NBA Press Release
8th August, 1999
KARNAD, ANANTHMURTHY ASK PRESIDENT TO DECOMMISSION SSP
Narmada Solidarity Day Observed
Eminent writers and environmentalists including Jnanpeeth Award winners
Girish Karnad and U.R. Ananthmurthy, Magasasay Award winner theatre
personality K.V. Subbanna have sought immediate intervention by
President K.R. Narayanan to decommission the Narmada Valley Project
respecting the considered views of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
They have also called for a fresh debate on existing "lethal paradigm of
development designed and executed by a bureaucratic vision which
... seeks to establish an inequitable and fractured India".
The other signatories on the letter to the President include
actor-director Suresh Heblikar, writers Murariballal, Manu Chakravarthy,
Pattabhiram Somayaji, environmental activists Shampa Daithota and
Somanath Nayak, among others.
Expressing their anguish over the displacement of the tribals and
peasants they described the Narmada Project as the "monster-child" of
the nightmarish paradigm of development. They feared that such a
development would submerge the people of the Narmada Valley, but also
the "dignified democratic process and native wisdom of all the people".
They said that the Andolan is the self-expression of the inherited
collective wisdom of India to save itself and its dream for a better
future. It also symbolised the strength of the humblest people in their
bid to assert their right to exist.
They appealed to the President to ensure the safety of the furture of
the country by protecting the "lives, rights, concerns and dreams" of
the Andolan activists.
Meanwhile, August 3 was observed as the Narmada Solidarity day in
Banglore, Dharwad and at least two other places in Karnataka. In
Bangalore,a seminar was held under the auspices of National Alliance of
People's Movement (NAPM) and Narmada Solidarity Forum on " Mega projects
- Problems and Alternatives". Prof A.K.N. Reddy gave the keynote address
and representatives from similar projects in Karnataka talked. The
meeting which was attended by over 300 people issued a statement of
solidarity with the NBA and have urged the State to take cognizance of
the peoples demands it was submitted to the governor.