NBA Press Note

October 27, 2000

Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

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Tel: 07290-22464

NBA Open For Any Enquiry on Funds .... Conditionally; Fast enters the third day

Jayanarayan Vyas, Minister for Narmada, Govt. of Gujarat, while asking for an enquiry by CBI into the foreign exchange violations, as reported by newspapers, has done nothing new. He was just harping on old and unfounded allegations by a few politicians who imagine that everybody employs the 'same' working methods as them. Some years back, Gujarat Samachar, a vernacular daily, had to apologise for making similar allegations, after NBA filed a defamation case against them.

The NBA, as has been earlier, is open to any enquiry, constituted by any authority. But on one condition. If the allegation is proved wrong, Mr.Vyas, apart from apologizing publicly, should resign from Minister-ship and take sanyas from politics.

NBA reiterate that, we take no foreign funds, nor have we taken the award money of any of the foreign awards.

NBA have never believed in "giving and taking lives", as Mr.Vyas has said. We have never made any such statement, either in writing or orally. On the contrary, during the non-violent struggle of all these years, we have been at the receiving end of State atrocities. It was Gujarat police who raped an NBA adivasi activist. In Maharashtra, one adivasi youth was killed in police firing, in all three states, people and activists have been subjected to repeated police atrocities, illegal detention etc. Mr.Vyas' interpretation of the call for Satyagraha as "culpable genocide" only illustrates his poor understanding of the principles of Mahatma Gandhi. "Culpable Genocide" is what the consequences of raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam will be.

Fast Enters third Day

After observing the Laxmi Poojan (Diwali) was observed as a black day yesterday in village after village in the valley. News has reached with more representatives joining from the valley villages Bagud, Piplud, Pipri, Dadada, Kundia, Kadmal, Bhavaria and many other villages. Here in Bhopal, the dharna and the fast by 8 at Bhopal have entered the third day. The people on fast are tired physically, but high on spirits. One may recall that Medha Patkar, along with Mamata Rajesigh (Vill. Ekalwara), Manorama Patel (vill. Balgao), Gita bahen and Mahadev Patidar (vill. Badada), Kamala Patidar (Vill. Pathrad, Mahesshwar dam affected), Leela bahen (Vill. Nisarpur) and Mohan Kumar (supporter of the Andolan from Kerala) are on a 5 day fast from 25 October onwards in protest against the Supreme Court Verdict on the Narmada case and also to appeal the Civil society to stand by justice and people.

Politechnic Junction, where the action is going on, is active with songs and slogans, tribal dance and speeches. More and more organisations / supporters from Nagpur, Delhi, Karnataka, Bombay and other places are joining the struggle here. Noted litterateur, Arundhati Roy has come down to the dharna place to participate in the ongoing agitations and strengthen the people. Youths from the valley, Rewa Ke Yuva, and other young supporters are moving around the streets of Bhopal with the street drama 'Bhopal Bachao'.

Alok Agarwal; Joe Athialy