The Tentacles of Injustice

shreerupa

Shreerupa Mitra-Jha | June 27, 2014



An image from my visit to the Narmada Valley in 2007 was to haunt me for a long time to come. I was sitting in a boat when tribal children from up the hill were coming down to meet a group of us who had come to the valley. They displayed a discipline and maturity far beyond their eight years of life. Their faces were a peculiar combination of submission and anger. These are the Narmada children who were raised watching their parents fight a ‘war’ to protect their livelihood and their land from the state, their purported protector.

The Narmada valley today is a watery grave. Towns after towns have been submerged along with its rich flora and fauna, temples, masjids, roads, schools, cemeteries, and all that bore signs of a rich civilization that existed in the valley prior to submergence. Few know that Narmada is the only place where uninterrupted civilization has existed since the Stone Age.

The Sardar Sarovar is slated to be raised yet again from its present 122 m to 138.68 m. Medha Patkar, the most public face of the resistance to Sardar Sarovar, was sitting on a dharna in Delhi for two days last week.

While the issue has run its course from occupying the front pages of the news print to settling down as a small brief in the inside pages, my recent visit to the valley revealed that the condition of the oustees in the valley, however, is the same. Few actors may have changed—a dead father replaced by a son, a dead husband replaced by a wife, but their problems remain. They don’t tire telling you their story with the hope that someone listens. I met Manglya from Maharashtra whom I had met in 2007; more gaunt and much more aged, but with the same unmistakable strength on his face, still fighting for compensation. A man said, “We don’t even have money to come to NBA to write letters to the grievance redressal authority because it takes 100Rs from the village to come to Badwani.”  The supreme court judgment 2005 states that “In terms of stipulations, raising of the dam which would cause submergence would not be permitted unless rehabilitation programme is carried out.” However, rehabilitation is in a terrible state but submergence continues.

On Wednesday Patkar met Uma Bharati, the water resources minister and Thawar Chand Gehlot, social justice and empowerment minister. While Bharati blamed the present state of affairs on the UPA government but gave her word to look into the matter, Gehlot surprisingly commented that he came to know of the decision through the newspapers.  Looks like the social empowerment minister needs a bit of empowering himself.

Comments

 

Other News

Need local solutions to climate change: P Velrasu of BMC

Climate change rising temperature and sea levels are posing new risks for coastal cities. With population growth rate of 1%- 2% in India every year, Mumbai too is growing and is population will double from 20 million to 40 million in the coming years. The city is also at the risk of rising sea level. It ne

Civil Services 2022 Top 20 felicitated

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, MoS PMO, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space and MoS Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh on Tuesday interacted with and felicitated the first 20 All India Toppers of IAS/ Civil Services Exam 20

Boost to offshore wind energy projects

In a major decision, the Government has decided to grant waiver of ISTS charges to Off-Shore Wind Projects and extend the waiver to Green Hydrogen/Green Ammonia. This decision has been taken to facilitate wider execution of offshore wind energy initiatives, to promote the expansion of Green Hydrogen / Gree

Duty of stakeholders to provide cost effective, alternate energy fuels: Gadkari

Urging use of alternative and cost effective fuels to reduce pollution caused by vehicles, union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said finding cost-effective fuels is the need of the hour and underlined that use of fuels like bio-CNG and green hydrogen help in protecting the e

Record production of rice, wheat, and sugarcane estimated

The foodgrain production of 3305.34 lakh tonnes is estimated in the current agricultural year 2022-23 – higher by 149.18 LMT as compared to the previous year, according to the Third Advance Estimates of production of major crops released by the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare.

India`s ‘AIRAWAT’ ranks 75th in top 500 Supercomputing List

The AI Supercomputer ‘AIRAWAT’, installed at C-DAC, Pune, has been ranked 75th in the world. It was declared so in the 61st edition of Top 500 Global Supercomputing List on Tuesday at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC 2023) in Germany. It puts India on top of AI S

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter