September 26, 1999
FARMERS ORGANISATIONS MUST SUPPORT NARMADA STRUGGLE
Appeal By Dr. Sunilam of Kisan Sangharsha Samiti on Second Day of Dharna
The struggle in the Narmada valley is an important struggle of the farmers
for their right to life and for their resources, therefore, the farmers
organisations from all over India should support the Narmada struggle
Dr. Sunilam of the Kisan Sangharsha Samiti from Madhya Pradesh. He was
speaking at the indefinite dharna (sit-in) today (Sunday, 26 September), of
the adivasis and peasants in the Narmada valley. The people took out the torchlight procession in Dhule to assert their opposition to the Sardar Sarovar Project and its associated displacement.
The people are demanding the immediate unconditional release of the arrested
villagers and the discussions by the state government with the people on basic
issues. About three hundred people from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and
supporters from different parts of India joined the dharna. Number of
orgnisations from Dhule district today reiterated their solidarity with the
Dr. Sunilam made it clear that the Narmada issue is an issue of the farmers=
farming. That is why the Kisan Sangharsha Samiti supports the Narmada
struggle as a struggle of farmers against displacement and destitution.
Talking with the Dhule press he lamented that no political party in India has
been taking up the basic issues even during an important period like the
elections. He decried the statement by the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Mr.
Narayan Rane, that he would deal firmly with the Andolan. Mr. Rane does not
know the history and the issues of Andolan and he should know that no dictator
in history could suppress a people's movement worth its name. The Narmada
struggle is important not only for the people in the valley but for the
downtrodden people all over India, he said.
Rajkumar Sinha, the main activist of the Bargi Bandh Visthapit Sangha, the
organisations fighting for the rights of the Bargi dam oustees in M.P. also
came to express solidarity with the current phase of the struggle. He
alleged that the releases from the Bargi dam, the first project on Narmada,
caused the devastating floods in Hoshangabad region this month. Prof. J.G.
Khairnar of Dhule made it clear that the Indian Constitution gives primacy to
the rights of the downtrodden people and the courts too must follow the spirit
of the constitution inspired by Dr. Ambedkar.
Jordar Pavra of Punarvsan Sangharsha Samiti narrated the wretched condition of
those who have been displaced already. Mansram Jat for Nimad, reasserted the
resolve of the people from the valley to fight for their land and villages.
Meanwhile number of organizations and prominent persons from Maharashtra,
Tamilnadu, Kerala, Delhi, Bengal have conveyed the Chief Minister of
Maharashtra that the demands of the people of the Narmada valley.