Friends of Narmada Press Release

October 18, 2000

 

Supreme Court judgment is anti-people

The Supreme Court's verdict on the Sardar Sarovar Project is entirely against the interests and fundamental rights of the people of the Narmada Valley. For 15 years, by means of a heroic, non-violent struggle the Narmada Bachao Andolan has unmasked the grave injustice to be perpetrated against the people of the Valley in the name of development.

The design and planning process of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) has been inherently unjust, without an iota of people's participation. The different state governments and the Union of India has exhibited a singular lack of interest and concern towards the welfare of the poor and underprivileged people whose lives would be devastated by this project. Moreover, there is a heap of evidence that lays bare the fundamental flaws inherent to the cost-benefit analysis of the entire Narmada Valley Development Plan. In the face of such remarkable evidence against the SSP, the Supreme Court judgment delivered today on the project is a mockery of justice and egalitarianism in a democratic society.

We are saddened by the failure of the Court to grasp this opportunity to reiterate our collective national concern for the welfare of all Indian citizens. Instead, by siding with a devious and duplicitous Government the Supreme Court has severely eroded the common man's expectation of justice and redressal in free India. However we note that this judicial failure is somewhat tempered by the dissenting judgment by Justice Bharucha who has called for a halt of further construction until several serious outstanding issues are addressed.

We, the Friends of Narmada are aware of the immense strength of the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the people of the Narmada Valley that arises from the just nature of their cause. At this critical juncture, we express our whole-hearted solidarity with them in their continuing struggle for truth and justice.

Venu Govindu
Subramaniam Vincent

Friends of River Narmada