Underlining the need for mass movements at an event, human rights activist Medha Patkar said that today due to the policies of the Centre, marginalized communities have been marginalized, all the options of the poor have been taken away from them, due to which they have to come out on the streets. Used to be.
New Delhi: Human rights activist Medha Patkar, responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agitationist taunt, said that yes, we are agitators because you have forced us to become agitators.
Patkar said, “Today due to centralized policies, the marginalized sections of the society have been marginalised, all the options of the poor have been taken away from them, due to which they have to come out on the streets.”
Patkar, who has been a continuous agitation for 36 years against big dams in the country, on Sunday referred to the one-way distribution of dam water towards many cities while many areas like Saurashtra and Kutch are still facing water crisis.
Patkar was delivering a Chunnibhai Vaidya Memorial lecture on the death anniversary of the late land rights activist on December 19.
Chunibhai is also known as Chunikaka. He was also called the new Gandhi of Gujarat because of his non-violent struggles.
His mass movements through Gujarat Lok Samiti forced many big corporate houses to back down or reform their plans.
Patkar referred to the farmers’ movement and said that this would not have been possible without the mass movement.
Let us tell you that due to the almost year-long agitation of the farmers, the BJP government had to withdraw the three controversial agricultural laws.
“We have also seen good judges who have faced political pressure to a certain degree before bowing down and finding a middle ground,” he said. We have seen such judges from Ayodhya to Kashmir and then they have also seen them taking membership of Rajya Sabha.
Emphasizing on the need for mass movements, Patkar said, “We may fight legal battles and we may find supporters among bureaucrats and judges, but without mass movements, this area will see little change.”
He said that the time has come to fight even at the level of international funding agencies like United Nations, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, which understand the concerns of tribals and dalits, but also ask government agencies to implement policies against them. Also provide funds.
Patkar said, ‘Their (government) alleges that we get funds from abroad for your movements, while I had even returned my prize money, but a huge amount of money is coming into the country to implement this so called PPP model policies. ‘
He said, ‘How much foreign fund came for PM Cares Fund and disaster management? Where’s the money there?’
He said that the government claims that they do not have money for tribals, landless, poor and farmers but they have money for Central Vista, Sardar Patel statue. They have Rs 68,000 crore to waive off NPAs of big corporates.
Patkar recalled his movement and how the Narmada Bachao Andolan had forced the World Bank to withdraw funding for the Sardar Sarovar project.
Patkar said, ‘In the internal document of the World Bank on Narmada, it has been said that they will get entry in tribal areas.’
Patkar said, “All small-scale struggles are important to create large-scale movements, which question the paradigm of development at all levels. Chunnikaka had said that the village land belongs to the village but is it so now? Do villagers have control over water, forest, land, which are being given to the corporate sector, mining mafia? Where is the three-tier Panchayati Raj system?’
He said that there is no alternative to mass movements.
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