Monday, April 03, 2006

dam update

Three activists of the NBA are in the sixth day of their hunger strike (and Medha's health is reported to be deteriorating). The NBA is non-violently protesting the clearance to raise the dam height to 121 metres without rehabilitation to affected people (going as back as the year 2000)---a violation of the Supreme Court judgement!
While this is happening, police detains NBA activists. Arundhati Roy points out that non-violent struggles are being ignored by the government---a real cause of worry.

While all of this happens, the PM or the PMO have issued no statement or indicated that they will address the issue. If they are so sure that everything is going fine with SSP, why aren't the openly supporting it and bringing it under scrutiny? or taking a concrete step(stopping the clearance to increase dam height) and conducting a study of the claims of the affected. The central government remains mum for 6 days now and counting.

Shouldn't we be worried that the government itself is not following Supreme Court rulings, totally ignoring voices of the people and not taking into account how its policies are affecting the people---or will it take the demolition of our homes, or forced displacement with no rehab, to identify with the problems of the people of the Narmada valley, the Bhopal gas victims, the farmers committing suicides! or till then should we just concentrate on wardrobe malfunctions, 11,000+ Sensex, or Pathan's "four-play"?

Do majority of the middle-class and the so-called "mainstream" (media, policy makers, corporations, elites ...) have anything other apathy and anti-pathy for such struggles?


Vishnu said...

The 'mainstream *' will start talking as soon as the displaced people move to slums in cities. They will, however, talk about how beautiful the city was once, and how dirty it is now.

They should be interested in problems like Narmada for their own sake. After a point, when it becomes a matter of survival for the people who are affected, it is going to be really bad for those people who are shining now.

tejal said...

Vishnu - Thats a good point. But the State is making sure that the shiners will never have a problem. It is displacing people from their villages, or driving them to the cities because of its constant liberalisation of agricultural policies. And when they put up their homes in the alleways and on the gutters of the cities, their dwellings are demolished in th name of further deveopment. Where do these people go, when they are so systematically being driven to suicide by the all so powerful State.