archives of global protests

Indian Peoples' Movements Caravan
against War, Communalism and Capitalist Globalisation

Messsages of solidarity can be sent to the activists by visiting

who National Alliance of Peoples Movements
C/o Chemical Mazdoor Sabha, Haji Habib Bldg, Dadar, Mumbai -400014


Udaipur: March 13, 2003: Desh Bachao Desh Banao Abhiyan, inaugurated on January 26, 2003 at Plachimada (Palakkad, Kerala) has entered Rajasthan today as part of its struggle and search for alternative political processes to save the country from the clutches of destructive globalisation and anti-people communalism. The Abhiyan asserts the rights of people over resources, biodiversity and cultural diversity as an answer to the challenges of globalisation and communalism which aim at extermination of all kind of diversities of human life and survival.

The Abhiyan was inaugurated at Plachimada, where the people?s struggle against the MNC, Hindustan CocaCola Beverages Ltd, is going on during the last 12 months, by freedom fighter Siddharaj Daddha. He announced his decision to reject the Padma Bhushan offered to him by the Government of India because he felt that the present government is going against the people and the spirit of freedom. The Abhiyan will be concluded in Ayodhya on March 30 with a call for peace and a national movement to save the country from destructive development and religious monoculture, and move forward to build the country with an alternative, people-centered vision on nature, culture, economy and politics.

The Abhiyan covers 19 states and already completed campaigning in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam. Jharkhand, Bihar and Gujarat, linking up the manifold people?s struggles and their attempts to evolve alternative politico-economic processes and strategies to counter globalisation and communalism.

In Rajasthan, the Abhiyan will campaign at Udaipur, Bhim, Ajmer and Bhikhamba along with the people?s movements struggling to introduce just development and political alternatives on issues of tribal rights over resources, displacement, mining problems, drought, casteism and communalism.

In Kerala, apart from the struggle against CocaCola, the Abhiyan team joined hands with the struggles against Philip Carbon Black Company (Karimugal, Ernakulam), the agitation against proposed sea mining in Alleppey and Kollam districts, struggles of tribal people for land and life, against Asian Development Bank-directed structural changes, globalisation policies, farmers struggle for fair prices and against agricultural imports.

In Gujarat, the Abhiyan (from the 10th of March to the 12th of March), declared solidarity with fisher people?s struggle against the proposed gigantic port at Umbergaon. The Abhiyan team paid respects to the family of Colonel Pratap Save who was murdered because he stood firm for the rights of the people. The team demanded proper action against the culprits of the police department who are yet to be brought to the process of justice. The team concluded campaigns in Amode and Ahwa (Dangs Scheduled Area) in support of the struggles of tribal people?s ongoing agitation for legitimate rights over natural resources. The Abhiyan also raised the issue of communalism and the murder politics adopted by the rulers and declared full support to the people and organisations trying their best to bring back politics of democracy and harmony in the forefront.

In Tamil Nadu, some of the main issues were fishworkers struggles, opposition to Kudankulam power plant, struggle against intensive aquaculture in Thiruvanur Nagapatinam districts and the struggles of unorganised labourers unions against Globalisation and for right to work, the slum-dwellers and fisher people?s struggle for right to work and dwelling, against displacement on the Marina beach (Chennai), the second biggest beach in Asia.

In Karnataka, the land acquisitions for Bangalore-Mysore Highway came into focus as well as labour issues, water scarcity and farmers? survival struggle under WTO regime. In Chitradurga, the Baba Buddhagiri issue was raised, where local people?s struggle to keep the shrine open for all the religious communities.

In Maharashtra, the Abhiyan started from Reliance Gas lines struggle in Sindhudurg district. The project will cause eviction and loss of livelihood for people. In Mahat, Dr Ambedkar?s agitation for water was commemorated by the Abhiyan. In Kolhapur, the Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal brought out the problem of Muslim women and needed reforms within the community. Massive youth response came from colleges and professional institutes all over Maharashtra. In Vidarbha the Lower Pain Ganga Dam Project struggle was raised. Kosi Khurd dam near Nagpur was also visited. In Mumbai, the problems of slum-dwellers and hawkers was raised in two massive rallies and public meetings.

In Chattisgarh, the dominant issue was the privatisation of Shivnath river in Mohalai village in Durg district, which is sold by the Chattisgarh Government to a private company. In Koregaon, Adivasi organisations raised the drought and land titles issue. The Chattisgarh Mukti Morcha (CMM) is still fighting the Shankar Guha Niyogi murder case. The Abhiyan expressed heartfelt solidarity. In Jagdalpur, the Indravati river diversion issue was brought out and a meeting with the people was held at 2 am.

In Andhra Pradesh, peasant and Dalit issues were brought out at different places such as like Chevela, Parigi, Vikarabad, Guntur and Vijayavada. The burning issue of untouchability still practised in more than 2000 villages was exposed on the basis of study conducted by APVVU. A massive Dalit women?s rally in Guntur was seeking land and pension rights. Selling the Krishna Basin mining rights to Ambani Group was opposed. In Vishakapatnam, slum eviction issues were focused, as well as Fish Worker?s struggle against privatisation of ports. Adivasi?s struggle against joint forest management issues were brought forward in Rajamundri and Chodavaram.

In Orissa, Kashipur Bauxite mining was brought into focus as well as lower Sukhtel Dam project in Bolangir district. A massive gathering of villagers from more 50 than villages to be affected was held late in the night.

In West Bengal the eviction of fisher people from Jambudweep and Kakadweep was a major issue. In Kakdweep, the West Bengal Fisheries minister, Kiranmaye Nanda, chaired the session and the Abhiyan was offered guest status by the Fisheries Department. Mr Nanda said that he will remain firm with the fisher people. The memorial for the 12 fishermen killed in the struggle (due to police insenstiveness) recently was inaugurated by the team led by Medha Patkar and Thomas Kochery. People defend their right to work and livelihood against the designs of the tourism industry at Jambudweep. In Kolkata, evictions of 10,000 people in the name of beautification and Metro Rail extension at Garia station was raised. Total review of Damodar Valley Project was demanded. In Purulia and Shantipur, weavers affected by globalisation raised their issues. Massive erosion and foods of Ganga and Mahananda basins caused large scale displacement. Farmers, children and women in tens of thousands joined the long march to the shores of Ganga where a public meeting was held after boat visit to analyse the erosion problems within a 5 km radius. Teesta Lower Dam Project (Teesta, originated in China and entering sea in Bangladesh) was brought out in japagudi, and the Abhiyan declared support to the struggle as well as the struggle of tea plantation workers against lockouts.

In Assam (Guwahati), major focus was on Pahladia dam issue and the privatisation of water resources, which leads to displacement and destruction of biodiversity. Another issue was the crisis of the Tea Plantations sector due to globalisation and the unjust, MNC-led international trade.

In Bihar, weavers struggles at Muzzafarpur were highlighted. Khosi project under the Damodar Valley Authority causes severe water logging and extensive water borne diseases. The movements in Bihar showed a little bit of fatigue and despair due to the extreme insensitivity of the State government which offer no scope even for dialogue. The team was able to instill fresh vigour to the movements and some youths decided to join the Abhiyan immediately.

Mineral resources are sod out to MNCs for a song in Bihar and Jharkand. In Dhanbad (Jharkand), open cast mining has created major pollution problems while the deep mining are not filled up properly and this leads to earthquake-like land slides. Labour force in the mining and other sectors are under the threat of retrenchment without proper compensation. The team declared support to the movement against these anti-people policies and practices resulting from globalisation.

In Madhya Pradesh, the Abhiyan visited the Bargi Dam oustees (near Jabalpur) and declared support to their ongoing struggle for just rehabilitation. As part of the campaigning, the team raised issues of rehabilitation of people affected by the Narmada projects and demanded just rehabilitation. In Itarsi, the team campaigned for alternative political strategies to counter the corrupt governments.

Medha Patkar Sanjay M.G Sawai Singh Latheef Kizhisseri
National Coordinator Nationa Coconvenor Convenor, Rajasthan Media Coordinator
DBDB Abhiyan

india | asia | imf/wb struggles | (archives) |