Gathering at the Constitution Club in New Delhi, more than two hundred people including many present and former MPs, retired judges, senior social activists, lawyers, artists, film makers, writers, technical experts, environmentalists, academics and young persons participated and expressed solidarity with the resilient adivasis, farmers, fisher people, landless and thousands of other Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) oustees, who have been challenging the illegality of the raise in dam height in violation of the binding norms of the Narmada Tribunal and the Judgements of the Supreme Court.
Numerous supporters from the Left parties were proffered. The Bhumi Adhikar Andolan also participated in the Convention.
According to a press release by Narmada Bachao Andolan Com. D. Raja, MP, CPI; Com Ragish, MP, CPM; Swamy, MP, Rajya Sabha; former CPM – MP, Hannan Mollah extending their solidarity, stated that their state and national units would provide increased support to the Andolan and would mobilise political support for the cause, both inside and outside the Parliament.
They condemned NDA government while calling its nature anti-people nature and called upon the Prime Minister to act within the confines of law, instead of taking the side of big business.
Affected people from the Valley highlighted that there is not enough understanding of what happens after displacement, with or without Rehabilitation and Resettlement.
As Sanobar bi from Chikhalda village said, women have been the worse affected. Alluding to the Modi’s favorite Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, she said, “Of what use are toilets for people who have no homes or livelihood?!”.
Representatives from 3 states spoke of their 30 years of struggle and the gradual disintegration of their culture because of displacement, lack of good land, poor state of resettlement sites, massive corruption etc.
Veterans Kuldip Nayyar, Admiral Ramdas and Jst. Retd. Rajinder Sachar, heard the representatives from the three states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, and stated that the struggle in Narmada is emblematic of what is happening in the whole country. They conveyed their complete solidarity and assured that they shall raise the issue at every possible fora.