We will intensify the 30 years long struggle to ensure justice to the lakhs of people and environment of the valley and also to assert our development paradigm, based on justice and equity, not “jhoot” and “loot”, declared the valley and the supporters, in a united voice during the Mass Convention on Land, Livelihood and Housing Rights organized at Rajghat, Badwani yesterday.
Numerous representatives of people’s movements, political groups, social organizations, intellectuals, artists, activists passed the “Rajghat Resovle” in the middle of Narmada, in the presence of thousands of adivasis-farmers, fish workers, landless workers, potters etc, who have embarked on an indefinite struggle against the Sardar Sardar Project, with renewed strength as “owners” of their acquired lands and houses.
Exactly a year ago, on 24th Aug, 2014; thousands of oustees declared that they are “owners” of the acquired properties as per the New Land Acquisition Act, since possession continues to remain with the people, since 10-15 years. Once again, yesterday the people thundered that neither the Sardar Saroavar nor Sarkar can submerge their lands and villages.
According to release while talking to the thousands of oustees, Yogendra Yadav from Swaraj Abhiyan and Jai Kisan Andolan said that Sardar Sarovar is symptomatic of the obnoxious political culture of the country. “The illegality and inhumanity of the SSP, is now exposed in the Courts and on the field and the Govt. must stop installation of the gates of the Dam forthwith”, he demanded.
Medha Patkar questioned the reluctance of the government in reviewing mega dam projects across the country, which have led to massive environmental degradation and displacement of millions of people, over the past 60 years. She pointed out to Sardar Sarovar as a classic example of failure of large dams and said the government must be held accountable to the nation; not only for the 90,000 crores investment, but also for the sacrifice of 2.5 lakh people and its cozy relationships with the corporate. We will not allow the gates to be installed and we will fight with our life, she said. ”Our challenge is greater than that of government’s”, she added.
Numerous students from different colleges in Delhi, (including Ramjass, Furguesson, TISS, Malegaon etc.) expressed solidarity and stated that what is not taught in colleges and universities is learnt from the Andolans of this country and therefore “we come again and again”, to gain strength, wisdom and learn from the people, the everyday life.