Saturday, April 08, 2006

Artists' Day at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi: The NBA protest

Today was the 23rd day of dharna at Jantar Mantar by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) against the raising of the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam by the Narmada Water Authority in contravention of Supreme Court orders.

On April 5, at around 11:30pm, a force of more than 400 police swamped Jantar Mantar, forcefully and roughly attacking the satyagrahis who were peacefully sitting on their 20th day of dharna. Medha Patkar and Jamsingh Nargave, on their 8th day of indefinite fast, were arrested, forcefully lifted and taken in an ambulance to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. They have both maintained their fast, Medha refusing IV and taking only lime juice. Meanwhile, over fifty Narmada Bachao activists were arrested, dragged, beaten up and taken to the Parliament Street Police Station where they were harassed and detained.

At the dharna space, Bhagwati Patidam today continued on the 11th day of her fast. Other people have joined in on the indefinite hunger strike: Bhama Bhai and Raja Kalla from the valley (6th day of fasting); Mona Das, President JNUSU; Dananjaoi Tripathi, Vice President JNUSU; Avadhesh from All India Students' Association; and JNU Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy (4th day of fasting) and two others today.

It is heartening to see the support extended to NBA by organizations and individuals from our city and all over the country. Tomorrow, all artists in Delhi are urged to join the NBA protest: painters, filmmakers, singers, dancers, poets, writers -- bring your wares or just show up in solidarity and make this a Day of Protest by Artists.

WHEN: 10 am onwards, April 9, the entire day

WHERE: NBA Dharna Site, Opposite Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Read Action Updates at narmada.org or sign a petition to be faxed to the Prime Minister and other government authorities.

1 comment:

mineguruji said...

Narmada bachao andolan has become a very fractious issue between the two opposing sides. The gujaratis find it a boon whereas the oustees, see it as a curse.
There is a need to reconcile this fact value dichotomy amongst the various stakeholders.