National Alliance of People’s MovementsPress Release: 13th March, BharuchThe helpless expose “vibrant” Gujarat to DMIC YatraThe DMIC Virodhi Sangharsh Yatra reached Gujarat on its 5th day after various programmes in Mumbai, Konkan, Khandesh and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra. Gujarat, a veritable ‘investment destination’ favoured by the global corporate who’s who, is a ‘development hotspot’ sold around the world by its Chief Minister’s image spinmasters. As image makers and corporate lobbyists brag about Gujarat’s red carpet for business, SEZs (Special Economic Zones), SIRs (Special Investment Regions), PCPIR (Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region) are the flavour of an endless season as far as corporate honchos are concerned. On the other hand every social indicator, including malnutrition, sex ratio, education and health indicators, tell an entirely different story. Gujarat’s record on each of these is shameful. That is what the Yatra exposed during the course of its journey.The Yatra touched Umargaon (Dist. Valsad), Gundiya village (Dharampur Tehsil, Dist. Valsad), Hazira-Surat, Sarbhan village (Dist. Bharuch) and Indravarna village (Dist. Narmada), bringing together Adivasis, fisher-people, farmers and unorganised workers. Each of these groups has had its right to life and livelihood threatened by the steam roller driven by the Manmohan Singh-Narendra Modi-Ahluwalia-Chidambaram-Navin Patnaik-Jayalalita axis. While the fisher-people of Umargaon haven’t yet recovered from Lt. Col. Pratap Save’s death by police brutality, another mega port plan is foisted on them by an Israeli corporation along with its Indian minion – Adivasis of Dharampur face the daylight loot of water resources in the garb of the Par-Tapi-Narmade river link project. Similarly lands of farmers of villages around Surat and Bharuch are threatened by various projects connected with the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor.Bringing together these various groups, the DMIC Virodhi Sangharsh Yatra exposed the Goebbelsian propaganda regarding Gujarat’s strides in industrial development and its accompanying myths.The real facts are:
- The problem of unemployment remains as acute as ever despite the “vibrant” investment that is trumpeted around the world – at best, Gujarat only has job-less or job-loss growth.
- That people are willingly parting with their land, water and forest resources is a black lie. Forceful acquisition and unjust projects are being resisted everywhere.
- Infrastructure projects – whether they be railway lines, expressways, ports or nuclear power plants – are no longer “holy cows”, people have seen through the hollowness of Governmental claims and will fight them tooth and nail.
- The working people – farmers, fisher-people, adivasis – are paying a very heavy price and are thrown into the hell fire of urban slums.
- The myth of Gujarat as a model of development is beginning to unravel.
This is the message received by NAPM’s DMIC Virodhi Sangharsh Yatra from the affected people of Gujarat. The Yatra will move towards Kheda and Ahmedabad on its last leg on 14th March 2013. After a public meeting in Ahmedabad on 14th March 2013, the Yatra will set out for Indore.Medha Patkar, Krishnakant, Anand Majhgavkar, Suniti S. R, Lingraj Azad, Kamla Yadav, Anwari Bi, Afreen Bi, Santosh Thakur, Dhyaneshwar Rodge, Pratap Gaikwad, Yuvraj, Vaibhav Joshi, Madhuresh-09818905316