CACIM DELHI DEMOS BULLETIN 16 : Cabinet Political Affairs Committee refers Narmada issue to Review Committee – but so what ? National Day of Action in India to support Narmada and Bhopal actions

From New Delhi, Wednesday, April 12, 2006
PLEASE SEND ON
NARMADA ACTION ALERT / Global Solidarity Relay Hunger Strike for Justice in Bhopal
A lot of news from Delhi today. A lot is happening. But whether this can be decisive, is still unclear.
The maybe big news, as of 6 pm this evening Delhi time, is that on the Narmada front, there is finally some news from the government’s side (though this report is based on reports given by people who went to see the Prime Minister today, and NOT from the government itself). Two delegations who met the PM late this afternoon reported to the NBA and the press at Jantar Mantar this evening that they were told that the Political Affairs Committee had met and considered the report prepared by the government’s fact-finding team (see CDDB 10, 11, and 12 @ http://www.cacim.net/twiki/tiki-view_articles.php?type=article&topic=1 ), and had decided to refer the issue to the Review Committee of the NCA (Narmada Control Authority); and (or so I have understood) the decision of this Committee will be final. This Committee is made up of the Chief Ministers who have interests in the Sardar Sarovar Project (Gujarat – which is by far the greatest gainer, and therefore the greatest interest), Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra – who are the greatest losers -, and Rajasthan – which has little to gain and therefore negligible interest) and by the Union Ministers for Water Resources and for Environment and Forests. According to the report I got of the feedback (from Kavita Srivastava of PUCL Rajasthan, who has been one of the key support actors in the Narmada dharna), the Union Minister for Water Resources (Saif-ud-din Soz, who headed the fact finding team) will also have a casting vote in case there is a deadlock.
The two delegations were of the CPI(M) ((Communist Party of India – Marxist, led by its General Secretary Prakash Karat, and its Politburo member Sitaram Yechury) and of two eminent civil actors, retired Justice Rajindar Sachar, who is also Chairperson of the governmental commission looking into the conditions of Muslims in the country, and Kuldip Nayar, senior journalist.
As NBA activists said when they first heard that this was the likely outcome, ‘So what’s new ?’. Because in many ways the government has just pushed things back to square one – back into the same committee and body that gave the recent clearance to raise the height of the dam from 110 metres to 122, and which led to this latest round of protest and agitation. But the small difference is that this time, the committee will be considering the issue not independently but in the context of the fast by three people – still going on -, the dharna, the fairly heavy media coverage that has taken place, the fairly wide support the dharna has got from civil and political society, and the interventions that have consequently taken place by several important people, including by two former Prime Ministers. This is unlikely to make any difference at all to the hard-line position that Gujarat’s infamous CM, Narendra Modi, always takes, but it might just weigh in on the positions taken by the others (but where those among them who belong to the Congress-I will surely keep closely in mind the advice given to the president of their party, Sonia Gandhi regarding the possibility of ‘losing Gujarat for twenty years’, as reported in CDDB 14).
Keeping all this in mind, the NBA and its supporters have decided to continue the fast and, in addition, a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) case is going to be filed in the Supreme Court tomorrow (Thursday) by a number of eminent citizens, including two former Prime Ministers, V P Singh and I K Gujral, arguing that the raising of the dam to 122 metres before the rehabilitation is in contempt of the court’s orders and therefore should be immediately stopped; as well as other points.
In the meanwhile the government has still not made public the report of the fact-finding team it sent to the Narmada valley. Why ?
Several other important related developments have also taken place today and yesterday evening, since the last CDDB :
* All those who were on hunger fast in solidarity with the original three strikers have withdrawn from their fasts from yesterday evening, on the appeal of Medha Patkar, who has reportedly argued that the movement ‘needs its foot soldiers’ and so they must keep themselves well enough to be able to fight on.
* A delegation of ‘eminent citizens’ went to meet the National Human Rights Commission this late afternoon, questioning the detention of Medha and Jamsingh bhai in hospital without any charges being placed, and also the reported proposal to charge them of the crime of attempting suicide. The NHRC member present accepted the petition but – farcically – explained that since the Chairperson of the Commission is presently away for another two weeks, those members who are here will ‘look at the petition’ but that no action will be taken on it till he is back ! It’s coming summer time; human rights too need a holiday…. What’s so urgent about an indefinite fast ?
* The NBA and its supporters organised a major rally at Jantar Mantar today (see ‘Urgent Call To The Nation’ in CDDB 14). Attended by over a thousand people, largely working class, Adivasis, and farmers from the project-affected areas (Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh), Mumbai, and Delhi, speaker after speaker railed at the government about the evictions and displacement that is taking place all over the country, both in cities and in villages, and what this represents in terms of the attacks on the poor and already oppressed. Representatives of organisations from all areas spoke, as well as of some political parties – the CPI (Communist Party of India), the RSP (Revolutionary Socialist Party), the CPI(ML) (Communist Party of India – Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, and the CPI(M).
* The meeting then broke out into a rally to, once again, the Parliament Street Police Station, where the theatre of the caged was re-enacted (see ‘Bhopal Action’ in CDDB 14). In my understanding, the meeting had an unfortunately traditional ‘political’ formulation (a lot of speakers, one after another) and not designed in a way that would allow those attending to talk to each other – and thereby perhaps begin a process of strategising together; nor did the organisers prepare and put forward even a resolution (or set of resolutions) that could have been taken passed, which would at least have been consistent with the classical design of the meeting. But at least victims of eviction and displacement from many parts of the country got a chance to come to Delhi and both share experiences and also demonstrate their solidarity with the NBA; and hopefully the media understood once again that the issue being raised by the Narmada struggle, and by people in Delhi, is not limited to those two areas.
* The JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) Students’ Union, whose office bearers were among those who have been on solidarity fast, has announced a rally through central Delhi tomorrow evening, from the JNU City Centre to Jantar Mantar, in support of the NBA dharna.
The other potentially crucial development is that some signs of convergence between the two dharnas have begun to show. Yesterday evening, an important first full meeting took place between the Narmada and Bhopal protests, and led to an agreement to organise a ‘National Day of Action in India to Support Narmada and Bhopal Actions’ on this coming Tuesday, April 18. See item 1 below.
Though very significant as a development, it is important to note however that this agreement is limited so far to just one day of coordinated action – and that it is going to take far more than this to bring about – to force – the change of direction that is so obviously required; the change that so many of the speakers today spoke for. What has been planned is necessary, but nowhere near sufficient. It is a great beginning, but the movements – and preferably progressively broadening the participation – need to sustain this process of meeting and coordinating, and develop a longer-term strategy on what has to be done; and in Delhi, to do this with the Delhi movements of the labouring poor. They need of course to retain their own individual demands and to struggle for those; but also to realise and to define, articulate, what is bringing – forcing – them together. Otherwise, the ‘national day of action’ planned for April 16 is just going to be a flash in a deadly, life-threatening pan. And this opportunity that has been created – by the two movements, independently, and where even some political parties have come forward to at least declare their support for them – may not come again for a long, long time. In the meanwhile, the juggernaut of neoliberalism, accelerating as it is today, is very likely going to decimate things to such an extent that the face of the country, let alone of each other, is no longer going to be even recognisable. These moments only come rarely.
Jai Sen, for CACIM
In this issue of CDDB :
[1] 18 APRIL – National Day of Action in India to Support Narmada and Bhopal Actions (April 12)
[2] NARMADA ACTION ALERT – Things you can do (April 12)
[3] Update April 11: Bhopal Hunger Fast Day 1 (April 11-12)
[4] Chennai solidarity fast update (April 11)
[5] Global Relay Hunger Strike for Justice in Bhopal: Fast for a Day or Longer in Solidarity (April 12)
[6] DANCE OF DEATH (April 11)
Note : All back issues of this Bulletin (the CACIM Delhi Demos Bulletin), number 0 onwards, are available @ : http://www.cacim.net/twiki/tiki-view_articles.php?type=article&topic=1
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[1] 18 APRIL – NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION IN INDIA TO SUPPORT NARMADA AND BHOPAL ACTIONS
By Shailendra Yashwant
Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, April 12: Over 50 citizens and activists representing various local, national and international organisations met at Jantar Mantar [in New Delhi] on Monday (11 April) evening to declare 18 April 2006 as a ‘National day of action’ to support the demands of Narmada Bachao Andolan and Justice for Bhopal groups presently on indefinite hunger-strike in New Delhi.
Students, writers, film-makers, musicians, artists, impacted community representatives and activists expressed their outrage about UPA government’s abject failure in ensuring social and environmental justice in the country. Its inability to meet over 20 year old demands of the Sardar Sarovar dam-impacted and Bhopal gas disaster impacted communities while expanding on their mindless development paradigm, destroying lives and damaging the environment, impacting the poor and the poorest, the indigenous and the migrant, in our villages and our cities. Citing spate of recent state acts of terror in Kalinganagar, Gangavaram, Delhi and Mumbai slums the participants pointed out that in its pursuit of profit and business, the UPA government had flouted all Supreme Court directives on rehabilitation, resettlement, compensation and reparation by ruthlessly repressing the voice of the impacted. Its proactive collaboration and corroboration with corporate and vested interests at the cost of its citizens interests, the collapse of judiciary, executive and politics, were the chief concerns expressed by the participants.
It was decided that April 18 will be marked by Relay fasts, Candle-light vigils, dharnas, chakka-jams, pamphleteering, gheraos and other non-violent activities by students, workers, women, children, coordinated by support groups, allies, students groups and citizen’s initiatives in support of the joint statement and demands of NBA and Bhopal groups.
Other proposal included activities to expose the business collaboration of Congress/UPA members with corporations, whether it was the Dow lawyer-cum-Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, former Enron counsel P Chidambaram or Monsanto middleman, or Supreme Court judges such as Justice Ahmadi with his openly unethical behaviour in the matter of Union Carbide and the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust. Citizens charter for a complete rehaul of the present policies on industrial development, land acquisition, urban development, rehabilitation and resettlement with a creative forms of citizens action were discussed. People expressed a lot of dissatisfaction with the Courts, and the Supreme Court with its insulting statements on slum-dwellers and activists came in for particular criticism.
[Shailendra Yashwant took part in the meeting outlined above.] _________________
[2] NARMADA ACTION ALERT
April 12, 2006
Current Status:
* The indefinite hunger strike by Medha Patkar, Jamsinghbhai and Bhagawatibai continues for the 14th day, in spite of arrest and hospitalization of Medha Patkar and Jamsingh bhai. Their health is deteriorating quickly, and our urgent action is critical.
* Team of 3 Union Ministers visited the Narmada valley on April 7th to assess the rehabilitation situation. Independent observers have reported that the Ministerial team was faced with numerous complaints about rehabilitation, and many families who got uncultivable land or only cash compensation. Even at the sites recommended by the officials, they found there were no water, no electricity, no sanitation, incomplete houses and no land for cultivation.
* However, after nearly 4 days, they haven’t made a public report yet! We need to pressure the ministers and the Prime Minister to make a true report of what they observed, and take action based on that!
Immediate Action Required:
* Flood of Phone calls and faxes to the Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi, and the 3 ministers, Saifuddin Soz (Water Resources), Meira Kumar (Social Justice!) & Prithviraj Chauhan (PM Office)
* Letters to Editors of major newspapers
* Those of you in Delhi could go to the respective Ministries and urge immediate action!
Phone Numbers, fax numbers and email addresses given at the end.
Talking Points:
· Ministers should immediately issue public report, and the report should reflect the exact truth of what the rehabilitation situation they saw.
– Why are they delaying? What was the purpose of their visit if they are not ready to share their report?
– They had promised to get back with some action by April 9th, and only then Medhaji will consider withdrawing the hunger strike. This was Medhaji?s public stance.
· Dam construction should be immediately halted.
– Until rehabilitation is ensured meeting the full norms as prescribed by the Supreme Court, how can the construction happen? That is a violation.
– Water Resources Minister Mr. Soz is the chairman of Narmada Control Authority, and he has the authority to not permit the increase in height. Certainly the Prime Minister has the authority!
– On the day after the go-ahead was given by NCA on March 11th, Mr. Soz told the press, ?”I am not at all satisfied with the resettlement and rehabilitation of the project-affected families… The clearance given by the resettlement and rehabilitation sub-group of the Narmada Control Authority to raise the dam height was premature.? How can he not take action?
· Medha Patkar and Jamsinghbhai should be released from the confinement, so that they can interact with the public and media.
– Even the British did not arrest and whisk away Gandhiji when he was on fast!
– Is the government afraid that if the public and media witness Medha’s fast, they will have to face the anger of the public?
Contact Information
From India: Use STD code 011-
>From abroad: Use (international dialing code) 91-11-
· Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh
Office: 23012312, 23013149, 23019545, 23016857 (Fax)
Home: 23018939, 23018668, 23015470, 23015603 (Fax)
Parliament: 23017660, 23019817, 23014255 (Fax)
· Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, leader of UPA, governing coalition
Office: 23014481, 23012656, 23018651 (FAX)
· Prof. Saifuddin Soz, Minister of Water Resources
Office: 23714663, 23714200, 23710804 (Fax)
Home: 23782032, 23782034
· Mrs. Meira Kumar, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment
Office: 23381390, 23381001, 23381902 (Fax)
Home: 26910618, 26910639
· Mr. Prithviraj Chauhan, Minister of State at Prime Minister
Office: 23010191, 23013719, 23017931 (Fax)
Home: 23013132, 23017839 (Fax)
Parliament: 23034963
Email Addresses of PM & Ministers
manmohan@sansad.nic.in
ssaif@sansad.nic.in
secywel@sb.nic.in
chavanprithviraj@sansad.nic.in
Letters to the Editor
editbombay@hindustantimes.com
editor@expressindia.com
toieditorial@timesgroup.com
asianage@vsnl.com
decnet@blr.vsnl.net.in
editor@the-week.com
editor@gujaratsamachar.com
letters-bombay@express2.indexp.co.in
outlook@outlookindia.com
observer@bom3.vsnl.net.in
thestatesman@vsnl.com
starmail@vsnl.com
editor@tribuneindia.com
htedo@giasdl01.vsnl.net.in
pioneer@del2.vsnl.net.in
uni_editorial@hotmail.com
expressindiaweek@aol.com
ttedit@abpmail.com
editor@deccanherald.co.in
letters@thehindu.co.in
frontline@thehindu.co.in
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[3] On 12.4.06 1:08am, “Priya Ranjan” wrote:
If you have not, please sign-up for the solidarity fast – and don’t forget to
call/email our esteemed government officials.
https://www.bhopal.net/2006hungerstrike.html
Update April 11: Bhopal Hunger Fast Day 1
The six – Champa didi, Shehazadi bee, Sanjay, Sathyu, Rachna and Satish – started the indefinite hunger fast today at 11.30am. They had bread and pickle as their last meal. There was only a spattering of press in the afternoon but the dharna finally got some space, a magnanimous couple of inches that too, in the mainstream media. Josh (USA) and Sebastian (France), two young filmmakers, also joined the Bhopalis on a 3-day solidarity fast. Guddi bee and Nafisa bee had erratic heartbeats in the morning, so were advised very strongly not to undertake the fast. Instead, the Sanjay and Champa who are two of the six on stand-by stepped in at the last moment.
After yesterday’s spectacular adrenalin-pumping action, today was a more somber affair as several Bhopalis retreated into a shell of solitude to reserve strength for a long fight. Do read Nity and Jai’s account on yesterday’s actions on any of the bhopal blogs. There were strategy meetings and struggle songs until after dusk. Strategy meetings were on the divider of the road at mid-way point between the Narmada and Bhopal camp. Representatives from both participated and a series of joint actions will be held this week. The fortuitous coming together of two oldest struggles at the same place and time has fore bearings of something momentous. In their long history, Narmada movement and Bhopal campaign have never truly joined forces to fight for the very basic of human rights. As both enter a very critical phase of respective struggles, we can sense something big is about happen. Something that will determine the fate of these two and consequently many others to whom these serve as inspiration and models.
Champa didi, Shehazadi bee, Rashida bee, and others, after the evening fell quiet, meandered around conversations from the future of the campaign, grand kids and possibly the most passionate topic of the hour – to only adopt or to have one’s own kids as well. The opinion was equally divided. This perhaps is not the forum to go into the details. Suffice to say that in spite of the lingering days without food and instructions to save energy, the women show no signs of wear. They are as keen and sharp as they always have been. 21 years can either break you or steel you. These women are as strong as they come. In their own words – “If historically Indian women had been given opportunities to express themselves, India would have been a model state.”
Sathyu and Rachna were busy coordinating and planning. Don’t think there was a minute when their hands stopped writing or typing. Rachna very emphatically declared that if anyone even mentions food around her, s/he would suffer disastrous consequences. I for one, have no reasons to test the limits of her threat. Satish busied himself with random conversations with
visitors, while Sanjay was busy with singing songs and running errands.
The two new faces, Josh (who is fine with the hindi mispronunciation of his name meaning enthusiasm) and Sebastian, had much to talk about. They have been in the India for 2.5 months making a documentary on the state and struggles of the Dalits. They have been inspired to join the Bhopal campaign by another French person (whose name eludes me), who helped set the organic garden at the new Sambhavna building. They promised to talk more about their experiences tomorrow. Where else would you find the finest specimens from the cross section of the human race?
I will upload the pictures from yesterday’s die-in action and today’s dharna on the official Bhopal site – bhopal.net and also on AID Bhopal blog – bhopal.aidindia.org/blog
If you have not please sign-up for the solidarity fast and don’t forget to
call/email our esteemed government officials.
https://www.bhopal.net/2006hungerstrike.html
– Nishant

Your voice counts!!
Support Narmada Dam survivors!
Support the police firing survivors at Gangavaram!
Show your solidarity with women of Manipur in fighting rapes!
Support Bhopal’s Demand for Justice and Dignity by Sending a FREE FAX to the Indian Government!
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[4] On 12.4.06 9:48am, “Shweta Narayan” wrote:
Chennai solidarity fast update – 11 April 2006
Supporters from Chennai today held a day long solidarity fast for Bhopal at the Valluvar Kottam junction in central Chennai. There were more than 50 participants mostly women belonging to Tamil Nadu Women’s Collective and Tamil Nadu Women’s Federation, other groups included Tamil Nadu Human Rights Initiative, International Presentation Association of India, Alliance of Peoples Movements, We Feel Responsible, Students Federation of India, Communist Party of India and a group working with people displaced by the Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India.
The police permit:
The fast at Chennai was a last minute rush, earlier planned on 12th it was rescheduled to 11th to avoid clashing with an Asian Development Bank planning meeting on the 12th. The major crisis was the police permit that Shweta and I managed to get in the eleventh hour (the usual time frame is a week). Our persistence and annoyance came in handy for the purpose, at the end of the day we had managed to piss off two police officers who eventually had to cave in and grant us the permit. We did not get the signed copy of the permit because processing usually takes 24 hours so we were asked to leave on the assurance that the relevant police station will be informed about our program, but we weren’t convinced and demanded a copy of the permit, to which the cop responded saying “please come at 9am tomorrow, I will give you the copy and if possible please send somebody else to collect it” and we just left the place amused by our behavior.
The day:
The day of the fast began at 10am an hour late from the announced time (IST = Indian Stretchable Time). The place allotted to us was a deplorable, the road adjoining the side walk was under construction, terrible traffic, no trees and an Onyx garbage dump across the road which emitted a constant smell of putrid compost. This place is like the Jantar Mantar of Chennai, allotted for protests against soiled government practices, we managed to get a permit for this at a short notice because of the upcoming state elections, the ruling state party AIADMK is a robust critic of the Congress in Delhi and are using these issues for mere political mileage. It is outlandish but true that we are forced to be accomplice to the very politics that we condemn, one of the channels Jaya TV is owned by the state ruling party the AIADMK and any anti Congress issues are widely covered and promptly telecasted. In an interview with us they prompted us to make anti Congress statements, one would normally be a bit reluctant to do this and avoid being a pawn to political games. Merely stating the facts would do but then I guess the very reason they were invited was because they were opinionated and echoed our concerns (for whatever reason) at this moment in time and we should have no qualms about being part of the games for a legitimate reason.
The first people to reach the site were Karen, Shweta and I we set up the place and began the fast, we chose a place closest to the traffic for maximum visibility. This location however wasn’t ideal because there was no shade but we decided to stick to it.
By around 11am the crowd of supporters began trickling in and the participants from the womens groups joined us by noon. The sun at this time was egg fryable hot and there was no way anyone could continue the dharna so we had to organize for a Pandal (a cloth shade). We now had shade and warm water.. by now the pangs of hunger set in and to make matter worse we were faced by three life size billboards of a restaurant, a cold beverage and an air conditioner.
This stopped bothering us after a while because the rising mercury and the sporadic puffs of wind that blew clouds of dust on us camouflaged our other concerns.
There was a decent press coverage we had two national news agencies PTI and UNI two state news channels Jaya TV and WIN TV, two national dailies The Hindu and Deccan Chronicle and two local dailies Dina Malar and News Today. The press coverage was a major consolation for obvious reasons.
Cheers
Dharmesh & Shweta
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[5] On 12.4.06 10:02am, “Shweta Narayan” wrote:
Please circulate widely
Global Relay Hunger Strike for Justice in Bhopal:
Fast for a Day or Longer in Solidarity with the Indefinite Hunger Strike by Bhopalis
Dear Friend
For 21 years we have waited and suffered; we have drunk poisoned water; we have been beaten and kicked by police for daring to ask why the Supreme Court’s order to give us clean water was ignored; our young women cried to learn that they were feeding their babies poison in their breast milk; we were slapped, punched and arrested when, because nobody else was doing it, we attempted to contain the toxic wastes in Union Carbide’s abandoned factory that are poisoning our wells; we have been called liars, malingerers, scammers and beggars. Now we have walked 800 kilometers from Bhopal to New Delhi to secure for ourselves and our children justice and a life of dignity.
We are the victims of Union Carbide’s poisons in Bhopal. Many of us inhaled the poison gases on the night of December 2-3, 1984. Of these, more than 150,000 are still suffering. There are others who are new victims who drink handpump water laced with poisons leaching out of the thousands of tons of toxic wastes that still lie abandoned in and around Union Carbide’s factory. We know of at least 70 children from these settlements that have serious birth defects. We know these deformities are because of the water that we are being forced to drink.
The Prime Minister of India doesn’t care. We are camped out on the pavement in Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since 27 March, right across the street from the camp of another prominent example of the disdain with which our government treats its poorer citizens. Representatives of people who have lost their land, or stand to lose it, to the rising waters of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the River Narmada fill the air with slogans of struggle and resolve. Both the Narmada oustees and the Bhopal survivors are camped out under the open sky. Both issues have been festering for more than 20 years; but the Prime Minister just doesn’t seem to care.
We’re poor, you see. When George Bush came, our Prime Minister was everywhere, smiling, almost purring as he was patronisingly patted by Bush. He made time for the CEO of Dow Chemical who came with George Bush. He has known since February 20 that we were arriving on foot from Bhopal, but he has said he doesn’t have time for us.
Our Prime Minister has always wanted lots of foreign investments. He is respectful, even fearful, of foreign investors. He does not want to impose any laws on them, and certainly not punish them, even if they are responsible for something as devastating as the Bhopal disaster. We are ashamed of what our country has become – a dollar hungry nation that is willing to sacrifice its people for a fistful of dollars. We are left with no choice but to go on an indefinite hunger strike. We don’t believe that this will evoke sympathy in the hearts of our Prime Minister or other politicians. That is not our objective. We want to awaken the consciousness of the public. What happened to us, can happen to you, is happening to many others. Let’s reclaim democracy; let’s celebrate protest; let’s revive efforts to build a truly vibrant and humane India; let’s remind the Government who’s boss.
You can help !
1. Sign-up for a day or more as part of the Global Relay Hunger Strike. You can register at https://www.bhopal.net/2006hungerstrike.html
2. Send an online fax to the Prime Minister. Go to http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/FaxAction/fax_action.php
For more information, contact: Nity (+91 9868474437). Email: hungerstrike@bhopal.net.
Visit www.bhopal.net
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[6] DANCE OF DEATH: Bhopal gas victims holding a demonstration on Parliament Street in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: S. Subramanium
http://www.hindu.com/2006/04/11/stories/2006041121890300.htm
NEW DELHI: Over 400 survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster and their sympathisers who on Monday organised a huge “die in” here, covering themselves in white shrouds and lying on the road while symbolic figures of death danced through the “corpses”. The gas victims and their sympathisers, who have been demonstrating here for the last fifteen days, announced that six persons (three survivors and three sympathisers) would go on an indefinite hunger strike from Tuesday.
Demonstrators said that though the Ministry of Chemicals had been sympathetic to their demands, it was up to the Prime Minister to clear any decision related to the Bhopal victims. They said the Union Cabinet’s approval for the implementation of the Supreme Court orders of 2004 for disbursement of pro-rata additional compensation on a one-to-one basis to the victims did not address their present demands. “This money was long due and a result of an agreement between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Government that any shortfall in converting the money payable from dollars to rupees would be taken care by the Central Government. It has nothing to with our present demands,” said Nityanand Jayaram, environmental activist and writer.
In a statement issued on Monday, four organisations, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, and Bhopal ki Awaaz cited a 2001 study published by the Madhya Pradesh government’s Centre for Rehabilitation Studies that has attributed at least 350 deaths annually to gas-related ailments.
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CACIM – India Institute for Critical Action : Centre in Movement
A-3 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110 024, India
Ph 91-11-5155 1521, 2433 2451
Eml cacim@cacim.net
Web www.cacim.net
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THINGS TO CHECK OUT :
* FORTHCOMING in 2006 :
o Nayi Rajniti (‘New Politics’), Hindi edition of Talking New Politics, Sen and Saini, eds 2005
o Nayi Subah Ki Or (‘Towards A New Dawn’), volume 1 of Hindi edition of World Social Forum : Challenging Empires
o Are Other Worlds Possible ? Books 2 & 3 – ‘Interrogating Empires’ & ‘Imagining Alternatives’
* Open Space Webspace : www.openspaceforum.net
* WSFDiscuss – an open discussion listserve on the World Social Forum and cultures of politics in movements : Send an empty email to worldsocialforum-discuss-subscribe@openspaceforum.net
* Out in 2005-6 : World Social Forum : Challenging Empires – in German, Japanese, Spanish, and now in Hindi and Urdu !
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January 2005 : ‘Are Other Worlds Possible ? Talking NEW Politics’
Preview : http://www.choike.org/nuevo_eng/informes/2487.html
Publishers : Zubaan / zubaanwbooks@vsnl.net
Tel: +91-11-2652 1008, 2686 4497, and 2651 4772
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In late 2004 :’Explorations in Open Space : The World Social Forum and Cultures of Politics’
Issue 182 of the International Social Science Journal
Editorial advisers : Chloé Keraghel & Jai Sen
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=showIssues&code=issj&open=2004#C2004
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2004 Book : ‘World Social Forum : Challenging Empires’
Edited by Jai Sen, Anita Anand, Arturo Escobar, and Peter Waterman
http://www.choike.org/nuevo_eng/informes/1557.html
India / South Asia distribution : Viveka Foundation,
info@vivekafoundation.org, viveka4@vsnl.com
2005 : NOW OUT also in German, Japanese, Spanish, and forthcoming in Hindi and Urdu
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Jai Sen
CACIM – India Institute for Critical Action : Centre in Movement
A-3 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110 024, India
www.cacim.net
Em jai.sen@cacim.net – PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EDDRESS !
[+ while travelling, ALSO jai_sen2000@yahoo.com] M 91-98189 11325
T 91-11-4155 1521 and 2433 2451 – Please note change in one phone no
+
Italitar, Hattigauda
Kathmandu
Nepal
T 977-1-437 0019 and 437 0112

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