Date: 14th August 2013
Mandal-Bechraji SIR: People-power wins!
Nearly 4 months after the launch of the agitation against the Mandal-Bechraji SIR, today the people have tasted victory, however incomplete it yet be.
In a press conference addressed by the state Finance Minister, Shri Nitin Patel, today, he declared that the state government had decided to remove 36 villages from the MBSIR, retaining 8 villages. The leaders of the agitation or the CBO have received no official communication in this matter.
This is an incomplete victory since the demands of the agitation viz. withdrawal of the SIR notification, removal of the Maruti Suzuki Company and reversing the process of de-commanding of the Narmada command area are yet pending. It is nonetheless welcome since this is the first time in the last 12 years that the state government had to give in to the demands of the people owing to massive show of strength and their unprecedented solidarity in the face of machinations.
The decision on further programmes will be taken jointly in consultation with the people of the area.
There are two lessons that come out very glaringly:
A) Farmers have seen through the ‘development’ gimmick of the government and are not going to fall prey to those platitudes, falsehoods and hype.
B) Industry and corporate leaders need to understand the local mood and anger before inking the MOUs and not be misled by the government’s false assurances.
Lalji Desai Sagar Rabari
On behalf of Jameen Adhikar Aandolan – Gujarat (JAAG)