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Myth of Vibrant Gujarat An E Digest Compilation of Articles on the development-decadence of Gujarat Compiled by Ram Puniyani (For Private Circulation) Institute for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution & All India Secular Forum 602 & 603, New Silver Star, Behind BEST Bus Depot, Santacruz (E), Mumbai: - 400 055. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com CONTENTS Page No. Preface 1.Introductiory Article……………………………………………………. 04 2. Anna Hazare‘s Comments about development of Rural Gujarat …………………………………………………………… 09 3. Whose Gujarat is Vibrant? …………………………………………. 14 4. Vibrant Gujarat Again ……………………………………………….. 15 5. The Monumental Myth of Vibrant Gujarat ………………….. 16 6. Box 16,000 Farmers, workers ended life during ………………………………. 18 Modi‘s tenure 7. Margin Speak …………………………………………………………… 20 8. Relative Development of Gujarat and Socio-Religious Differentials……………………………………………………………… 24 9. Marginalizing Muslim in Gujarat ………………………………. 26 10. Interview ………………………………………………………………. 28 11. Resources ………………………………………………………………. 30 E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 2 Preface During my childhood I had heard a story from a friend. A Nawab had borrowed a lot of money and had no means to pay back to his creditors. He would attend to his rather demanding and angry creditors oh is doors and tell them that he had sold every furniture of his house to pay them and had nothing left and pleaded them to be left alone. However the creditors could not believe as they imagined a beautiful palace behind the beautiful curtains that were drawn all the time when they peeped through the windows of the palace. Once an angry creditor pulled down the curtains to get a better view of the palace. He was shocked to find nothing in the palace except the walls and all the members of the house did not have even clothes to cover their naked bodies. The Nawab gave away the costly curtains to the creditor pleading that whole world has now witnessed the naked truth and the curtains are of no use to him now. The MOUs touted by the Nawab of Gujarat are much like the curtains of the palace in the story acting like a smoke screen to cover the nakedness of its occupants. The more naked the family members in the palace, the costlier are the curtains put up to cover up the nakedness. The Public Relations machinery of the Gujarat works hard to juggle with selected figures and statistics and spreads it far and wide through expensive PR budget – the curtains that cover Gujarat are not only expensive, but also thick and impregnable – so the Nawab of Gujarat thinks. The MOU curtains cover, for example the fact that the most backward district of the country is the Dangs district of Gujarat. The creditors of the Nawab are the people of Gujarat, the tax payers of Gujarat. The Nawab in the story was at least trying to protect the dignity of the members of the family by putting up those costly curtains, though he had borrowed a lot of money for his pleasure and to showcase his status. The Nawab of Gujarat invites the capitalist vultures from outside in his vibrant Gujarat programmes and assists them to pull away the remaining scanty pieces of clothes from the bodies of the helpless members and raid the remaining furniture inside the ‗Gujarat Palace‘ in the form its natural resources, land, water and environment. In return, the Nawab has been promised that he will supported by them to become Emperor of India. The creditors (tax payers) of Gujarat are not yet as demanding and feel powerless as compared to the creditors of the Nawab in the story. The smoke screen of development and MOUs is intact. E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 3 The compilation in this digest to be circulated through e-mail networks and in hard copy is the act of angry activists and academicians representing the tax payers of Gujarat, particularly the marginalized sections in Gujarat – the adivasis, dalits, farmers, the landless, women, artisans, workers, casual labourers and the backward classes amongst the minorities, who resemble the creditors in the story and are pulling down the curtains one by one to enable a peep in the palace (swarnim Gujarat) that Narendra Modi claims he has made. As the reader goes through the articles in the compilation, the curtains are pulled one by one it is for the reader to judge whether the inhabitants of the palace are naked or well provided for. The contributors to this compilation have done a difficult job as the mountains of propaganda have to be dug to tease out the mole of truth. To penetrate the thick and strong veil of swarnim Gujarat the tools in the hands of the activists and academicians are preliminary but they do the job honourably. Our thanks the Ram Puniyani for the painstaking effort. Irfan Engineer 14th April 2011. 1. Introductory Article (i) Myth of Vibrant Gujarat Ram Puniyani N early nine years after the carnage of Gujarat (Feb 2011), a perception has been created that Gujarat is developing with humiliation at the hands of instigated mobs, are still fresh in the air as the state has totally been unjust to the victims of the rapid strides, there is all peace and harmony violence. There was no rehabilitation worth and minorities are happy. Like „Shining its name, the „refugee camps‟ were closed India‟ a word has been coined, „Vibrant too soon. State totally washed its hands off Gujarat‟. the rehabilitation process. Nothing can be farther from truth. In the Today while the few amongst the Muslim aftermath of the violence, the death of over minorities, especially a section of traders, two thousand Muslims, the rapes, the have been won over by the BJP and E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 4 dominant social forces, the majority of been pushed behind. Poverty of Gujarat Muslim community has been forced to live Muslims is 8 times more than high caste the life of severe social and economic Hindus and 50% more than OBCs. Twelve deprivation. The trend of ghettoization is per cent Muslims have bank accounts but increasing in major cities and expanding. only 2.6% of them get bank loans. This Juhapura is the showpiece of the fear and study concludes that Muslims in Gujarat insecurity which has gripped the Muslim face high levels of discrimination, even on community. Many a traders are trying to the roll out of NREGA, Gujarat is at the continue with their businesses in old bottom of the pile. (TOI, Feb 18, 2011, localities while settling their families in the Mumbai) Muslim ghettoes like Juhapura. Most of the Muslim establishments have changed their As per the report of Pratham, an NGO names and patterns to sound like being the devoted to the issues of education (Annual Hindu establishments, with the hope that Status of Education Report), Gujarat is this will prevent their religion being worse than Bihar when it comes to identified in the future pogroms, protect educational standards. Gujarat has been their property, and this move will overcome doing miserably in Social development the economic boycott from the majority indices and its budgetary allotment in this community. Incidentally this call of sector is low compared to other large states, economic boycott of Muslims has been being 17th amongst the 18 large states. given by VHP. The domination of Modi/BJP While all this is happening, the mental in the social and political arena is leading to ghettoes, the emotional partitions have the situation where a large section of become fairly strong and physical ghettoes Muslims is forced to hide their pain and tell the real truth of Gujarat, the „Hindu anger and carry on with the ignominies of Rashtra in One State‟. Those displaced due their situations. Remarkably many a social to carnage are living with no civic facilities groups from amongst Muslim communities reaching them. The banks and telephone are concentrating their work in the area of companies are shunning these areas and education; preparing the youth to take up children‟s education is one of the major jobs in the fields that are free from problems for the victims. discrimination, and to prepare them to traditional and newer avenues of self Through conclaves like Guarvi Gujarat, and employment. the annual meetings of NRIs; Industrialists, investment is being solicited and more than A major study by Abdul Saleh Sharif the forthcoming investment, projections are (Relative Development of Gujarat and being made of the flow of dollars, creating Socio-Religious Differentials, 2011) is very the image that it is during Modi regime that revealing about the condition of Muslims. Guajarat has begun to progress. The fact is This shows that Muslims fare very badly on that there are some investments; there is the parameters of poverty, hunger, education some industrialization; but it is far from and vulnerability on security issues. The what is being projected. In study shows that levels of hunger are high in previous Vibrant Summits claims of big Gujarat alongside Orissa and Bihar. capital investments have been made. For Muslims are educationally deprived. Muslim example in 2005 claim for Rs.106161 crores community which at one time was had been made. Out of that investment of dominating in diamond and textile trade has Rs.74019 crores (63%) was made as stated E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 5 by Chief Minister but in reality as per the Nano project to Gujarat. The subsidy, which information availed under R.T.I. only this small car gets, is huge. Industrialists are Rs.24998 crores (23.52%) projects were having a free run and the social concerns under implementation. like job creation are very poor in the Gujarat pattern. Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are far As per Teesta Setalvad, “…Likewise, in ahead of Gujarat in the Job creation ratio on 2007, 363 MoU (Memorandum of the investment. The investment figures Understanding) were made in which Modi which are flashed are not all actualized. One Government claimed to have mobilized of the major victims of the reckless capital investments of Rs.461835 crores. industrialization is the ecology, which has Factually this amount was Rs.451835 crores been ignored totally far as Gujarat is and not Rs.461835 crores so an excess concerned. investment of Rs.10000 crores was claimed. Out of this State Government claimed to The growth differentials in Gujarat are very have made an investment of appalling. On one hand, there is the growth, Rs.264575 crores but as per the figures by on other there is a serious decline in the Industry Commissioner of Gujarat projects social indicators of like sex ratio. According worth Rs.122400.66 crores (27.08%) were to „India State Hunger Index 2008‟, Gujarat under implementation. Actually out of the is shockingly ranked worse than Orissa. investments in 2003, 2005 and 2007 only Gujarat is ranked 13th in the 17 big states 20.28% of projects were under which were calculated in this list. Gujarat is implementation in Gujarat.” only above Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, which are globally equal to the While Gujarat was already amongst the most hunger situation in Ethiopia. Poverty levels industrialized states, it has been able to are rising; employment and agriculture are invite good deal of investment. Still it not in good shape. The agricultural remains next to Maharashtra which leads the production has been declining, e.g. from pack. While one does not hear much about 65.71 lakh tones in 2003-2004 to 51.53 in the Maharashtra progress, through different 2004-2005. A survey conducted by NSS in types of media hypes the image of Gujarat 2005 reveals that approximately 40% phenomenon has been built up. The farmers of state said that given the option industrialization in Gujarat has a pattern. they would like to shift away from Two decades back, the growth rate of agriculture. Recent studies show that during Gujarat was something between 12 and 13 the last decade agriculture and labor both per cent. The national average was six to have suffered extensively. seven per cent then. Today, Gujarat has the growth rate of 11 per cent while National Modi, in a reply given in state assembly growth rate is 10 per cent. This fact should stated that in one year up to Jan 2007, 148 make the matters clear to us. farmers had committed suicide and the condition is worsening on that score. While As such Gujarat state has opened its coffers on one side the state exports electricity, its to subsidize the industrialists. Land, water villages are having a power deficit. Indian and soft loans are the order of the day; they Express 8th April 2007 reported that state is have been given to the industrialists at reeling under the shortfall of 900 mega Watt extremely cheap rates. It was one of the of power, the victims of this are mainly in reasons because of which Tata shifted his the villages. One of the indices of poverty, E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 6 prevalence of anemia, is very revealing on sex ratio in Gujarat during last decade. The this count. The percentage of women plight of Adivasis is no better. suffering from anemia has risen from 46.3% in 1999 to 55.5% in 2004 (Third round of Gujarat is facing problems at the level of National Family Health survey report 2006) living conditions more of poor, women and among women. Amongst children it rose minorities. The media hype is meant to from 74.5% to 80.1%. Some of the reports change the image of Narendra Modi from point out the conditions of dalits and women the one who led the carnage to a has deteriorated during last decade. For development man. But deeper look at the women, one of the indices is the declining economic and social situation tell us another story. (ii) Vibrant Gujarat summit-2011 – Ridiculous show-off of Power Teesta Setalvad O ne more summit of Vibrant Gujarat is to be organized in January 2011. Prior to this such summits have been organized in Rs.24998 crores (23.52%) projects were under implementation. 2003, 2005 and 2007. These summits have Likewise, in 2007, 363 MoU were made in been organized to attract industrialists and which Modi Government claimed to have industries to state. In which Chief Minister mobilized capital investments of Rs.461835 of Gujarat offers land at cheaper rates to crores. Factually this amount was Rs.451835 industrialists interested in capital crores and not Rs.461835 crores so an investment, free water or water at cheaper excess investment of Rs.10000 crores was rate to use in industry, if such industries lead claimed. Out of this State Government to pollution then freedom to them from laws claimed to have made an investment of related to pollution, exemption from tax for Rs.264575 crores but as per the figures by five years and in this duration of five years Industry Commissioner of Gujarat projects freedom from laborers‟ act will also be worth Rs.122400.66 crores (27.08%) were given and thus would give a feel of his under implementation. Actually out of the power. He would show that he can give land investments in 2003, 2005 and 2007 only at cheaper rates to industries he wishes to 20.28% of projects were under and in return would expect industrialists to implementation in Gujarat. appreciate him and say that he is best Chief Minister of country. Figures of capital investment in each state and expected employment opportunities out In previous Vibrant Summits claims of big of it as per the memorandum submitted by capital investments have been made. For industrialists to Ministry of commerce and example in 2005 claim for Rs.106161 crores industries in central government under had been made. Out of that investment of industrial policy has been put up on its Rs.74019 crores (63%) was made as said by website by Ministry. These figures are of the Chief Minister but in reality as per the year 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and up to information availed under R.T.I. only September 2010. The analysis of these figures has revealed that compared to E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 7 investment coming to Gujarat less direct benefit of availing employment will employment opportunities will be be less which is clear from the below created. That is wealthy capital investment mentioned table. industries will come to Gujarat due to which Year State Project Investment Employment opportunities (Rs. in crores) 2006 Gujarat 568 66,109 1,27,051 Maharashtra 861 38,122 1,27,015 Tamilnadu 724 19,522 9,60,867 2007 Gujarat 336 92,480 89,125 Maharashtra 582 84,957 2,65,080 Tamilnadu 393 26,387 1,12,218 2008 Gujarat 361 1,25,357 2,12,428 Maharashtra 705 92,257 1,90,398 Tamilnadu 289 24,145 1,35,019 2009 Gujarat 376 1,42,239 1,43,709 Maharashtra 593 68,069 1,32,936 Tamilnadu 233 66,864 69,887 2010 (Up to Gujarat 368 1,09,688 75,318 September Maharashtra 586 1,37,141 1,47,966 2010 Tamilnadu 172 26,362 31,622 Total of all Gujarat 5,35,873 6,47,631 years Maharashtra 4,20,546 8,63,395 mentioned Tamilnadu 1,63,280 13,09,613 above Above mentioned table reveals that in employment opportunities will be created Gujarat in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and up to against this, September 2010 memorandum of Rs.5, 35,873 crores by industrialists was filed with At the end of the year 2009-10 in Gujarat Ministry and out of that expected there were 8, 32,000 educated unemployed employment opportunities creation was 6, people. Number of educated unemployed 47,631. Whereas in Maharashtra people was 9, 64,000 in 2004, 9, 00,000 in memorandums of 4,20,546 crores were filed 2005, 8,30,000 in 2006, 7,78,000 in 2007, (less than Gujarat state) and expected 8,25,000 in 2008 and in 2009 also it was employment opportunities were 8,63,395. 8,25,000. Now if in the year 2003, 2005, Which means one lakh rupees less capital 2007 there has been capital investment as investment than Gujarat yet 2, 18,000 more per Chief Minister‟s say then why there has expected employment opportunities than not been any significant decrease in the Gujarat. Whereas in Tamil Nadu during this number of these unemployed people. time period against capital investment of Rs.1, 63,280 crores, 13,09,613 expected On the other hand, out of the memorandums filed before Ministry of Commerce and E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 8 Industry in the year 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Chhattisgadh in capital investment and up to September 2010, 8,97,782 crores memorandums? Also without vibrant if have been filed in Chhattisgadh i.e. 3,61,909 Maharashtra and Tamilnadu can have more crores more than Gujarat and 8,35,048 expected employment opportunities with crores have been filed in Orissa i.e. 2,99,175 less capital investment then in Gujarat why crores more memorandums than Gujarat had less expected employment opportunities been filed during the same time period. compared to investment? Compared to other states inspite of Vibrant Summits why there If in Chhattisgadh and Orissa without any is less capital investment in Gujarat? Vibrant Vibrant Summit, memorandums (I.E.M) Summits are nothing more than a means worth 3,61,909 crores more than Gujarat in through which industrialists praise Chief Chhatisgadh and 2,99,175 crores in Orissa Minister and avail financial benefits, and to are possible then in Gujarat why inspite of show off that Chief Minister is more capable summits, it is lagging behind Orissa and than other Chief Ministers of country. 2. Anna Hazare’s Comments about Development of Rural Gujarat: i) Response by Mallika Sarabhai Dear Annaji We are deeply shocked by your endorsement of Narendra Modi's rural development. There has been little or no rural development in this state. In fact gauchar lands and irrigated farmlands have been stealthily taken by the government and sold off at ridiculous prices to a small club of industrialists. There has been no Lokayukta in Gujarat for nearly seven years so hundreds of complaints against corruption are lying unheard. From the Sujalam Sufalam scam of 1700 crores to the NREGS boribund scam of 109 crores, the fisheries scam of 600 crores, every department is involved in thousands of crores of scams. The poor and rural people are being sold to Modi's friends the industrialists. The state is in terrible debt because of his largess to industry while 21 lakh farmers wait for compensation. Your endorsement is apalling and we will be forced to distance ourselves from the Lokpal movement unless it is irrevocably retracted. Sincerely Mallika Sarabhai 11.4.2011 ii) Response by Rohit Prajapati and Trupti Shah Rohit Prajapati and Trupti Shah Date: 12th April 2011 Dear Annaji, once again retreated that ―I praised only the developmental work done by Shri Narendra We received your reply in the form of your Modi and Shri Nitish Kumar in rural areas.‖ ‗press release‘ to media in which you have That is what we are questioning - the ―rural E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 9 development model‖ of Mr. Narendra Modi You could either visit the state to have a first based on the ground realities in Gujarat. hand look or could reach out to those affected and working in the state. We hope Our letter dated April 11 highlighted the that you will relay on the facts and not ‗false ground reality of downtrodden masses of propaganda of the Government‘. Gujarat from farmers to fishing communities, tribals and salt pan workers. Even your mention about communalism is Please read it carefully. Most of us in very vague and you had not said anything Gujarat working for the working class, about the role of Mr. Modi‘s Government in women, farmers, dalits, tribals, landless 2002 and the continuation of the worsening laborers and the downtrodden who wrote to of the plight of most affected people you on April 11, have focused on the particularly poor Muslim women and men. development that Modi claims has happened, but is a contrast in reality. We need to look at the situation holistically and not in isolation as the rise of fascist Your endorsement of Modi's development communal forces in Gujarat who use led to Modi writing an open letter to you ``development claims'' to mask all their minding you of a ―vilification campaign‖. shortcomings. The rise of fascist We hope you realise the implications of communalist forces in Gujarat is closely endorsement now. liked with the neo-liberal globalised development model. For a chief minister who turned his backs on scores of farmers who demand their right to We hope for a suitable and prompt farming (the Mahuva agitation), on tribals clarification on your comments now. who seek forest land, of turning blind eye to pollution in towns and villages (Ankleshwar, Rohit Prajapati & Trupti Shah Vapi, Nandesari, Vatva, Saurashtra and (Social Activists of Gujarat) 37, Patrakar Colony, Tandalja Road, Post-Akota, Kutch). Fishing communities being Vadodara - 390 020 deprived of their livelihood in Kutch, the Phone No: + 91 - 265 – 2320399, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, trupti.vadodara@g instances are numerous - will you call it mail.com development Annaji. Your vague clarification is only related to communal harmony and politics - which is not we in Gujarat raised to you in our letter on Monday, while pointing out your praise of Modi's development model is misplaced. iii) The Reply – Email received in the form of Press Release by Us. Press statement by Anna Hazare I am issuing this statement to clarify one of my done by Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Nitish statements which has been misinterpreted. Kumar in rural areas. Alongside I clarified that I am equally opposed to any form of communal On a question asked in my press conference disharmony. I am completely opposed to any today, I praised only the developmental work kind of communalism or discrimination on E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 10 religious or caste lines. I strongly condemn and I also wish to clarify that we are not attached to oppose any kind of communal violence. People any political party. The movement is completely from all faiths and religions are founders, non-partisan and will remain so. supporters and participants in this movement. This includes, Arch Bishop of Delhi, Mufti I sincerely urge the press to understand my Shamoom Kashmi and others. I strongly believe intentions, which is to save this country from in Gandhian values and principles of communal corruption by taking people of all faiths and harmony. religions along. K B Hazare iv) Teesta Setalvad W e, academics, activists, artists and intellectuals strongly condemn the recently reported statement made by Anna has Modi even apologized for failing to perform his Constitutional duty. Hazareji in which he has brazenly endorsed On the issue of corruption and good Narendra Modi, a politician who not only governance too, Modi may yet fail the symbolizes the politics of division but exemplary test. Allegations of serious unconstitutional governance. For the corruption in state government schemes veteran anti-corruption social activist, have been steadily documented and printed Hazare to endorse a politician against whom within Gujarat but have rarely made it to the a Supreme Court led investigation into headlines of national television. There has conspiracy to commit mass murder and been little or no rural development in this rape, subversion of evidence and pressure state. In fact gauchar lands and irrigated and intimidation of key witnesses is still farmlands have been stealthily taken by the underway reveals a narrow and mercenary government and sold off at ridiculous prices understanding of the meaning of to a small club of industrialists. The corruption. Worse, given the support base of ridiculously low interest loan given at the the recent high profile and highly televised expense of five crore Gujarati taxpayers to event agitation, that included open support Tata‘s Nano project suggests a corrupt loan from Ram Madhav and the RSS as also Baba write off f public finances. Ramdev, Hazare‘s move could be construed as a bid to actually influence this SC-driven The irony of Modi being hailed by the leader criminal investigation. of the National Lok Pal movement is cruel since there has been no Lokayukta in Modi stands accused, and has not been yet Gujarat for nearly seven years! Hundreds of cleared of serious charges of actively complaints against corruption are lying masterminding mass murder, loot and rape unheard in that state as the common of 2,500 of Gujarat‘s innocent citizens Gujarati reels under his mercenary consciously perverting his position and dictatorship. From the Sujalam power as chief minister in 2002. This and Sufalam scam of 1700 crores to the NREGS other investigations have been rigorously boribund scam of 109 crores, the fisheries pursued by victim survivors of these scam of 600 crores, every department has gruesome massacres and Hazare‘s been accused of being involved in thousands statement, more than anything else rubs salt of crores worth of scams. The poor and rural on deep wounds. Not once in the nine years people of Gujarat are being sold to Modi's since the state sponsored carnage has Modi, small coterie of friends, the industrialists. who has written a tear-filled communication The state is in terrible debt because of his to Hazare wiped tears from the heavy hearts largesse to industry while 21 lakh farmers of Muslim victim survivors in Gujarat. Nor wait for compensation for the land seized E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 11 from them. How hen can Haraeji call Modi actors who are sworn to partisan politics, non-corrupt or hail his model of ideology and governance. While their was development? more than some discomfiture felt by many Little or no funds have been released by the of us when we saw this worthy anti- GOG to the Minority Finance Development corruption movement being supported by Corporation, even less to the Gujarat State RSS cadres and Baba Ramdev, guilty of Wakf Board. No figures are provided by the amassing crores of money and property state government for funds allotted to the himself, this discomfiture increased as religious minorities. accusation of bus loads of supporters arriving to Jantar Mantar from Gujarat The corrosion and corruption in our system came in and finally dues were extracted by is not merely monetary but the subversion the ruler of that state, Narendra Modi, in of the Indian Constitution and the form of praise from Anna Hazareji. Constitutional Governance has been in large measure due to the unbridled and Teesta Setalvad. unchecked growth of state and non state v) Mallika Sarabhai on Hazare’s Comments Modi thanks Hazare for praise, Sarabhai upset New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare's Sarabhai, one of the prominent supporters praise of Narendra Modi Monday fetched a of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption crusade, prompt 'thank you' from the Gujarat chief Monday asked the social reformer to retract minister himself but danseuse-activist his praise of Narendra Modi for Mallika Sarabhai, a vocal supporter of the development work. anti-graft movement, expressed her Sarabhai, who spearheaded support for disapproval and asked Hazare to retract. Hazare in the state, said she will distance herself from the Lokpal Bill movement if he The Congress, in a guarded reaction, said does not take back his endorsement of that no secular person can condone the Modi. In her e-mail to Hazare, Sarabhai said: "We are deeply shocked by your endorsement of Narendra Modi's rural development. There has been little or no rural development in this state. In fact, village grazing lands and irrigated farmlands have been stealthily taken by the government and sold off at ridiculous prices to a small club of industrialists." Sarabhai said there had been no Lokayukta (ombudsman) in Gujarat for nearly seven years, so hundreds of complaints against corruption are lying unheard. "black events" of 2002 in Gujarat. E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 12 vi) Social Activists’ Response to Hazare’s comments on Gujarat 12th April, 2011 Anna Hazare’s statement endorsing and appreciating the ‘Modi-Raj' is unfortunate and unacceptable It was shocking to find that Anna Hazareji As a shrewd politician, Mr. Modi knows after receiving support by all of us, with how to divide the secular force and seek millions, publicly appreciated the rule as advantage for himself and his party. We well rural development work by the Chief shouldn‘t however fall prey to this. Anna too Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Narendra Modi. must hear and heed to the serious The entire world knows the role played by grievances and charges coming from the him and his administration in the Gujarat‘s activists and people in Gujarat against Mr. communal riots. His government has only Modi and his government. Gujarat is indicated callousness and contempt for the growing only for and with the industrialists farmers and other natural resource based at the cost of those contributing their land communities in Gujarat, including those or human labour and now the local fighting against displacement from their communities in Gujarat have also stood up land and livelihood or for rehabilitation. to the challenge the injustices. On the issue of corruption, Modi‘s response All of this clearly indicate a betrayal of rural to the initiative to bring in a strong needy population for his corporate vision. enactment or to wipe out corruption is, to We surely would join many of Gujarat‘s say the least, only politically motivated. If progressive activists who know the ground only he was committed to an institution like reality and the atrocities against the dalits, the Jan Lokpal, how could the Lokpal‘s post adivasis, minorities and other downtrodden be vacant in Gujarat since 2005? His population to tell Anna that he should stay government has suppressed massive away from supporting politicians until and corruption in the land purchases while unless they prove their mettle and submitted exaggerated data on benefits to commitment to people‘s causes. We agree the drought areas of Kutch and Saurashtra with the letters written by activists Rohit and the rural population. Prajapati and Trupti Shah to Anna, seeking an explanation. The common people of In Narmada, we have seen how the adivasis India have supported the battle against in Gujarat, screaming against the legal corruption with faith in our campaign and violations and deprivation in the credibility as people‘s movements based on rehabilitation work do not receive any the core values of equity, justice, democracy, response and the Modi Government is ready secularism and plurality. This should not be to submerge the best of agricultural land compromised at any cost. and generations old villages and township in the dam reservoir in three states. Endorsed by: Medha Saraswati Kavula Kavita Srivastava Maj Genl. (Retd.) Sudhir Vombatkere Patkar Vimalbhai Sandeep Pandey Anand Mazgaonkar Madhuresh Kumar Thomas Kochhery Kamayani Sister Celia Simpreet Singh Rajendra Ravi Arundhati Dhuru D. Gabriele Suniti S.R. Uma Shankari Faisal Khan Ashish Ranjan E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 13 3. Whose Gujarat is Vibrant? Pravin Mishra / Ahmedabad Mirror Gujarat produces some of India’s cancellation of the land lease to Nirma. wealthiest. What is not known widely Their demand was rejected by the chief is that the state has the highest minister. percentage of poor population, a whopping 31.8% While this was happening, acres of land were granted to Orpat Limited at Rs 40 per Chief Minister Narendra Modi started sq metre to construct a tourist resort in Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in 2003 to Wankaner taluka. Shockingly, a water body, attract investors to the state. The first the only source in the area for drinking and summit attracted proposals worth Rs 69 irrigation was blocked by 20 feet high crore. The figures kept increasing since: Rs 1 surrounding walls. The desperate farmers lakh crore in 2005, Rs 4 lakh crore in 2007, knocked the doors of Gujarat High Court. Rs 12 lakh crore in 2009 and almost Rs 21 The court has stayed all the activities in the lakh crore in 2011. The corporate giants ill-gotten land and has ordered the heaped praises on Modi and some even reconstruction of the irrigation channel by endorsed him for prime minister‘s job. demolishing the walls. Was the prime Gujarat has voted him to power with a concern for the government creating of a landslide majority twice. But is today‘s resort at the cost of depriving thousands of Gujarat really an economic model? villagers of drinking water? Thousands of farmers have been protesting A good investment climate demands cheap the allotment of land to Nirma by the labour and a freehand in exploiting the Gujarat government for a cement plant in natural resources. But the third Mahuva. According to Kanu Kalsaria, the requirement, land, is not an easy BJP MLA from the region, the government proposition. The super-inflated MoUs give had granted land rights to Nirma in the the government tremendous political heart of a water body created through mileage. For the corporate, the priceless prolonged efforts of locals over the years. land comes free or dirt cheap with no Nirma demanded a total of 4,415 hectares of deadlines of the promised investment. The land on lease for the mining of limestone adivasi farmers who are dependent on the from nine villages in Bhavnagar district. forests and agricultural land are pushed This includes wet, privately owned away. These thousands of landless farmers agricultural land of 3,583 hectares and have no option but to sell their labour for ―gauchar land‖ of 232 hectares. The Gujarat cheap to survive. Some do not survive. government has already given in-principle approval to 3,460 hectares for mining Sixteen thousand Gujarati workforce limestone across the coastline. committed suicide during Modi‘s tenure. The number consists of 9,829 workers, The farmers said that the upcoming plant 5,447 farmers and 919 farm labourers. The would destroy their agriculture and ‗rich‘ government of a ‗vibrant‘ state cannot livestock and cause irreparable damage to save lives of its own people who kill the environment. Five thousand people, themselves because they are unable to including women and children, travelled survive. State Congress president Arjun 350 km on foot to Gandhinagar in protest Modhwadia said that these figures were against the cement plant demanding from the state government statistics. E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 14 That Gujarat produces some of India‘s even have two square meals a day whereas wealthiest is well known. What is not known our home-made billionaires plan billions of so widely is that Gujarat also has the highest dollars of investment overseas. While our percentage of poor population, a whopping chief minister attempts to attract more 31.8 per cent, as per a Planning Commission investors to our state, let‘s look at it through data. The vibrant face of the state is full of the eyes of those who cannot afford to thick makeup where the real face is no more survive in this ‗thriving‘ state. Let‘s ask traceable. ourselves — who is Modi vibrating for? The plight of the marginalised is not heard http://www.ahmedabadmirror.com/article/78/ in the deafening decibel of vibrant Gujarat 2011032820110328032129511f285d544/Whose- celebrations. Millions of Gujaratis cannot Gujarat-is-vibrant.html 4. Vibrant Gujarat Again Shabnam Hashmi The Planning Commission, in consultation national media continues to pay tributes to with the Union ministry of Rural the fascist dictator. Development, has ranked 447 districts out of a total of 604 districts. In its May 2003 ** report, the 'Task force on identification of districts for wage and self employment Status of Women in the Modi's Mega programmes' had selected three variables study for computing the index of backwardness. These were: agricultural productivity per A pilot study conducted by Ahmedabad worker, agricultural wage rate and schedule Women‘s Action Group under the ‗Mental caste (SC)/schedule tribe (ST) population. Health Care Pilots in Gujarat‘ project undertaken by the Indian Institute of It is interesting to find 6 districts of Gujarat Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A ) revealed in the 50 most backward districts, with the that a whopping 58 per cent of women in Dangs at No. 1. The list has 20 districts out Ahmedabad suffer significant mental of Gujarat 25 districts. If nothing else this at distress. Ahmedabad which was projected as least shows Gujarat is as backword as the a Mega city and an example of Modi‘s rest of the country. developed Gujarat. Though there have been enough indicators The study revealed horrendous forms of to show the myth of Vibrant Gujarat ( physical violence which included slapping, farmer's suicides at the peak of Mr Modi's punching, biting, kicking and even branding rule, more than 6000 'accidental deaths' of with cigarette butts! farmers during the same period, growing violence against women- domestic as well as The abuse extended to the bedroom too, rapes, murders, kidnappings as shown by where 50 per cent women admitted that the latest report on Ahmedabad done by they were forced to engage in forcible sex awag and iim, Ahmedabad and National amounting to marital rape! Family Health Surveys of 2005 and 2006 showing very high anemia rates in women 65 per cent women conceded to being and children , growing violence against abused in public and in front of neighbours! dalits so on), the regional as well as the 35 per cent women reported that their children, especially girls, were victims of E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 15 violence and were physically and verbally report verbal abuse, threats , 62% report abused by the father. lack of support, appreciation 69% excluded from decision making , 50% were subject to forcible sex (rape) , Slapping | 68 % , Kicking | 62 % , Punching 50% were deprived of sex *Social violence , | 53 % , Hitting with hard objects | 49 % , 76% abused before family , 69% before Biting | 37 % , Choking | 29 % , Branding neighbours , 60% before friends , 67% in with cigarette butts | 22 % public places , Emotional violence , 70% 5. The Monumental Myth of Vibrant Gujarat The monumental myth of vibrant Gujarat Deepal Trivedi Nothing is black and white ever but will have IT connectivity," the official Gujarat‘s grey spots are getting frighteningly informed. glaring. Last fortnight validated this again. Gujarat is the No. 1 state in India when it Narendra Modi‘s beefy rhetoric stressed comes to economic freedom index also. Associated Chamber of Commerce and Economic freedom index means absence of Industry of India (Assocham) had put government coercion or constraint in the Gujarat as top investment destination of production, distribution or consumption of 2008-2009 with 19.91 per cent of the goods and services beyond the extent country‘s total investment coming to necessary for citizens to protect and Gujarat in mid-June report. maintain liberty by itself, he explained adding he was indeed sorry for all those Chief minister Mr Modi tomtommed on "pseudos" who fail to see Modi beyond 2002 Twitter about being number one in riots. Modi‘s vision is more important than providing vocational training and his role, if so any in Gujarat riots, he employment. A state official explained how earnestly explained. Gujarat led the nation in providing jobs through employment exchanges. Out of the Past is past and 2002 is history. Gujarat has total jobs provided in India through moved on, he reasoned. employment exchanges, he said the highest, Admitted it‘s a good to have great roads, 72.77 per cent were provided by Gujarat, he uninterrupted power supply and world-class contended. Soon, Gujarat will become the mall-multiplex culture besides Golfing first state to have a Bus Rapid Transit societies and plentiful profit churning System (BRTS) with bus stands competing businesses. It‘s a pleasant feeling to be in a in style and functionality with Curitiba, state which is number one in so many Brazil, which is home to the first and one of sectors besides investment, infrastructure the most successful BRT systems in the and industry. But the bad news refuse to world. fade in the background. Did you know that the Gujarat government In fact, several of them. Here are a few has promised that all 1,8,000 villages in the samples which are dubbed as stray cases in state will have all the facilities present in the an otherwise vibrant Gujarat. A 40-year-old chief minister‘s chamber, that Gujarat will pregnant woman went for her check-up to become the first place in Asia where villages the G.G. hospital in Jamnagar. Two E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 16 qualified gynecologists along with the staff teenager‘s character, the police pasted a tape on her forehead that screamed commissioner craftily justified the gang her HIV positive status. She was then rape. When Surat literally took him to task, paraded in different wards of the hospital. the state government, just to avoid Shockingly, none of the medical, confrontation, transferred the police paramedical staff who were aware that HIV commissioner, Deepak Swarup. status cannot be declared this way, objected to the woman‘s public parade. The woman Here is more to Vibrant Gujarat. The got her two-month-old foetus aborted Annual Status of Education Report by because of her health condition, but the Pratham, a non-governmental organisation, humiliation of public parade with a tape points out that Gujarat is worse than Bihar screaming HIV-seropositive will hang when it comes to education standards. The forever. report, sponsored by Google, Oxfam and Unicef, categorically says that Gujarat Little before that, a 12th grader, a brilliant students are behind their Bihar science student with great career goals, left counterparts. The percentage of students her home for tuitions when she was who can read their textbooks, do basic intercepted by three men posing as cops a subtraction, tell time or do basic currency little away from her home early morning. tasks is much lower in Gujarat than in She and a male co-student were forced in Bihar. the car and the girl was gang raped for 90 minutes before being dumped at the same Several other reports also authenticate that spot. Gujarat has been doing miserably in almost every index of human development. This happened in Surat, Gujarat‘s fastest Gujarat‘s developmental model and module growing economic paradise. The rapists has been questioned and dubbed flawed by filmed the gang rape on their mobiles. After several social commentators and researcher the arrest, the police recovered about half a who have been casually dismissed as "anti dozen "live" gang rape videos from them. Gujarat" or "pseudo secular". Infant Mortality Rate(IMR) in Gujarat was 69 per Because Mr Modi scores high on the luck 1,000 in 1991 compared to 80 of India. quotient in developed but divisive Gujarat, While the national IMR became 58 per some local media pithily put it that the 1,000 in 2005, that of Gujarat became 54. rapists were Muslims feebly attempting to So, while India on the whole really did much spare the state government of any blame better to cut down its IMR, Gujarat‘s about the law and order situation. What performance was not actually impressive. followed was worse. In the HIV positive The gap between Gujarat and India reduced case, the only positive action the state because states like West Bengal, Jharkhand, government initiated was to ask the doctors Uttarakhand fared much better than and nurses involved to go on indefinite Gujarat. Experts stress IMR is a sensitive leave. Sadly, in the last three months, 10 indicator of women‘s status in general HIV positive persons have committed besides being a mirror of healthcare suicide in Gujarat after they were socially facilities for pregnant women. and economically ostracised. The No. 1 state did not offer them enough motivation to A February 2007 Reserve Bank of India continue with their lives. report put Gujarat as 17th among 18 large states when it came to social sector budget In Surat, the first response of the police allocation. With 31.6 per cent budgetary commissioner was that the girl was a soft expenditure on social sector, Gujarat dipped target for rape because she was with a male from 12th spot in 1991(then there were 15 co-student. Indirectly hinting at the large states category) to 17th of the 18 large E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 17 states proving expenditure on social sector with innovative thoughts. A leader for had considerably declined in Mr Modi‘s whom progress matters more than regime. In the past, former President Abdul propaganda. Mr Modi‘s resolve is to put Kalam has also commented on the need for Gujarat on top of human development Gujarat to focus more on its social index. development index Resolution and reality, however, seems to Mr Modi is described as an iconic leader have a huge gap which is steadily widening. 6. Box 16,000 farmers, workers ended life during Modi’s tenure’ Posted: Thu Mar 17 2011, 03:52 hrs Gandhinagar: State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia as per the Suresh P Tendulkar Committee on Wednesday claimed that 9,829 workers, appointed by the Planning Commission. 5,447 farmers and 919 farm labourers have committed suicide in the state during He said that 31.8 per cent population of Narendra Modi‘s tenure as Chief Minister. Gujarat is poor followed by Andhra Pradesh (29.9 per cent), Tamil Nadu (29.8 per cent), During the debate on the supplementary Himachal Pradesh (22.9 per cent), Punjab budgetary demands in the state Assembly, (20.9 per cent), Kerala (19.7 %), J-K (13.2 he said these figures were provided by the %) and Haryana (2.1 %). state government. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/16- Modhwadia further claimed that Gujarat 000-farmers-workers-ended-life-during- has the highest poverty rate in the country modis-tenure/763674/ Nano In Gujarat- Make Believe Stature Of Modi Ram Puniyani 03 November, 2008 Countercurrents.org Shifting of Nano to Gujarat has been started saying that Modi is the future of projected as a feather in Modi‘s cap. With India and if there are five more Modi‘s the this his already rising popular rating due to country will prosper in the real fast way! the projections by a section of media and The additional point being made is that he blind apologists of current pattern of has shown the path to deal with ‗terror‘; he development has got a big boost. Some from can control this problem in effective way the world of business/vested interests have etc.! E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 18 The alternative patterns of development, from 74.5% to 80.1%. Some of the reports what are the different components of the point out the conditions of dalits and process apart, lets see his record and the women has deteriorated during last decade. ‗achievements‘ in Gujarat. He is the one who For women one of the indices is the gave the final push to convert Gujarat from declining sex ratio in Gujarat during last being a part of democratic India to ‗Hindu decade. The plight of Adivasis is no better. Nation in one state‘. His projection of Godhra as the preplanned act by Muslim Gujarat also witnessed the anti Christian community and unleashing the carnage violence during Modi regime and Adivasis against this hapless minority has few have been a totally neglected lot in the state, parallels in the history of India. He presided reeling under the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashrams over a tirade to convert the minorities into Gharvapasi (Conversion into Hinduism) second class citizens in his state. Not only campaigns. Minorities have been reduced to did he refuse to let the refugee camps scapegoats and the social partitions are continue, today over five lakh Muslim becoming rigid by the day. Some minority are staying in the proliferating development has taken place in the state, ghettoes of Gujarat, denied the facilities by but Gujarat was always amongst the more state and the civic authorities. Most of the developed states of the country. It is not that indices of Gujarat development relate to things have started from the scratch. increasing affluence of the sections of middle classes while the condition of As far as terrorism is concerned, the acts of average and poorer sections are declining terror did take place in the form of attack on badly. Akshardham during his regime. After this Akshardham attack he romped home to Poverty levels are rising; employment and electoral victory. A bit later with his bloated agriculture are having a bad time. The chest he started claiming that terrorists dare agricultural production has been declining, not enter his state, till of course the bomb e.g. from 65.71 lakh tones in 2003-2004 to blasts in Ahmedabad (2008). After this he 51.53 in 2004-2005. A survey conducted by propagated that he cannot deal with this NSS in 2005 shows that approximately 40% phenomenon as he does not have effective farmers of state said that given the option laws! This deliberate lie is meant to while they would like to shift from away wash the fact that terrorism has deeper agriculture. Recent studies show that roots, which cannot be uprooted by brave agriculture and labor both have suffered rhetoric‘s which he is adept to dishing out. extensively during last one decade. Modi in He has mastered the art of using the a reply given in state assembly stated that in opportunity to project him, well assisted by one year up to Jan 2007, 148 farmers had the section of media. committed suicide and the condition is worsening on that score. While on one side The pattern of things in Gujarat today is the state exports electricity, its villages are clear, it intimidates and brow beat having a power deficit. Indian Express 8th minorities, take up policies which help the April 2007 reported that state is reeling affluent and upper middle class, project this under the shortfall of 900 mega Watt of and hide the backyard where the poor and power, the victims of this are mainly in the minorities stay. No wonder this is what villages. One of the indices of poverty, attracts the ilk of Tata, who are very prevalence of anemia is very revealing on appreciative of Modi, as the backyard of the this count. The percentage of women state, the violation of democratic norms has suffering from anemia has risen from 46.3% no meaning for them, the only thing which in 1999 to 55.5% in 2004 (Third round of matters for them is the proliferating coffers National Family Health survey report 2006) of their companies. The considerations of among women. Amongst children it rose ethical and holistic development don‘t E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 19 matter there. This is no different from the committed to democratic values, values of attitude of big industrialists towards Hitler. Indian Constitution or not. While the They backed him to the hilt in his rampage management Gurus and money bags are against the democratic norms. It is not for comfortable with the likes of Hitler/Modi, nothing that serious academics like Ashish for the large sections of deprived population Nandy describe Modi as the person with such rules are a nightmare. What more can classic fascist traits. be said about such a person who comes to power through polarizing the society and The carnage of 2002 and the parallel then rules in a manner where false claims intimidation of Christian minorities have about amity abound. The aura created already paved the way for the religious around him is a sign of ominous dark times authoritarianism in the state. Modi is for the nation, the times threatening to basking in the glory of ‗personally efficient engulf the values of our plural culture and and disciplined‘ person. A person should values of our freedom movement, which not be judged by a small part of the policies. emphasized on democracy and equal rights What is overlooked in this shortsighted for all. evaluation is that whether the said person is 7. Margin Speak 10 April 2, 2011 Vol xlvi No 14 EPW Economic & Political Weekly From The Underbelly Of Swarnim Gujarat By Anand Teltumbde Nobody noticed little vibrations on the trembled to do a little ritual, to mark the literal margins of vibrant Gujarat on 24 taking of its de facto possession. More such January 2011 but potentially they could take-overs followed until evening to cause significant tremors across the embolden people to take possession of their country. In a nondescript village of own lands, being illegally cultivated by the Joradiary in Vav taluka of Banaskantha upper castes. In the Vav taluka itself 35 district in North Gujarat, practically on the Dalit families would be benefitted by the borders of Rajasthan and Pakistan, a ownership of over 150 acres. procession of 200 odd Dalits accompanied by beats of drum and slogans of ―long live Unknown even to Dalits, it was a landmark Ambedkar‖ marched into a farm under event that could be verily likened to the one illegal control of a Rabari to restore its that took place in Mahad on 20 March 1927 possession to a Dalit. The Ahmedabad based when the delegates to the Bahishkrit Council for Social Justice (CSJ), who led Conference there had marched under the this struggle to its culmination was leadership of their new found leader Dr justifiably apprehensive of the beneficiaries Ambedkar to the chavadar tank and daring their upper caste tormentors in asserted their civil rights to use its water. taking this bold step and had therefore strategized to collect Dalits from all villages Caste Residue of Land Reforms in taluka at Vav for a public meeting before At the time of transfer of power in 1947, the taking the victory march. Indeed, the land ownership was virtually concentrated beneficiary Dalit family, the de jure owner in the hands of a few landlords, who were of the farm for last 28 years, literally erstwhile feudal lords. The ethos of the E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 20 freedom struggle led the new rulers to suitably amended to facilitate this announce the policies like abolition of acquisition. Two of the most notable Zamindari and redistribution of surplus changes in Law were: 1. taking away 8 km land to tillers. It had salutary impact in limit for an agriculturist to own agricultural calming and confusing radical peasant land from his residence thereby allowing movements that demanded land reforms. absentee landlordism and 2. changing the The glorious Telangana struggle, for order of priorities from ST, SC and OBC to instance, was called off by the communists original landlords and then others for the precisely because of these policy right to cultivate government surplus land. announcements, pushing them onto the parliamentary path that would never reach Through the other Act, (Estate Acquisition their cherished goal of revolution. Land Act), the government acquired ‗uncultivable' reforms did take place but in a calibrated and cultivable wasteland, gochar land and truncated manner. Some amount of (village grassland for cattle grazing) and land was taken from the upper caste feudal other assets by compensating Girasdars. lords and distributed among the middle The huge land that came in possession of caste tenants. No one fully comprehended the state became theatre of the land grab the far reaching consequences of this struggle in early 1960s by Dalit landless innocuous development, which would peasants and agricultural laborers, under change the basic complexion of rural India. the leadership of Dalit textile workers of The capitalist strategy of Green Revolution Ahmedabad. In the words of Mr. immediately following it brought in huge Somchandbhai Makwana, an influential enrichment to these middle castes, which leader of that movement, estimated 2 lakh leveraged it to hegemonize most spheres of acres of land was grabbed by Dalits and national life. other backward castes, which still remains in their possession, albeit without Speaking of Gujarat, UN Dhebar, the chief regularization by the government. minister of the then Saurashtra state had enacted the Saurashtra Land Reforms Act, In many cases Dalit and OBC peasants 1952 , giving occupancy rights to 5 5000 and/or their co-operatives, tilling lands tenant cultivators over 12 lakh acres of land, under the government's ek-sali (one year out of 29 lakh acres held by Girasdars , renewable tenure) scheme for several spread over 1726 villages , the balance being decades, were evicted and the land was left for their personal cultivation . Girasdars reverted back to the ‗original' upper caste were mainly upper caste Kshatriya, known landlords. as Darbars , literally meaning rulers. Tenant cultivators were mainly Patels by Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat, has caste, who became the owners of this land. been a meek witness since last three years to The Patels enriched them by undertaking many Dalit families (mostly from massive cash crop cultivation like Saurashtra) offering satyagrahas on the groundnut, cotton, cumin and later footpath near the Assembly against this graduating to set up cotton ginning, oil intrigue. The amendments to the Acts mills, and other industries. This has been referred to above emboldened the upper the evolution of the Saurashtra Patel lobby, castes and the state machinery to violently euphemistically known as Telia Rajas (oil evict Dalits from land they have cultivated kings), who came to occupy the dominant for decades. This had manifested into a position in the politics of Gujarat. With their macabre incident on 27 November 1999 in social capital and state backing, they went Pankhan village in Saurashtra, in which a on acquiring huge tracts of agricultural mob of 800 upper caste men had attacked lands all over the state but most notably in Dalits with swords, spears, pipes and fire the tribal belt of south Gujarat. Laws were arms and seriously injured 60 men and E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 21 women and effectively evicted them from Dungarshibahai to cultivate but took away 125 acres of land. the crop. CSJ filed a criminal complaint and put three Darbars behind bars. A Strange Struggle for Land Dungarshibhai today is revered as an In 1997, santh (title) orders were given for a unchallenged Dalit leader in the total of 150 acres to 40 Dalits of Bharad Surendranagar district. village in Dhrangadhra taluka of Surendranagar district. Two of these 40, These struggles were strange as they were Devjibhai and Kanabhai (a blind waged by the de jure owners of land for its agricultural labourer) asked the upper caste possession from the illegal holders. While Patel to vacate the land allotted to them. the government eagerly publicized Upper caste landlords responded with distribution of lands to the SC/ST violence but were met with serious beneficiaries, it intentionally or otherwise resistance. Violent group clashes ensued ignored their physical handing over. The and in one such six persons suffered serious process for handing over physical injuries. Dalits endured severe social possession involved village talathi preparing boycott by the upper castes. Devjibhai was the records of rights (7/12) and ‗farmers' apprehended and imprisoned under PASA book' along with a rough map of the plot. (Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act) for After receiving these documents from the daring to enter the land although he was its Collector's office, the District Inspector of de jure owner. It was at this stage that the Land Records (DILR) had to send surveyors CSJ stepped in. CSJ creatively combined to prepare final map, physically mark it out legal and agitational strategies and got and hand over its possession to the Devjibhai released. It organized ―Ambedkar beneficiary in presence of the collector's Rath‖ through 28 villages over seven days to representative. This procedure was not mobilize Dalit support, which culminated carried out in most cases. The beneficiaries into a massive rally of over 10000 landless were also deprived of Rs 5000 per acre due Dalits on 6 December 1999, the death to them as per rules. The officers anniversary of Dr Ambedkar. The struggle responsible for it could be punished as per a encompassed all 12438 acres of prime government notification of 1989 but no agricultural land declared surplus vide the action was taken. In case of the SC/ST Agriculture Land Ceiling Act, for which beneficiaries, Atrocities Act also could be 2398 Dalit families and 50 tribal families invoked. were given the santh before 3 to 10 years, but not the actual possession. The land, The CSJ struggle set the state machinery apart from being very fertile, was potentially into action, enabling Dalits in Vav taluka to valuable because Surendranagar district was take possession of their lands. But alas, this to be the biggest beneficiary of the Narmada impressive struggle sadly failed to enthuse irrigation scheme. the reservation-obsessed middle classes of Dalits, revealing the ugly faultline of A parallel struggle was articulated in emerging classes among Dalits. another village Kaundh, where a young textile mill worker Dungarshibhai of Anti-Dalit Attitude of the State Ahmedabad gave up his job to take cudgels Although, like any other Dalit episode, this for his people in village. In defiance of one may also be a pan Indian phenomenon, of the biggest and tyrant Darbars in the nevertheless Gujarat strangely comes out as district, who owned nearly 3000 acres of a piece of villain in recent revelations vis-à- land, he drove the tractor on the land given vis Dalits. A CSJ study of 400 judgments to his family in santh but which still was in delivered by the special courts in 16 districts possession of the Darbar. As the entire of Gujarat since 1 April 1995 revealed a dalits stood behind him, the Darbar allowed shocking pattern behind the collapse of E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 22 cases filed under the Atrocities Act: utterly the Atrocity Act was to be investigated by an negligent police investigation at both the officer not above the rank of DSP. higher and lower levels and distinctly hostile role played by the public prosecutors. In One wonders whether this plight of Dalits at over 95 per cent of the cases, acquittals had the hands of Gujarat government is because resulted due to technical lapses by the of its ideological adherence to Hindutva or investigation and prosecution, and in the because of its neoliberal vibrancy. As it remaining five per cent, court directives appears, perhaps it is the result of both were flouted by the government. The these mutually reinforcing factors, a kind of government's casual attitude was vile resonance! underscored by the statement of its chief minister in the Assembly when he stated, Anand Teltumbde is a writer, political contrary to the Rule, that the cases under analyst and civil rights activist with CPDR, Mumbai tanandraj@gmail. Gujarat far behind, Muslims most backward there The Milli Gazette Published Online: Mar 29, 2011 Print Issue: 1-15 March 2011 New Delhi: Dr. Abu Saleh Sharif, noted On the starvation front, Gujarat is nearer to economist who was also a member of those states whose condition is worst, he Justice Sachar Committee which submitted said, adding that Mahatma Gandhi National a report on the overall condition of Muslims Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India, said here while speaking in a (MGNREGA) scheme is very important for conference on ‗Social and religious the employment of common man but discrimination of Muslims in Gujarat‘ Gujarat‘s share in this scheme is 5% only sponsored by Institute of Objective Studies and as far as condition of Muslims is (IOS) on 12 February that Gujarat is very concerned, working ratio of Muslims as much behind in the race of development compared to Hindus is 10% less. and Muslims are the most backward. Referring to Reserve Bank India‘s 10-year This in fact is the first programme of this report on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) series under which the overall progress and he said that in Maharashtra, FDI was worth development in different states and the Rs. 17 lakh crore, in Delhi, Haryana and condition of Muslims will be reviewed. NCR (including some parts of UP) it was Presenting the power point in IOS office in worth Rs 10 lakh crore but in Gujarat during Delhi Dr. Sharif said that a lot of the course of 10 years it was worth Rs 2.8 propaganda is made about the progress of lakh crore. Gujarat but in the light of statistics, the facts are to the contrary. He said that considering In reply to a question he said that it is true the overall progress it (Gujarat) is below that during its first term the UPA Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, government had described this state as adding that the proportion of poverty in number one from the point of view of Gujarat should have been low or small but it development and had honoured it with is large. He said that in rural areas poverty award but the statistics of 40 years do not among Muslims is eight times more than confirm it. Hence the attention of other sections whereas in urban areas the government and media should be specially ratio is two percent. invited to this aspect. He also said that this programme is very important in the light of E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 23 discussions and talks held recently in the This article appeared in The Milli country about the progress and Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on development of Gujarat and it will greatly page no. 21 help in understanding the facts. 'Muslims left behind in Gujarat's growth story' Nandita Sengupta, TNN, Feb 18, 2011, 03.11am IST NEW DELHI: Muslims in Gujarat have a Orissa and Bihar, with only Jharkhand, long way to go. A new study shows there's Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh having deep-rooted poverty and income inequality higher hunger levels. Urban poverty among among the state's lower castes and Muslims. the state's Muslims is eight times more than The latter, in particular, fare poorly on high-caste Hindus, 50% more than OBCs. parameters of poverty, hunger, education and vulnerability on security issues — Muslims are educationally deprived: despite nowhere benefiting from the feel good 75% enrolment of Muslim children in growth story of CM Narendra Modi's state. primary school, a mere 26% reach In the study titled "Relative Development of matriculation. This is against 79% Gujarat and Socio-Religious Differentials", enrolment of 'others except SCs/ STs', 41% economist Abusaleh Shariff used the NSSO, of who make it to matriculate levels. NCAER's human development data and the Sachar Committee report, among others, to Worsening matters, the study shows 2% tabulate the status of Gujarat's Muslims. Muslims in Gujarat face theft and burglary, "Estimation of poverty by social group is though they make up merely 11% of rare, but the NCAER survey data, and households. At the national level 13% NSSO, allow for such estimates," says Muslims face theft and burglary with the Shariff, also chief economist at National same share of households. Harassment of Council of Applied Economic research Muslim girls is high, with 17% reporting it in (NCAER). urban areas, though they make up only 11% of share of population. Disturbingly, and surprisingly, says Shariff, Gujarat's levels of hunger are high alongside 8. Relative Development of Gujarat and Socio-Religious Differentials By Dr Abusaleh Shariff (Chief Economist, NCAER, New Delhi & Member Secretary, Sachar Committee, New Delhi) February 12, 2011 Organised by Institute of Objective Studies New Delhi, Feb. 12: Gujarat fares relatively Economic Research (NCAER), said here better on direct income measures, but the today. apparent prosperity masks ―higher poverty levels and much lower ranking in human Dr Shariff was speaking at Institute of development‖, Dr Abusaleh Shariff, chief Objective Studies on ―Relative Development economist National Council of Applied of Gujarat and Socio-Religious Differentials‖. On income measures Gujarat E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 24 comes fourth after Punjab, Haryana and His figures, sourced from SIA Newsletter Maharashtra, but in Human Development (various years) showed the actual FDI Index (HDI) it trails behind Kerala, Tamil inflows in India from January 2000 to Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka. march 2010, as follows: Maharashtra, Rs. 17 lakh crore; N. Delhi, Rs. 10 lakh crore; Tamil Nadu, Rs. 2.4 lakh crore; Karnataka, Rs. 3 lakh crore; Andhra Pradesh, Rs. 2 lakh crore; Gujarat Rs. 2.8 lakh crore. So much for Gujarat being the first destination for FDI in India. Putting the Muslim situation in this larger framework, Dr Shariff observed, ―Empirical evidence suggests that relative to other states and relative to other communities, Muslims in Gujarat are facing high levels of discrimination and deprivation‖. He prefaced the remark with the statement that L-R: Dr. Abu Saleh Shariff, Dr. M. Gujarat had some positive features, namely: Manzoor Alam and Mr. Mushtaque 90 percent paved roads to villages; 98 Ahmad percent electrified villages with 80 percent electrified homes and 18 hours of electricity ―In fact, Orissa has resilience in improved everyday; 86 percent piped water supply HDI at its own level of development and poverty‖, Dr Shariff noted. He said that Gujarat had registered high levels of hunger among its citizens, though higher levels of hunger were not expected of a state with high levels of income. This suggested deep-rooted poverty and income inequality, Dr Shariff observed. He backed his assertions with figures during his power-point presentation. He drew the attention of the audience towards what could be termed ―the politics of development‖. He talked of the hype and hooplah built around foreign direct investment (FDI) in Gujarat. and better phone connections, banks, post offices, bus connection compared to other ―Gujarat is a game for NRI and corporate states. Agricultural extension work, too, is politics … played by the corporate to seek better than in other states. Amid all this, higher tax subsides, cheap licensing, poverty, hunger and lack of sense of security underpriced land and low royalty thrive. payments‖. Muslims have lower levels of work Investments announced in Gujarat were participation rates suggesting higher largely promises, as the real amount unemployment. ―WPRs for Hindus in invested was a fraction of the amount Gujarat are 10 percent higher, suggesting promised due to practical reasons, he said. better employment. Muslims in Gujarat have higher unemployment rates compared with Maharashtra and West Bengal‖. E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 25 He presented some startling facts about the Gujarat has fared very poorly. ―MG-NREGA Muslim situation in Gujarat where 60 is a national wage employment programme percent Muslims live in urban areas. Urban for the poor. Gujarat is the worst performer poverty among Muslims in ―Gujarat is eight in MG-NREGA. It has failed to provide times compared to high-caste Hindus and employment to the poorest of the poor‖, he ―50 percent more than H-OBCs, even more said. than SCs/STs. Rural poverty is two times more than HHS‖. Banking access to Muslims in Gujarat have fared rather poorly Muslims, who have 12 percent of the across the board. Regarding pre-matric accounts, is only 2.6 percent in terms of scholarships for minorities, a Central bank loans/outstanding. government initiative (with effect from April 1, 2008) he said Gujarat happened to be the The village and neighbourhood conflict in only large state that had not implemented Gujarat is an astounding 63 percent which this programme for 55,000 students, which is as high as in West Bengal. However, it is included 53,000 Muslims along with other lower than UP (82 percent) and Uttrakhand. minorities. In general terms of poverty alleviation, 9. Marginalizing Muslims in Gujarat Submitted by admin on 20 March 2011 - 9:06am By Kashif-ul-Huda, TwoCircles.net chief mister. This was also a time of many political mobilizations and rioting. TCN series on Gujarat: Part 4 In 1950s Mahgujarat movement led to the History of Muslims in Gujarat is older than formation of the state of Gujarat. 1970s saw the idea of Gujarat itself, then how is it that the anti-corruption Navnirman movement Muslims now find themselves at the edge led by socialists and joined by Sangh (both figuratively and literally) of the Parivar, giving Sanghis their first lessons in present day Gujarati society? In the aftermath of partition when most of north India was burning, Gujarat remained peaceful. The first major post-independence Hindu-Muslim violence took place in Ahmedabad in 1969. But if we go back in history, from 1714 to 1969 there were only two incidents of communal violence – 1941 and 1946. The violence of 1969, in which more than 1100 people were killed, was the beginning of separation of Hindus and Muslims but it was 1985 riots that sealed Muslims‘ fate in the state for years to come. Erasing Muslims: Fatema Masjid, the Since the formation of the state in 1960, only mosque on Ahmadabad- Gujarat remained a politically unstable Gandhinagar highway was bulldozed in state. Between 1960 and 1990, Gujarat had Dec. 2010 eight assemblies, nine chief ministers, and 20 ministries. Only one, Madhavsinh mass mobilization. This came in handy Solanki was able to complete his term as during 1980s anti-reservation movement E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 26 when it was hijacked by Sangh activists and violence between Hindus and Muslims. turned into anti-Muslim violence. Ram Army was called in the next day and the janmbhoomi movement of 1990s and the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi paid a genocide of 2002 was the pay off for the visit on March 23rd. Violence continued for Sangh Parivar‘s work of spreading hate over next four months. three decades. Amarsinh Choudhry replaced Solanki as Dr. Ornit Shani of University of Haifa has chief minister on July 6th and soon after he studied the communal violence of 1985 in agreed to the demands of the anti- details. She marks 1985 as an important reservationists. Reservation increase was point in the marginalization of Muslims in rolled back and all those detained for Gujarat. She writes in her violence released. From February to July of book, Communalism, Caste and Hindu 1985, 220 people lost their lives. Only in Nationalism: Ahmadabad 662 anti-reservation and 743 communal incidents were recorded. Muslims were the main victims of the riots ―In the 1985 riots, conflicts around the with 2,500 houses damaged, 1500 shops reservation of places in educational and burnt, about 100 killed and hundreds government institutions for backward-caste severely injured. Hindus transmogrified into communal violence even though there was no prior religious tension between Hindus and Muslims, and local Muslims had no part in the reservation dispute between forward- and backward-caste Hindus. These riots marked the beginnings of the shift from several decades of Congress dominance to the triumph of the Hindu nationalist BJP in Gujarat as well as in Indian national politics.‖ The violence of 1985 came just days after Congress rode back to power with a thumping majority under the leadership of Madhavsinh Solanki. Successful social engineering of KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Ahir, and Muslim) alliance returned Congress MLAs in 149 seats with a vote share of 55.5% which still remains a record. A week after the formation of the new government, on March 18th, 1985, a Gujarat bandh was called by organizations opposed Another image of Gujarat: grave of Wali Gujarati was razed in 2002 and road to the reservation policy. Muslims had built over-night, it is yet to be restored. remained aloof from the anti-reservation [Photo by Nasiruddin Haider Khan] movement as it neither harmed nor benefitted them. Die was cast for Muslims, Hindus who have continued to live close to Muslims in old On the night of March 18th, while savarna areas of Ahmadabad began to move out, Hindus were busy in sounding a death-knell forming a segregated city that continue to to reservation as part of the day‘s bandh, a widen the gulf between Hindus and stone hit a Muslim boy in Naginapol area of Muslims. ―Physical separation between Ahmadabad. Soon, this turned into a major middle and upper middle classes grew to the E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 27 point where young Ahmedabadis would be this is best symbolized by the grave of Vali unlikely to encounter a Muslim. Few Indian Gujarati which was destroyed during the cities have managed such a systematic violence of 2002, overnight a road built over separation based on caste, class and it and a decade later the road still exists over community,‖ writes Prof. Arvind Rajagopal. a poet‘s grave who sang high praises of Gujarat‘s plural society. That physical separation was necessary for things to come in 1990s and especially the Vahan sakin hain itne ahle mazhab genocide of 2002. While the world watched ke ginne mein na aawe unke mazhab with horror the violence unleashed in Agarche voh hai sab ibn-e adam Gujarat in 2002, the man who presided the vale binish mein ranga rang aalam genocide was none other than Narendra [there live people of different religion, it is Modi. impossible to count them all Although all are sons of Adam, they appear It was no accident that Narendara Modi was in all colors of the world] at the helm of affairs. Modi a life-long member of RSS was a key organizer of The new Gujarat doesn‘t believe in Gujarat BJP in 1980s and early 1990s. He pluralism and it is better if a poet who sang was the man behind Nyay Yatra in 1987, Lok about Gujarat and celebrated its pluralism Shaki Yatra (1989), Gujarat leg of Advani‘s and diversity remain buried in the ground Somnath to Ayodhya Yatra (1989), and Ekta and forgotten. Yatra (1991). Gujarat was among the state that sent highest number of karsevaks for Ref: demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. All Arvind Rajagopal, Special political zone: these yatras and mobilization helped make urban planning, spatial segregation and Muslims as the ―other‖ or the ―enemy‖ in the infrastructure of violence in Gujarat. Ahmedabad. South Asian History and Culture, 1947-2501, Volume 1, Issue 4, 01 Muslims, according to Sangh Parivar, have October 2010, Pages 529 – 556. no right to exist, are not part of Gujarat, have no history worth remembering or contribution in making of Gujarat. Perhaps, 10. Interview Changes Taking Place among inter-communal relations and the attitude Gujarat’s Muslims: Afzal Memon of the state are concerned? Afzal Memon is the Director of the A: Not really. Muslims still live in fear and Gujarat Sarvajanik Welfare Society, inter-communal relations are still tense. Ahmedabad, and Gujarat. He is also a There has been no change in the attitude prominent activist of the Tablighi Jamaat, and role of the state government, which is In this interview with Yoginder still very anti-Muslim. Muslims have Sikand for New Age Islam.com, he talks suffered a major loss of confidence and about the changes taking place among dignity and they feel that they have no hope Gujarat‘s Muslims. for justice. The families of those who were Q: Do you think there is any major change killed in the violence have not got justice, in the situation in Gujarat now as far as and it appears that, if things continue to proceed the way they have been they never will. Even today most Muslims do not feel E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 28 secure. That is why even those Muslims who should respect it, and if you are a Hindu and call themselves secular and progressive and come to my house and want to pray I should are not particularly religious now prefer to allow you to do so and must not hurt your live in Muslim localities, such is the level of religious sentiments in any way. If we insecurity. approach religion in this way, I think we can help promote better relations between the To add to this is the fact that Muslims had different communities. been ruined economically in the violence. Many of their businesses were totally Q: What about modern education among destroyed. And now they get little or Muslims in Gujarat? Is there any move to nothing from the government. In the name promote modern education, given that at of Hindu Rashtra, it is the ‗upper‘ castes, the higher levels of education Gujarati rich capitalists and big farmers, who are Muslims are relatively under-represented? having a field-day, while marginalised and oppressed communities like Muslims, Dalits A: Muslims have generally not engaged in and Tribals remain as they were. In fact, any sort of planning for the community‘s their position is steadily worsening. Even future, but, yes, now there is definitely some when Muslims want to do something to sort of soul-searching happening. There is improve their economic conditions an increasing realisation that we have to be themselves, the state government puts self-dependent in all fields, because, given major hurdles in their way. the fascist anti-Muslim character of the state government and the enormous Q: Are any efforts being made to promote influence and power of Hindutva groups in better relations between the different Gujarat, we cannot hope for the state and communities in Gujarat? the wider civil society to help us. Earlier, some Muslims thought that religious A: No major or very effective measures are education was enough and that worldly being taken in this direction. Whatever education would lead their children astray. scattered efforts that might be being made However, that is largely a thing of the past are like putting ice-cubes into a boiling and now people, including the ulema, cauldron. Even NGOs that talk of social believe that both sorts of education are justice and peace seem to be doing very little essential and both go together. Islam says it in this regard. Many of these NGOs have is impermissible to abandon the world for little or no grassroots presence. They the sake of the faith. Some Muslims say, organize conferences on communal ―What is the use of higher education? Why harmony in fancy hotels, but how can that should we waste money on this because we impact on people on the streets and in the know our children won‘t get good slums? government service jobs because there is so much discrimination against Muslims in Since I am a believing Muslim, I looking at Gujarat?‖. Their allegation about the issue from an Islamic perspective. Many discrimination is right to an extent, but I Muslims wrongly blame Hindus alone for don‘t agree with their opposition to higher communal hatred and conflict Muslims are education. I think it is imperative that more no less responsible and we must and more Muslims go to colleges and acknowledge that. Islam, as I see it, exhorts universities so that they can help the me to establish good relations with people community to assert its rights and can play of other faiths, and that is what Muslims a positive role as community leaders. should also try to do. Yes, we must promote secularism, but secularism, as I understand This realisation of the importance of it, does not mean that you abandon your modern education is evident even in ulema religion, culture and identity. Rather, it circles. The ulema have never opposed means that you follow your religion and I modern education as such. However, they E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 29 insist that while acquiring modern their non-Muslim classmates. So, they fear education, Muslim children must also learn that if their daughters go to college they about their religion. And now, a small but might do the same. But I don‘t quite agree. increasing number of madrasas in Gujarat, There is a chance that while driving a car as in other states of India, have begun you might meet with an accident but just for introducing secular subjects in their that reason you don‘t stop driving! syllabus, which is a very positive development I think. Some Muslims are also against their children, especially girls, studying along Q: What about higher education for Muslim with students from other communities. I am girls? against this sort of narrow approach. Both my daughters studied in Christian schools A: That, too, is vital. We have very few well and I am on good terms with some local educated girls and women in our Catholic priests. I think people of different community and I think that must change. communities ought to study together. This Increasingly, many more Muslim families will lead to friendships across community are sending their daughters to colleges if lines. People will go to each other‘s homes they can afford it. To give a personal and will begin to see each other as fellow example, my own daughter is training in a human beings. But now, because of the Christian college to become a doctor. Some enforced ghettoisation of Muslims all over people find it surprising that I, as an activist Gujarat, how can that happen? of the Tablighi Jamaat, should allow this, but I don‘t see it as un-Islamic, provided A regular columnist proper decorum and rules are followed. I for NewAgeIslam.com, Yoginder think the opposition on the part of some Sikand works with the Centre for the Muslims to girls‘ higher education stems Study of Social Exclusion at the National from the few cases of college girls marrying Law School, Bangalore. 11. Resources 1. The Wretched: A Profile by Gauhar Raza and Surjit Singh A Report of the Socio-Economic Conditions of Internally Displaced in Gujarat Published by Anhad and AVHSR 2008 Anhad, 23 Canning Lane, New Delhi 110001 (email@example.com) 2. Fear and Forgiveness: Aftermath of Massacre By Harsh Mander: Penguin Delhi 2009 ***** E-Digest-Myth of Vibrant Gujarat 30
"Myth of Vibrant Gujarat"