary, Mahadev Desai.
The unceremonious and sudden manner in which the three urns were taken away and the place dug up is simply outrageous.
What makes this act particularly poignant is that close to the site of this memorial, Medha Patkar and her team were protesting for the rehabilitation of 244 villages and 40,000 families that have been rendered homeless by the Sardar Sarovar dam.
Both these developments – the razing the Gandhi Memorial as well as the ongoing struggle of the dam-affected for livelihood and shelter – are unacceptable in a just and transparent democracy.
The governments in power – both at the centre and in Madhya Pradesh –stand accountable for its ruthless destruction of livelihoods, residence and now our history and leaders, all in the name of development.
This comes in the wake of the current government’s attempts to selectively wipe out history, rewrite textbooks, muzzle freedom of speech, among others.
We express our solidarity with Medha Patkar and activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan who are on indefinite fast for justice, life and civilisation in the Narmada valley.
Aban Raza, Amrita Nandy, Dhruv Sangari, Leena Dabiru, Mukhtar Ahmed Sheikh, Ovais Sultan Khan, Shubha Menon