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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 27 , July 1, 2023

UP Govt’s ‘Bulldozer Raj’ on Gandhian Institutions Condemnable - Statement by NAPM (30 June 2023)

Saturday 1 July 2023


National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
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UP Govt’s ‘Bulldozer Raj’ on Gandhian Institutions Condemnable

NAPM calls for resistance against ‘Gujarat to Varanasi Model of Demolition’!

30th June, 2023: NAPM condemns the brazen and disgraceful attempts by the Bhartiya Janata Party Government to arbitrarily occupy and destroy two of the most reputed Gandhian institutions of the country, Gandhi Vidya Sansthan and Sarva Seva Sangh, situated in Varanasi, the constituency of none other, but the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. The anathema for Gandhi is well-known among the RSS cadres, but if BJP - RSS think that by demolishing concrete buildings of Gandhian institutions, it can erase the legacy of Gandhi in this country and the world, then it is obviously mistaken.

Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has been trying for decades to infiltrate the Gandhian Institute of Studies, established by Jayaprakash Narayan on the land given to it by Sarva Sewa Sangh, which was set-up by Vinoba Bhave in Varanasi. The land for Sarva Sewa Sangh was itself sold to it by the Indian Railways in the 1960s. Now the Varanasi administration and Indian Railways have hatched a conspiracy to take over this land in a questionable way, by demolishing the two campuses which are situated on the banks of river Ganga, a lucrative spot for any potential commercial venture. The ‘Gujarat model of development’ is on full display in the PM’s constituency, as part of which new opportunities of commercial exploitation of Ganga are being explored.

At a time when the BJP/RSS’s divisive politics is hell-bent on tearing apart the social fabric of our country, as can be seen in Manipur presently, the relevance of Gandhi’s humanitarian and pluralistic ideology is even more significant. Having persecuted muslims and dalits in countless ways, this Govt. is now not even sparing Gandhi! We wish to state that the BJP is crossing all limits and people are not going to tolerate the bulldozer politics of the autocratic BJP for very long, which can only result in violence and social strife. In the end, it is not the hate of BJP-RSS, but the inclusive ideologies of our freedom fighters like Gandhi that will survive, if the society chooses a path of harmony and peace.

National Alliance of People’s Movements supports the ongoing struggle to save Sarva Seva Sangh and Gandhian Institute of Studies campuses, as its ideological commitment to values of peace, communal harmony and democracy.

We call upon, not just Gandhians, but all democracy-loving people across the country to expose the Government’s hypocrisy on ‘patriotism’ and resist this authoritarian move, which is a gross insult to one of the foremost leaders of our independence movement.

We appeal to the Hon’ble High Court to intervene immediately, based on petitions filed and stay this unjust demolition and occupation of some of the finest, decades-old Gandhian institutions in the country, which are part of our shared heritage.

National Alliance of People’s Movements

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