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Published On:22 April 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Will Anna Hazare muster courage to criticise Narendra Modi in Gujarat?

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani 

Ahmedabad: Gujarat's prominent NGOs have invited Anna Hazare.to hold public meetings in various cities and to understand the state's development model .Anna Hazare is under fire right now from many civil rights groups for admiring Narendra Modi, whose complicity in the Gujarat 2002 riots is well known. Civil rights activists are now openly accusing Hazare of having soft corner for the Sangh.

Mallika Sarabhai
Mallika Sarabhai, renowed social activist who has been contantly raising her voice for the oppressed, said, "There has been no Lokayukta (ombudsman) in Gujarat for nearly seven years, so hundreds of complaints against corruption are lying unheard. I believe he (Hazare) is not aware of the corruption levels in Gujarat." She also voiced her reservations at the absence of any woman on the committee that will draft a stringent anti-corruption bill.

Mallika's point of view was echoed by state convenor of India against Corruption, Vinod Pandya, who feels that the Gandhian should not be voicing support without acquainting himself with the facts

The scars of more than a month long genocide of Muslims and large-scale rape still seem fresh in minds of the affected people. The state government has done everything to stifle the probe and deny justice to those people who have been affected.

A day after Swami Agnivesh urged anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare to visit Gujarat and see the truth about development undertaken by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, individuals, citizens and activists are eagerly awaiting his visit.

There are quite a few points they want to share with the Gandhian to enlighten him about the ground reality. Gaurang Raval of NGO Drishti Media, Arts and Human Rights, says, “We met Swami Agnivesh when he was in Ahmedabad last Sunday (April 17, 2011). He asked me to collect media reports published on Gujarat’s rural development in the last four months and show it to Anna when he comes here. The reports would include those on land scams, SEZ scams and the Mahuva land issue, too.”

He added, “Along with rural development, the government also needed to address social development. In the country, we rank third in crime against women and children. Even the crime rate has shot up.”

Bharatsinh Jhala of Citizens’ Resource and Action Initiative (CRANTI) says, “After visiting almost 18,000 villages, we found that in many of these areas, children did not even know what a GSRTC bus looked like. Several children were involved in accidents while travelling to by chhakdas. This is the Gujarat we want to show Anna.”

He adds, “In Bawda, dungar farmers had requested they be given water from Fatehwadi, due to water shortage on their farms. Their request was denied and their crops died. First, there is a need to stop state-sponsored corruption.”

Former president of Society for Promotion of Rationality (SPRAT) M H Jowher says, “Anna’s attention must be drawn to injustice done to minorities. After 2002, the rights of minorities have been grossly violated. Also, there is need for equality in development.”

Fr Cedric Prakash of NGO Prashant says, “In Gujarat, we have perfected the art of corruption. Is it of no concern what happened at Narmada dam? Will Anna listen to civil societies like us before fixing the Lokpal Bill?”

Seeking to draw Anna’s attention to issues closer home, 19-year-old Khayal Dave, an engineering student residing in Ghatlodia, said, “I would like Anna to talk about something affecting the city. People here need to be more civilised. There is no sense of hygiene or cleanliness, something that Gandhiji equated to godliness. If Anna points this out to Gujaratis, they will do as he says.”

Vishal Bhatt, a 26-year-old computer programmer who lives near Shyamal Crossroads, said, “We are an agricultural state. But such fertile land is being sold off for a pittance to big industries. Why not make use of barren land for such purpose? Meanwhile, the price of milk and vegetables is rising day by day. When we have no farm or grazing land left, will we go begging for milk, grains and vegetables to other states? Gandhiji spoke of being self-sufficient. Anna needs to drum this into our heads so that we realise the impact of the government’s decision on our future.”

IT professional Rahul Mehta would love to meet Anna Hazare. The 41-year-old, who has contested three elections — parliamentary, by-election to the state assembly and to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation — with the sole intention of creating awareness on the Right to Recall campaign, says: “A citizen should be able to submit his/her complaint to the collector’s office. If he wants, it should be made available on the Lokpal website for Rs 20 a page The bill also needs to include the right to recall an elected representative or public servant if 51 per cent of the electorate vote against the person at any stage.

The writer of this article, who also writes for many Urdu newspapers, believes that Gujarat is virtually becoming worse for middle class and underprivileged people. Some highrise towers, shopping malls and multiplexes are not sign of progressive state. There are thousands of people who are under Below Poverty Line in Gujarat.

Rajkot based Social activist  Farooq  Abdulgaffar Bawani clearly  belives that  Anna Hazare must come to Gujarat and expose the missdeeds of state government.minorities are the worst lot in state even after long time after riots. Women are not safe in Gujarat. Crime rate is increasing day by day in Gujarat.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on April 22, 2011. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on April 22, 2011. Filed under , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

1 comments for "Will Anna Hazare muster courage to criticise Narendra Modi in Gujarat?"

  1. Mohd.SamiKhatana, Lucknow

    Continuous criticism of Narendra Modi will increase his popularity.If his unpopularity is desired,then Muslims should start praising him.He belongs to backward community(teli),and backwards are"used and thrown",as were Kalyansingh,Sakshi maharaj,Vinaykatiyar,Umabharti etc.

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