Dear Medha, Arundhati and members of the Narmada Bachao Andolan,
Please accept the heartfelt outrage of the Global Sisterhood Network following India's Supreme Court judgment of October 18. We are an international group of feminists, the majority from South Asia and the Pacific, but representing most of the world's regions, who are working together to improve women's lives. We have long admired the NBA's courageous, nonviolent struggle against the seemingly insurmountable odds of ruthless and/or corrupt government agencies, transnational corporations, and those vested with perceived superiority by India's constitutionalized caste system.
While awaiting the Supreme Court decision, we were optimistic that judiciary would heed international opinion which, over the years, has awakened to the social and environmental downsides of large dams. Equally, we were optimistic that the Supreme Court would heed the NBA's plea that the Sardar Sarovar Projects were doomed to fail in terms of the human rights of those destined to be displaced from the Narmada, and in terms of efficient water management and energy development. It goes with out saying that our trust in India's legal process was destroyed at 3.00 PM on Black October 18. In unison with truth and justice-seeking NGOs from around the world, we condemn Chief Justice A S Anand and Justice B N Kirpal for their roles in denying the NBA petition, as too we condemn the Gujarat Government for filing the dishonourable petition which duped the judiciary. Ultimately, the collusion between the Supreme Court and the Gujarat Government stands as a national disgrace, indelibly staining India's reputation as a democracy, and spitting in the face of international treaties on human rights and environmental protection to which India is a signatory.
The Global Sisterhood Network wishes you every success in your continuing struggle for justice, and pledges total support for each and every action you choose to take.
Sincerely and in solidarity,
Global Sisterhood Network
Listed below are the names of 15 members and affiliates of GSN who have specifically asked to express their personal solidarity [and in the case of numbers 1 to 9] their organizational solidarity with the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Rukmini and Jamuna [numbers 1 and 2] also plan to send you letters of solidarity in a week's time when they return from their field work in Khammam, Andhra Pradesh.
In solidarity and with best regards, Lynette.
* Dr. Scutt is the Human Rights Commissioner for the state of Tasmania, who via the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Tasmania, is jointly sponsoring International Human Rights day events, December 10 to December 14, with GSN and RMIT University, to link the submergence and displacement of tribals from the Narmada Valley with the genocide of Australia's Mirrar [a small Indigenous tribe whose numbers are presently reduced to 32 adults] by the federal government and mining giant Rio Tinto's program to extract the world's richest uranium deposit from their homeland Kakadu/Jabaluka in Northern Australia.