Supreme Court Again Comes Under Harsh Criticism On Narmada Verdict
Prominent People Ask Court To Make Them Party To Contempt Proceedings
Against Patkar and Roy
Narmada Parikrama Concluded
Thousands of oustees from the Narmada valley along with the prominent
social activists severely criticsed the Supreme Court verdict as
'anti-people' decision and have asked the Court to make them too the party
to the contempt proceedings against Medha Patkar and Arundhati Roy. This
was declared at a large rally held at Indore on April 10, at the conclusion
of the 'Narmada Sangharsha Parikrama'.
Along with many prominent people, the villagers sent a letter to the Chief
Justice of India, asking him to make them party to the contempt proceedings
regarding the Court ruling in Narmada case. They have asked as to why only
Medha Patkar, Arundhati Roy and Adv. Prashant Bhushan were singled out for
the contempt notices, as thousands of the people from the valley and their
supporters from all over India have publicly criticized and rejected the
verdict of the Court and the anti-people, unconstitutional attitude of the
court in the Narmada case. They said that they were ready to prove that
their criticism of the Court has sound Constitutional basis. The Court had
issued contempt notices to the three activists for leading a protest rally
of Narmada oustees in front of the Supreme Court in November last year.
The Signatories include social activist Swami Agnivesh, Socialist ideologue
Surendra Mohan, trade unionist tulsi Boda from Gujarat, former chairperson
of National Commission on Women, Ms. Mohini Giri, leader of Chhattisgarh
Mukti Morcha, Com. Janaklal Thakur, Dr. B.D. Sharma ( former Commissioner
of SC/ST and chairman of Bharat Jan Andolan), senior journalist Prabhash
Joshi, Prof. RVG Menon of Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad, Sanjay M.G.,
Vimalbhai and Suniti S.R., Sukhendu Bhattacharya, Anitha, Jacob
Vadkancherry, Abhoy Singh and Lata P.M. from National Alliance of People's
Movement (NAPM), Abdul Jabbar of Bhopal Gas Affected People's Organization,
Adv. Bagdi Mahedrabhai and Rambhushan Agrawal from Indore.
The Indore meeting concluded the week-long 'Parikrama' from April 4-10,
which covered number of villages in the plains of Nimad in the valley. At
the conclusion, a large rally and public meeting was held in the heart of
city, where about three thousand people gathered to express solidarity with
the struggle. Various organizations from Madhya Pradesh like Adivasi Mukti
Sanghatan, Samaj Pragati Sahayog, National Alliance of People's Movements,
Samajwadi Jan Parishad, CMM and Ekalavya etc. also participated. The
meeting condemned the recent killings of tribals in Dewas district by M.P.
Almost all the speakers harshly criticised the Narmada verdict by the
Supreme Court. Terming it as 'shameful', Swami Agnivesh pointed out at the
inability of the Supreme Court to restore the lives of the bonded labourers
even after the 10-year-old verdict. Surendra Mohan made it clear that the
wrong verdicts of the court could changed be as they were revised five
times in the past by the Parliament and the state legislatures. Dr.
Sunilam (MLA and Kisan Sangharsha Samiti) denounced the tactics of M.P.
government about repressing the peasants and tribals.
Medha Patkar, along with the representatives from the valley emphasised the
need for a coordinated struggle of peasants and tribals and other exploited
classes to safeguard their right to life, livelihood and their resources.
Devram Kanera, the senior activist conducted the meeting.