Saturday, April 15, 2006

Demanding right to live

We all are aware of the plight of Kashmiri Pundits. The natives of Jammu and Kashmir who were displaced due to terrorism in the valley in 1990s and then got nothing from any government except false promises and assurances. They lost their homes, their property and their land. They lost everything.
And the history is set to repeat itself. Not in Jammu and Kashmir but in the western part of country where many are going to be displaced simply because their own government is not interested in giving them an opportunity to live peacefully.
I am talking about thousands of people who are going to be displaced by Sardar Sarovar Project. The Government instead of following Supreme Court's order that first the affected people are given compensation and settled properly, is painting their valid demand as anti-development. Is asking for your right wrong? These people who gave their land to Government and agreed to leave everything for the sake of development (and I am not even talking about how viable this 'development project' is, considering the cost and dangers to ecology and environment involved) are now forced to take the path of protest to ask for something as basic as right to live!
And guess what, all our honorable PM can do is to appeal Ms. Patkar to end her hunger strike. Mr. PM, you are supposed to be a man of action. So why inaction in this case? After Supreme Court's verdict, even NBA has dropped demand for not increasing height of the dam; only thing they want is proper rehabilitation of dam victims. What is the problem in this? No development project should be allowed to plunge many others in the darkness of misery.
I appeal to the President and Prime Minister of India to ensure that people getting affected by this project are given proper benefits and they are rehabilitated properly. People of our own country must not be made to live like refugees in their own country.