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Medha Patkar hears voices of dissent - [03/05/99] - The Hindustan Times
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Monday, May 3, 1999, New Delhi
 

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Medha Patkar hears voices of dissent
HT Correspondent (Bhopal, May 2)

THE NARMADA Bachao Andolan (NBA) appears to have been divided in two camps, with one camp of junior leaders defying the authority of Medha Patkar, the hitherto undisputed leader.

Sources within the NBA, a movement started in 1985 to oppose the human displacement, to oppose the big dams and save Narmada river, opine that Ms Patkar is actually unhappy with the group which has dragged the Maheshwar dam issue in the essentially Sardar Sarovar Project protest movement and thus has sought to damage the NBA’s image.

Last week when the Bhopal police took a brutal action against the striking NBA workers here in presence of Baba Amte and Ms Patkar, the rift within the movements leaders came to the fore. Sources confirmed to The Hindustan Times that Ms Patkar was not in favour of starting an agitation with Maheshwar project as its focal point in the first place and then taking it to an extreme end, leaving no room for talks. Upset with the recalcitrant attitude of some of her junior colleagues of the movement, Ms Patkar, winner of the Sweden-based Right Livelihood Award (known as the alternative Nobel peace prize), left Bhopal in huff without informing her colleagues the day police action took place here.


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