Delhi Demos Bulletin 44By: jai on: Mon 16 of Oct, 2006 17:21 IST (12884 Reads)
Medha Patkar, 100 others detained / Medha Patkar alleges conspiracy to crush NBA / The struggles of the poor against unjust displacement will only increase / Crucial national strategy meeting on displacement and development
NARMADA Baroda * Medha Patkar, 100 others detained (The Hindu, June 20) * Medha Patkar and Others Arrested While Seeking Appointment with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi (NBA Baroda, June 19) * Medha Patkar alleges conspiracy to crush NBA (Gargi Parsai, The Hindu, June 19) * The struggles of the poor against unjust displacement will only increase: Justice Sachar / Prominent People in Delhi Suspicious about Working of Shunglu Committee (Delhi Solidarity Group of Narmada Bachao Andolan, June 18) * Lash at ‘damning’ Narmada report - MP CM swoops on Soz’s review team (The Telegraph, June 18) All-India? developments * Invitation for crucial national strategy meeting on displacement and development - 7th-8th July, Bhopal (NAPM - National Alliance of People’s Movements, June 18) * Meeting of National Urban Development Struggle and Action Committee on July 7-8 (National Urban Development Struggle and Action Committee, June 18)
From Delhi, Tuesday, June 20, 2006
PLEASE SEND ON
- Medha Patkar, 100 others detained (The Hindu, June 20)
- Medha Patkar and Others Arrested While Seeking Appointment with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi (NBA Baroda, June 19)
- Medha Patkar alleges conspiracy to crush NBA (Gargi Parsai, The Hindu, June 19)
- The struggles of the poor against unjust displacement will only increase: Justice Sachar / Prominent People in Delhi Suspicious about Working of Shunglu Committee (Delhi Solidarity Group of Narmada Bachao Andolan, June 18)
- Lash at ‘damning’ Narmada report - MP CM swoops on Soz’s review team (The Telegraph, June 18)
- Invitation for crucial national strategy meeting on displacement and development - 7th-8th July, Bhopal (NAPM - National Alliance of People’s Movements, June 18)
- Meeting of National Urban Development Struggle and Action Committee on July 7-8 (National Urban Development Struggle and Action Committee, June 18)
"There Is A Fury Building Up Across India" (Arundhati Roy, April 29 – see CDDB 29)
The struggle is deepening, widening…
Jai Sen, for CACIM
Note : The CDDB (CACIM Delhi Demos Bulletin) is a digest of material on the struggles that have been going on for twenty and more years, and have recently intensified, in Bhopal, the Narmada valley, and Delhi, for a place to live in security and dignity – and everything that goes with that. The CDDB series started during late March and April 2006, when all three movements were holding protests in Delhi, and with the Bhopal and Narmada movements on ‘dharna’ (sit-down strike) simultaneously at a place called ‘Jantar Mantar’ in the city. See CDDB 1 and 2 for more details on Jantar Mantar and the demos. All back issues of this Bulletin (the CACIM Delhi Demos Bulletin), number 0 onwards, are available @ : http://www.cacim.net/twiki/tiki-view_articles.php?type=article&topic=1
Disclaimer : The views of the author/s of the articles featured here are not necessarily those of this Bulletin (and vice versa). You may copy and print extracts from this Bulletin for your own personal and non-commercial use only.
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 MEDHA PATKAR, 100 OTHERS DETAINED
The Hindu, June 20 2006
"Almost the entire Delhi is under Section 144 CrPC. How canaam admi seek redress?"
Held outside Sonia's residence for violation of prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in VVIP area
NBA forms panel of prominent citizens to probe rehabilitation claims
[Photo omitted] Medha Patkar being detained in New Delhi on Monday. — Photo: S. Subramanium
NEW DELHI: Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and about 100 Narmada dam-displaced people were on Monday detained outside the residence of United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi. They had gone to apprise Ms. Gandhi of lack of rehabilitation of the displaced families. They were detained for violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code imposed in the VVIP area.
"In a democracy like India, almost the entire Delhi is under Section 144. How can the aam admi [ordinary person] seek redress? We went there to lodge a protest on Ms. Gandhi's silence when the dam's height is being raised without proper rehabilitation and resettlement of displaced families. We also wanted to meet her and apprise her of the manner in which the Shunglu Committee appeared to be only validating the Action Taken Report of the Madhya Pradesh Government," Ms. Patkar told The Hindu from the Chanakyapuri police station.
She said the issue involved lakhs of people facing submergence. "Where will the women and children go?"
Police swung into action outside Ms. Gandhi's residence when the NBA members sought to meet her to seek her intervention for stopping construction of the Narmada dam. "It was the Gujarat Congress — in collusion with State Government — that prevailed upon the Prime Minister from taking a stand on the issue last month despite a Central ministerial team reporting that rehabilitation was not done," Ms. Patkar said.
Earlier, accompanied by nearly 300 displaced people from the Narmada Valley and water expert Ramaswamy Iyer, Ms. Patkar questioned the Government's claim that rehabilitation of 35,000 families would be completed in three months.
She announced that the NBA and affected families had reposed their faith in a panel comprising four prominent citizens for probing the rehabilitation claims taking the gram sabha as a unit. This panel would comprise Mr. Iyer, former Planning Commission member L.C. Jain, former Delhi University Vice-Chancellor? Upendra Baxi and Girish Patel, a human rights advocate. The panel would also study the Shunglu Oversight Group report.
Ms. Patkar said that instead of making the gram sabha as the unit for finding the truth, the Shunglu Group through the National Sample Survey Organisation hired a team of 120 surveyors, most of whom were from Gujarat. At some of the hilly places, the team members did not even alight from the boat but spoke to whoever came up before them. The officials with the team lectured villagers about "sacrificing in national interest".
Moreover, the Group outsourced the random validation to a private company from Bhopal who was reportedly associated with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
When contacted by this correspondent, Oversight Group Chairman V.K. Shunglu declined to comment.
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu
SEE ALSO :
On 19.6.06 7:46 pm, "firstname.lastname@example.org" and on 19.6.06 8:26 pm, "Initiative" wrote:
Narmada Bachao Andolan
62, Gandhi Marg
Badwani ˆ 454551
Contact Tel: 9869446684, 9894204498
- - --
19 June 2006
* MEDHA PATKAR AND OTHERS ARRESTED WHILE SEEKING APPOINTMENT WITH UPA CHAIRPERSON SONIA GANDHI
* Gramsabhas in the Narmada Valley expose Government claims and Oversight Group methods!
* Narmada valley will fight floods and the State with all brethren facing the same fate & eminent citizens as observers.
Medha Patkar and nearly 100 others were arrested today (June 19) in New Delhi while they reached UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi‚s residence, seeking an appointment with her and urging her to intervene in the matter of the lives and livelihood of Sardar Sarovar dam affected people. The sections under which they are held is not told by the police.
The arrested include representatives of the affected villages in the Narmada valley and their supporters, like Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty, Rakesh Rafik, Rajendra Ravi, Bhupender Rawat and Vijayan MJ. Senior activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) Ahish Mandloi, Sajan Behen, Sitaram Patidar, Dipti Bhatnagar and Philip Mathew are also under arrest at the time of release of this statement.
The Oversight Group (OG) chaired by Mr.V.K Shunglu the former CAG, appointed by the Prime Minister in April 2006 to look into the ground realities of rehabilitation in the Sardar Sarovar dam affected villages in the Narmada valley, has its Terms of Reference contradictory since the dam is to reach the targeted height of 122 metres by the time OG submits its report.
It is certain now that OG can neither do anything to ensure nor even suggest ways for, just rehabilitation of the affected families even in the minimal legal framework of the Narmada Tribunal Award or the state policies. What is certain, however, is that the demonic dam will submerge anywhere up to 220 villages of adivasis, dalits, farmers, fishworkers, artisans and traders. The pakka houses, schools, dispensaries, lakhs of trees to best of horticulture will be destroyed as in a natural calamity, but with a preplanned design.
It is shocking that the National Sample Survey organization (NSSO), appointed by the OG to carry out the survey in the villages used only the official Action Taken Report (ATR), the government list of affected families, as the main basis and didn‚t go to the left out families or deep questioning to find out the legal violations to incomplete plans or false reports continued over years.
While the research tools were mostly kept a secret, whatever information people, watching and responding to the surveyors could gather, exhibits a highly superficial ineffective data collection, and a biased, hence distorted way of investigating the state acts and reports on Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R).
To our greatest shock, the OG also brought in, what may be called Œprivatisation‚ in its work, expending lakhs of Rupees in contracting private company, Infrastructure Development Consultancy with Mr. P C Nigam, an ex-Engineer-in-chief of MPPWD as its chairman, that has done projects for the world bank, ADB and MP governments all through, while the OG has chosen this real democratic way to establish the truth would have been ŒGramsabhas resolving on the ground reality‚, under PESA Act, 1996 and as per the constitutional rights and privileges granted to a scheduled tribal region under threat of state violence.
In this context the 20 years long people‚s struggle today to establish the credibility of our claims and exposing the Government‚s when the costly exercise of OG/ NSSO Survey is not likely to do it. Our tireless efforts to establish the truth about displacement and fake campaigns against peoples‚ movements in all river valleys must proceed and break the barriers.
Since the judiciary to unfortunately opted to subvert its own judgements, relying on the same survey, people and communities in the valley decided to accept it! Gramsabhas in the Narmada Valley have one after another, brought out through resolutions in their meetings, but according to them was the status of the resettlement and rehabilitation with A number of legal violations and their entitlements that stand vindicated even today.
The Gramsabhas were supported in recording their information, analysis, claims and expectations, by our technical support group of educated young volunteers who stayed and worked with the them to carry out a household survey community level survey, both. They also did the report writing in English. A high level technical advisory committee on this, on the other hand gave broader guidance and purpose in this regard. Committee members include Mr L C Jain, Dr. Upendra Baxi, Mr Ramaswamy Iyer and Advocate Girish Patel.
We have submitted today a report on survey by 4 gramsabhas, which bring out clear fraud in the Government claim that R&R of all the families upto 122 Metres is complete and legally fulfilled. The CM of MP has once again made a false rhetorical statement of having rehabilitated all the families and completed the work at the R&R sites while there are no R&R sites for any of the 100% adivasi villages in District Jhabua and many in Badwani District in MP, the factual data shows that in each of the fully surveyed communities
- There are families left out with no land allotted, nor offered; with land to become marooned but not surveyed; compensation not fully paid.
- There are hundreds of families in just these 4 villages, who have no house plot to shift to
- In Piplood acquisition of land and property that is to be affected by 122 Metres high dam is not completed.
The following is a gist of major flaws that exposed illegalities and falsehood
SSP : Claims of R&R at 122 metres in MP exposed
[to be formatted]
Village, District, State Cultivable Agricultural Land House plots not allotted not allotted in the (declared + undeclared)
state of choice
(declared + undeclared )
Piplood, Badwani, MP 39 + 95 107+212 Kharya Bhadal, Badwani, MP 30+45 30+47 Anjanwara, Jhabua, MP 33+47 33+52 Bhadal, Nandurbar, Maharashtra 49+126 49+126
Many more gramsabhas with locus standi and rights are ready with their own data and resolutions, which would challenge the OG‚s, or a private companies data. This, we believe, will be a new battle in the face of dishonesty, misinformation and defamation campaign by the state and it‚s stooges. We will flood concerned authorities, with data before their plans to flood and finish us come true.
The OG however is to be more seriously being questioned by the people in the valley who have seen many of the surveyor teams and OG members moving with group of government employees and officials while avoiding dialogue with the people themselves the affected. The OG after having listened to NBA and supporter advocates once, have not shown any transparency and openness to make available its research tools while not just the secrecy but the methodological flaws in their work are now fully exposed
The death tolls are ringing in the Narmada Valley. While the callous state has shown the criminal arrogance to allow the worse at Sardar Sarovar Dam to go ahead, lakhs of people in the submergence zone (our estimate remain stable and reliable at 3500) can be affected at 122 meters depending on the rainfall, stay on to fight the flood and the conspiracy, both. The oversight group does not give us much hope on its methodology, transparency and accountability to the task and people at this severely critical mode, when life is at stake.
Ashish Mandloi Ramesh Yadav Kailash Awasia Dipti Bhatnagar Medha Patkar
 MEDHA PATKAR ALLEGES CONSPIRACY TO CRUSH NBA
The Hindu, June 19 2006
"Time has come for political parties to take a position on equitable development" "If you get power from big dams, but have no farm land how would you feed growing population?"
"World Bank now wants land-for-land policy to be finished"Shunglu panel trying to hide lies on rehabilitation of displaced families in Madhya Pradesh
ENDURING ODDS: NBA activist Medha Patkar along with other activists attending a seminar organised by the Delhi Solidarity Group of Narmada Bachao Andolan in New Delhi on Sunday. — Photo: R. V. Moorthy
NEW DELHI: Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar on Sunday alleged that there was a conspiracy to crush the movement that was seeking justice for those facing displacement in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat due to the Narmada dam project.
The 20-year-old movement has come to be recognised as a "symbol" for all those facing displacement owing to development projects in the country and this did not sit well with the Government, she said at a people's convention on "Myths, Lies and the Narmada Betrayal" here.
While welcoming the support offered by the Left, Samajwadi Jan Parishad and other parties, Ms. Patkar said the time had come for them to take a position on development that is fair, equitable and does not take from the "have-nots" for the "haves."
"It would not suffice [for the political parties] to say that the dam should be constructed and the affected people should be rehabilitated. If the dam is constructed — as it is being done even now — and the people are not rehabilitated — as has not been done — then, they would be asked to accept the situation as fait accompli in violation of the Narmada award, court orders, human rights and natural justice."
Ms. Patkar said it did not fit into the political scheme of things that the month-long agitation of the NBA and displaced families at Jantar Mantar here last month had attracted widespread support from a cross-section of the political spectrum and people, including Aamir Khan and Rahul Bose.
"It went against the strong bureaucratic lobby pushing for large dams and destructive infrastructure projects and the World Bank agenda as well. The World Bank, which had earlier paid lip-service to the requirement of a rehabilitation package, now wants the land-for-land policy to be finished, to snuff any opposition to "fast track" projects."
Politicians of the day feel that the challenge to "liberalisation" is the challenge posed by projects such as the Sardar Sarovar Project.
"Unfortunately, the Court and a section of the media have fallen prey to this political gimmickry," she said.
Ms. Patkar regretted that the "campaign of falsehood against the NBA," launched by vested interests in Gujarat, had been joined in by other parties and lobbies.
She said, "They have shut their eyes to lakhs of acres of land being sold in the Narmada catchments to industries like Reliance after usurping lakhs of acres from the farmers and tribal of the valley.
"Development means displacement and this has become the foundation of politicking, whereas the aim should be development with minimum displacement. This is the big challenge that people's movements face today."
Kamal Mitra Chenoy of the Jawaharlal Nehru University questioned the setting up of the Shunglu Committee. "The panel is not trying to find the truth but trying to hide the lies on the rehabilitation of displaced families in Madhya Pradesh."
Shantiben of Pipri village in Madhya Pradesh said by not rehabilitating the displaced families with land, the Government was not valuing human life.
She said she had the right to stay by the river, the waters, and the land and also had the right to make herself heard by politicians in Delhi.
A displaced farmer from Kadmal village in Nimar, Sitaram, said taking away land from a farmer was like taking the fish out of water. "If you have power from big dams but no agricultural land, would you be able to produce food grains to feed the growing population? Cash compensation can last a few years, but what after that? Why is the government not serious about this?"
© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu
On 18.6.06 9:46 pm, "Sanjay Sangvai" wrote:
Delhi Solidarity Group of Narmada Bachao Andolan
Press Release | June 18, 2006
THE STRUGGLES OF THE POOR AGAINST UNJUST DISPLACEMENT WILL ONLY INCREASE: JUSTICE SACHAR
Prominent People in Delhi Suspicious about Working of Shunglu Committee
"Under these circumstances, the struggles of the poor against unjust displacement will only increase in number and intensity" former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Rajinder Sachar said referring to the grave situation and lack of rehabilitation and resettlement of the people displaced by the Sardar Sarovar dam in the Narmada valley. Justice Sachar was addressing the people's convention today (18 June) on 'Myths, Lies and the Narmada Betrayal' organized at the Indian Social Institute, New Delhi by the Delhi Solidarity Group of Narmada Bachao Andolan.
More than 300 people from the Narmada Valley led by Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan and their supporters from Delhi gathered at the convention to express their anguish at the callousness of the central and the concerned state governments (Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh) and the indifference of the judiciary to the plight of the thousands of families that remain to be rehabilitated.
Speaking at the occasion, Medha Patkar said, "The continued construction of the dam is guided by a politics of deceit, loot and betrayal. The construction of the dam continues in violation of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award and Supreme Court orders of 2000 and 2005, and despite the Group of Ministers clearly reporting the lack of adequate rehabilitation".
The Delhi supporters included academicians and activists like, Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Dr. Nandini Sunder, Dunu Roy, Subhash Borkar, Kavita Krishnan, Arudhati Roy, V T Padmanabhan, Dr. Jimmy Dabhy and Sumit Chakravarty. Academician and peace activist Dr. T.K. John inaugurated the convention.
Speakers at the convention said that the latest eyewash in this undemocratic process was the appointment of the Oversight Group headed by V.K. Shunglu. They testified that the Committee's mode of operation and its survey methodology have been highly problematic. Surveys have not been exhaustive or comprehensive. Instead they have been carried out very hurriedly, in select areas, and without adequate consultation with the affected people.
Making a strong statement, Shantibehen from Pipri village (Madhya Pradesh) said, "We have a right to save our river, our livelihoods and our land and we also have a right to make ourselves heard to the politicians and judiciary in Delhi".
Speaking about evictions in Delhi, Lalit Batra said, "Displacement has now become a political issue. It is used not just to push people out of their homes, but more importantly to silence any form of dissent". The meeting also deliberated upon other major struggles against displacement, including evictions in Delhi and Mumbai.
Vijayan MJ - 9868 165471
Malavika Vartak - 9313900378
Rajendra Ravi - 98682 00316
Shree Prakash - 9818 030423
(on behalf of Delhi Solidarity Group for NBA)
The Telegraph, June 18 2006
LASH AT ‘DAMNING’ NARMADA REPORT
- MP CM SWOOPS ON SOZ’S REVIEW TEAM
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, June 17: The central government has more than made up for Saifuddin Soz’s report on the Narmada oustees by refusing to take a decision on the Sardar Sarovar dam’s height. But the BJP has not yet forgiven the Union water resources minister for supporting the oustees.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan today said the three-member survey team that Soz headed created “more trouble than setting things right” in the Narmada valley.
“If they (the ministers) were sincere about their job, they would have consulted the state government, (and) gone about it in a more systematic manner,” Chauhan said.
“They just made a flying visit and gave a damning report without understanding the issue at all.”
Soz and the two other ministers — Meira Kumar and Prithviraj Chavan — had visited the valley when Medha Patkar sat on a hunger strike in protest against raising of the dam’s height.
Patkar’s argument was that even at 110.64 metres, the earlier height of the dam, all families in the submergence zone were not rehabilitated. An increase in the height — the target is 121.92 metres — would mean a direct expansion of the submergence zone and more oustees.
After the ministers had visited the valley, they submitted a report that subtly argued for a halt in construction at the dam site as rehabilitation work was, by no stretch of imagination, complete.
The Madhya Pradesh government, however, claims that all families in the submergence zone would be resettled by the end of this month. This is despite the fact that the Supreme Court has clearly said all families in the submergence zone must be rehabilitated six months before the dam’s height is increased.
While the water resources minister has maintained that he had a long discussion with government representatives and visited the villages they had suggested, Chauhan today said they pre-judged the issue of rehabilitation in the state.
“They did more harm than good for the people of Narmada valley. I wish we were left alone to get on with our job rather than people politicising the issue. Rehabilitation work is more than satisfactory,” he claimed.
However, after names of village after village in Dhar, Badwani, Jhabua and adjoining districts were cited for absolute neglect of rehabilitation work, Chauhan dithered.
“The number of affected families was 24,000. If a project involves such a large number of people, you obviously cannot satisfy everyone. I am not claiming that rehabilitation work is one hundred per cent complete,” he said.
But this is precisely what the state government claimed in its affidavit to the Supreme Court. “They have told the court that rehabilitation work is complete,” Prashant Bhushan, the lawyer for the Narmada Bachao Andolan, said.
On 18.6.06 11:58 pm, "email@example.com" wrote:
National Alliance of People’s Movements
29-30, 1st floor, ŒA‚ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg,
Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai 400014.
Telefax: (022) 2415052. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
INVITATION FOR CRUCIAL NATIONAL STRATEGY MEETING ON DISPLACEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
7th-8th July, Bhopal
The struggle that is on, whether in Kalinga Nagar or in the Narmada Valley, is not begging for anything from the government in the name of rehabilitation, but is to assert rights to natural resources, development planning as well as right to development, by the dam affected people. Many years-long struggles and the state's response have taught us a lot and enabled and strengthened linkages among the various organizations who uphold the same cause. There are people in the nook and corner of the country who are facing and challenging displacement, where unjustified, and trying to redefine development to advocate the right path, sustainable and equitable.
The battles in the water, mining, infrastructure, urban development or any other sector, where communities after communities are evicted and ousted from their homes and environs, are facing brutal repression and yet continue to challenge the State since the power holders are all out to loot those who live simple lives with natural resources, those who toil with their human power. The abuse of human rights including right to life and the plunder of natural resources involved in this, both have become characteristics of our development paradigm, now have a face much more inhumane and criminal than ever before. We, who have been striving to protect people's livelihoods, cultures with diversity, civilizations within a civilization, are witnessing and facing forcible evictions, without people's consent and democratic participation. The onslaught faced by communities of adivasis, dalits, farmers, labourers, fishworkers, artisans and small traders has increased beyond all bounds, with the c
The designs of the World Bank, ADB and all corporate investors, who are all out to reap huge profits by gaining access to India's resources and markets, will only cause further deprivation and destitution for not only the highly marginalized communities, but also 60% and more of India's population who rely on their labour and nature's wealth.
It is in this context that the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) resolved in its National Convention held in Bangalore recently that a national strategy meeting, of affected persons and activists, would be organised to evolve an effective strategy. The meeting is being planned, and representatives of displaced peoples' organisations, and others working towards the same cause are invited. This being a crucial meeting to plan a national strategy and a coalition, please do attend. Do also inform others.
0 Medha Patkar 0 Ulka Mahajan 0 Mukta Srivastava (National Convenors, NAPM) 0 Ashish Mandloi (NBA)
Dates: July 7th and 8th, 2006
Venue: Gandhi Bhavan, Shyamala Hills, Near Polytechnic Chauraha, Bhopal
- Gandhi Bhavan will be available from July 7th morning onwards. If you require accommodation on 6 th night, please contact us in advance.
- Kindly book your return tickets for 8th night
- As you know, we have no project-based funding; hence participants are requested to bear their own travel expenses and, if possible, contribute a small honorarium towards food expenses.
Please do try and confirm your participation on the following phone numbers or email addresses:
Dipti, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Badwani: 09893204498
Umesh/ Ashish, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Badwani: 09425479854
On 18.6.06 11:59 pm, "email@example.com" wrote:
MEETING OF NATIONAL URBAN DEVELOPMENT STRUGGLE AND ACTION COMMITTEE ON JULY 7-8
National Urban Development Struggle and Action Committee
C/o Lokayan, 13, Alipur Road Delhi- 13
Phone: 09868200316 , E-mail: ,
The urban poor across the country are facing an unprecedented onslaught, of the capitalist and consumerist forces and undemocratically imposed plans. The resultant eviction is brutal and unconstitutional. The Right to Shelter, livelihood and every constitutional right is being violated, and the people are denied even a basic support and citizen‚s right to democratic participation. The toiling, unorganised working class that builds and runs the city, beyond caste and creed, class and community is excluded from the development benefits and instead, are compelled to face the backlash in the form of displacement to destitution.
The scenario has changed into the most inhuman and accelerated State attack with bulldozers to arsons as the weapons, used and approved by every organ of the State. The large percentage of city dwellers, in slums and chawls, in hawking and trade are facing this, but also raising voice, struggling against all odds. Even with a shrunken space, when we question our own government, the vested interests and exploitative economics, the foreign and Indian capital invested in the name of urban renewal, infrastructure or development facilitated by international financing institutions, the World Bank, ADB are playing a foul game. The policy changes be it land ceiling to the National Urban Renewal Mission indicate distorted priorities and hence need serious and strong questioning with propagating pro-poor, sustainable and equitable alternatives.
This is not a small task nor is it a short-term goal. It requires an alliance amongst all those working with the urban poor slum dwellers to workers, women, children and all the deprived, that would lead a national movement. The urban poor in action can and will join the rural poor their counterparts in the regions, they themselves were thrown out of. It is towards this end that a major plan with humble aim of a national challenge to the state and its investor-lender allies is planned under the banner of the National Urban Development Struggle and Action Committee formed during the national convention held in Mumbai
We intend to hold a meeting on July 7th and 8th night, during and as a part of the National Meeting on Displacement and Development to be conveyed by NAPM at Gandhi Bhavan, Shyamala Hills, Near Polytechnic Chauraha, Bhopal.
Please do attend.
Thereafter a month long national tour of various cities and a few towns in the country by senior activists eminent persons and representatives of urban mass based organizations and supporters will commence from September 28th the Shaheed Niyogi Diwas and the Harsud Day. This will obviously be turned into a National Conference in Delhi on October 28th to 30th to discuss and deliberate on NURM, the various facets of urban development, analyze the States role and our rights as also to evolve effective strategies. We all must know that Desh Bachao Desh Banao Andolan, conceived to be initiated in 2007 will also have a large participation of the urban struggles and strugglers
Your participation in all of these programmes beginning from July 7-8th is therefore, indispensable (a separate invitation is enclosed).
Do write to us with your views, suggestions and commitments seen as likely, at the earliest.
With regards, Rajendra Ravi, Shaktiman Ghosh, Raju Bhise, Sushil George, and Medha Patkar