Prashant A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace
Post Box No. 4050, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 380 009,
Tel. : +91 (079) 66522333, 2745 5913 . Fax: +91 (079) 2748 9018
26th May, 2011
At the outset, we sincerely commend you and the others for the stand against corruption in
Now that you are in Gujarat, we hope that you will make a sincere effort to see how corruption has not only become institutionalized, but in fact, has entered our system in such a big way that everything seems to be 'alright' as long as there are a few who reap the "benefits" of a so-called "development model".
We therefore invite you to look closely (among other things) into
1. The nexus between the politicians and the corporate / industrial sector
Be it in the urban or in the rural areas, the poor and the marginalized have literally no say as the corporate houses manage to steam-roll their way. A classic case which has been flaunted all over is about one big corporate house getting all its permissions in a few days. Does the Gujarat Government have an industrial policy? Will a small entrepreneur be treated the same way? Or is it the big bucks / big guys that matter here?
2. The plight of the victims of development-induced displacement
The poor, very specially the slum dwellers in the urban areas and adivasis have been displaced because of so-called "development". The River Front Development programme in Ahmedabad is an example of how the poor are uprooted overnight. Adivasis, displaced by the Narmada Dam are still struggling for justice and compensation. Your colleague Medha Patkar can furnish you substantial data on this. Besides, the small farmers of Mahuva will surely tell you about their situation.
3. The trigger-happy policeman of
4. The endemic corruption which destroys, pollutes our environment
5. The situation of the adivasis
The State has a sizeable number of adivasis. These have been systematically denied forest lands which are rightfully theirs. It is common knowledge that the tribals continue to be victims of exploitation and at the mercy of Government officials. Adivasis in this State continue to be denied their rights to the forest lands.
6. Government programmes not reaching the poor
It is also common knowledge that several from the Government are involved in plenty of scams. The Sujalam Sufalam scam, the 'MGNREGS' scam and the Fisheries scam are just at the tip of the iceberg. In order to get things done or for that matter-to get a job or a plum-posting, people certainly have to pay hefty sums. The scams here run unto crores of rupees.
7. Communalism in
To assume that communalism has nothing to do with corruption in
Dear Annaji and your colleagues, what we present to you is just a tiny bit of the reality which has gripped the State for the last many years. It is true that plenty of aggressive propaganda has perhaps shown things in a different light. We also get fooled by the 'cosmeticization of society', by some of the urban middle class who are obviously reaping the benefits. On the whole, we live in a society which thrives on myths, lies and illusions!
While we welcome you once again, we humbly request you to open your eyes to the reality here in
We have taken a stand and we truly appreciate your stand. Yes, let's work together for a corruption-free Gujarat in order that we move towards a corruption-free
Fr. Cedric Prakash sj