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May 14, 2006
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May 14, 2006




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Narmada The Pride Of India

By Anirban Banerjee

The R&R package in Madhya Pradesh include two hectares of land for every family whose 25 per cent of land holding is getting acquired. If land is not acceptable then there is a special rehabilitation package which is basically cost of the land in cash calculated on the cost of the best irrigated land, besides allotment of free plot in a developed resettlement site.

The Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada will be generating 1450 Megawatts of electricity and irrigate 1.8 million hectares of agricultural land. The Narmada project once completed will boost the economy of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharastra.

The real agenda of the anti-dam groups is not the rehabilitation but to stall dam as they say ?bandh nahi banega koi nahi hatega? as people like Medha have obstructed efforts of rehabilitation by intimating the affected villagers and its disinformation campaign which stands exposed now. Narendra Modi?s stand has brought national development and security as the pivotal issues in political discourse. This can now signal a turning point in the national politics as he has become a real hero to millions of Indians who desire India to be a super power. We need to appreciate Shri Narendra Modi for his relentless efforts in making Narmada Project a success while Mr Soz manipulated to stall the project.

Let?s get our facts clear. Medha Patekar and Arundhati Ray are opposing the dam not on technical or factual base but on political grounds. The truth is that Union Ministry and the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) cleared the enhanced height on March 8 last. This was done only after the Action Taken Report on rehabilitation was cleared by high-level grievance redressal authority and then approved by the NCA.The process of rehabilitation has been successfully completed in Gujarat and is in progress in Madhya Pradesh .The previous Madhya Pradesh government was opposed to the dam and had stalled the rehabilitation work in spite of its benefits to Madhya Pradesh of getting 57 per cent of the hydel power generated,which currently faces daily power shortfall of 1500 megawatt often leading to closure of industries. But with the change of government now the rehabilitation work is in progress. The R&R package in Madhya Pradesh include two hectares of land for every family whose 25 per cent of land holding is getting acquired. If the land is not acceptable then there is a special rehabilitation package which is basically cost of the land in cash calculated on the cost of the best irrigated land, besides allotment of free plot in a developed resettlement site. The landless SC/ST is being given a cash of 49000. Gujarat which has completed the process and has given 5 acres of land to each projected affected family for every one acre land lost also gave a free housing plot, cash assistance Rs 45000 for construction of house, Rs 4,500 subsistence allowance, Rs 7000 for buying agriculture equipment besides a resettlement grant. One should note that each son of DAF is eligible for the relief package. Gujarat has transformed the life of these families by building roads, schools and health centres but people like Medha, Arundhati Roy and other leftists do not want people to live a better life. In reality, the rehabilitation as undertaken by the project is one of the best in the world and has been appreciated by the international agencies. The entire process of construction and rehabilitation is monitored by retired judges appointed by the Supreme Court and its implementation is done by an autonomous body of 70 officials from different ministries. One wonders if the Mr Soz wants us to go back to the days of ?PL480? (American food aid) when we lived a ?ship to mouth? existence. Would they want us to depend on China or Pakistan for food? Although the project can boost Maharashtra?s economy, it is strange that Chief Minister V.R. Deshmukh voted for suspension of work at the Narmada Review Committee meeting on April 15. Thus the Supreme Court judgment allowing the increasing the height of the dam and the Gujarat High Court judgment asking the centre to ban Medha?s outfit ?the NBA?under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, for its alleged role in attempting to hamper the development of the country by opposing the Narmada and other dam projects needs to be noted by all Indians. Has one you ever seen any of them speak out against terrorism or say a word of praise for our security forces or come forward to help relief operations? We should retrospect as to what we have got by stopping the national river linking project, which can generate 10,000 Megawatts of power and can rejuvenate 15 per cent of India?s land. Projects like Golden Quartile or National Urban Renewal Plan should not become victim of such divisive politics guided by communists, as India can never afford such discrimination on political lines.

We need to appreciate Shri Narendra Modi for his relentless efforts in making all development projects a success in Gujarat . One should also note that the demand for an immediate stoppage of work as demanded by Mr Soz, Medha Patkar, Amir Khan and Communists would lead to cost escalation and stall the progress of India .We must ask them how stopping works help in rehabilitation. India should come up with a law to contain such forces opposed to India?s development. Laws like POTA to fight terrorism and protecting economic and development interest of India is need of the hour.

The Sardar Sarovar Dam is a symbol of dream of all young Indians like Hoover Dam was to the USA and Aswan High Dam to Egypt. Once completed, Narmada project will be a triumph of Indian?s technology and skill. It will be a symbol of India?s pride.

Kashmir Bronzes In Focus In Significant Find, Four Ninth Century Idols Unearthed

Srinagar: The Archaeology Department here has unearthed bronze idols dating back to the ninth century A.D., which showcase Kashmir?s elegant bronze art, from Kupwara district of North Kashmir.

They depict Vishnu and Vaishnavi and were found at Zurhama, 95 km from here, on April 24, Deputy Director of Archaeology, Archives and Museums M.S. Zahid said.

He said the discovery was the first of its kind in Kupwara and bore testimony to the distinctive bronze art history of Kashmir, the earliest evidence of which was found in the southern Kashmir districts of Anantnag and Pulwama.

The biggest of the sculptures, measuring 27 cm x 15 cm, was of Vaishnavi, seated cross-legged on a pedestal designed as a lotus. A second one, measuring 23 cm x 13 cm, was of Vishnu riding the Garuda.

In addition, pottery pieces were found during a trial dig at the site. The finds are considered very significant in view of the varied religious influences that, historically, have swept over the region, which is located at the junction of India, Central Asia, and China-Tibet.

British Did Not Benefit Hindus
By Ashok Chowgule

It seems to me that the author is not fully versed about the history of India. The Hindus had defeated the core of the Islamic rule - the last Moghul ?emporer? was a pensioner of the Maratha Confederacy. It was mere time when the Islamic rule throughout India was done away with. The intervention of the British opened another front for the Hindus to fight, and they could not do so effectively because they were exhausted after the centuries of struggle.

I do not accept an argument of accidental redeeming value as a justification for someone?s actions. The author talks about Dr Radhakrishnan and Dr Homi Bhaba. Who created Shivaji, and other great heroes? If the British were really benevolent, why did they not show the same behaviour in other colonies? Because of the sustained Hindu resistance, the British had to mellow down their programmes.

Of course, all this is history, and this need not necessarily affect the realtionships between India and Britain today. However, a genuine relationship, based on equal partners, can be built only when the history is properly stated, and not hidden under the carpet.

Subject: Think It Over?Another view of the British
By M.S.N. Menon




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