Following is an open letter by farmers and civil society representatives to the CEOs attending the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit (VGGIS) – 15 on 11-13 January in Gandhinagar.
CEOs at the VGGIS 2015
Re.: Spare rural livelihoods, follow the ethical path
We, the undersigned, are representatives (but not political representatives) of the rural, agricultural, landless, farming, fishing and the marginalized communities reeling under the onslaught of relentless industrialization.
The Government of Gujarat’s (GOG) blind race towards mindless industrialization, because of crony capitalism has endangered traditional livelihoods and rendered these people unemployed and unemployable.
These skilled and semi-skilled people in traditional occupations, considered as unskilled or semi-skilled by the present model of development, are not absorbed in new industries envisaged by the GoG and is blatantly taking the poor for a ride and misleading the people about the fraudulent “Gujarat model of development”.
Having lost their water, land and coasts (for fishing) these poor people are left bereft of any sustainable rehabilitative support save the one-time compensation for land lost (very meagre and often belated). Before signing MoUs with the GoG, please do ensure that you meet and interact seriously with the impacted people/communities. Hundreds of NGOs representing several million members of civil society are already opposing extremely strongly the MOUs/Agreements signed which not only affect their livelihoods but also their sense of dignity which we are sure you would not wish to happen. Hundreds of people’s movements are ongoing and more may be launched across the country to oppose the fake promises made by Shri Narendra Modi and his Government.
The resources (land, water, coasts) that are proposed to be sacrificed by the Government are part of a well thought out crony capitalist ideology which the people of India oppose tooth and nail. All these realities are being hidden from you by the Government of Gujarat and the Government of India.
Back in your home in the various countries that hail from, ethical and fair business norms are practiced, which are openly flouted here by our Government. We therefore request you to not to enter into any agreements however profitable they may appear to you, without interacting with the undersigned NGOs and various social organisations and people’s movements as well as interact with the affected people in order to make yourselves fully aware of the injustice that is being done to them before risking your capital at grand events meant to delude you. At the earlier Vibrant Gujarat events too several MOUs were signed but very few have been executed due to resistance from the dispossessed and poor people of Gujarat who are backed solidly by many NGOs/people’s movements.
Should you wish, we would be happy to send to you some examples of the unfair and unjust economic policies that Shri Narendra Modi has attempted to execute in the state as the Chief Minister but failed to do so because of massive resistance of the people.
We shall be glad to answer any questions regarding the above you may have in order for you to make a fair assessment of the situation yourselves.
- Sanat Mehta, President, Khedut Samaj-Gujarat
- Sagar Rabari, Secretary, Khedut Samaj – Gujarat, Ahmedabad
- Persis Ginwalla, Jameen Adhikar Aandolan Gujarat (JAAG), Ahmedabad
- Indukumar Jani, Editor, Naya Marg, Ahmedabad
- Rohit Prajapati, Activist, Vadodara
- Trupti Shah, Activist, Vadodara
- Lakhan Musafir, Sittar Gam Adivasi Sangathan
- Dr. Jimmy C. Dabhi, Research Director, HDRC, Ahmedabad
- Fr. Cedric Prakash, SJ, Director, Prashant, Ahmedabad
- Mahesh Pandya, Paryavaran Mitra, Ahmedabad
- Neeta Pandya, MARAG, Ahmedabad
- Dinesh Rabari, MARAG, Ahmedabad
- Dr. Saroop Dhruv, INSAF, Ahmedabad
- Hiren Gandhi, Darshan, Ahmedabad
- Rajnibhai Dave, President, Gujarat Sarvodaya Mandal, Ahmedabad
- Gautam Thaker, General Secretary, PUCL Gujarat
- Priti Oza, Prayas Centre for Labour Research and Action, Ahmedabad
- Sudhir Katiyar, Prayas Centre for Labour Research and Action, Ahmedabad
- Anand Mazgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Vadodara
- Swati Desai, Bhoomiputra, Vadodara
- Micheal Mazgaonkar, Mozda Parivar
- Prasad Chacko, Director, Human Development and Research Centre, Ahmedabad
- Jhanvi Andharia, Ahmedabad
- Anuradha Pati, Development Professional (Rural Livelihoods)
- Rajiv Shah, Ahmedabad
- M.S.H. Sheikh, President, Brackish Water Research Centre, Olpad, Gujarat
- Dr. Sunetra Deshpande, Director, Vox Populi, Ahmedabad
- Ashok Parmar, Prayas Centre for Labour Research and Action, Ahmedabad
- Ramesh Shrivastava, Prayas Centre for Labour Research and Action, Ahmedabad
- Harsukh Kathad, Prayas Centre for Labour Research and Action, Ahmedabad
- Denis Macwan, Prayas Centre for Labour Research and Action, Ahmedabad
- Mina Jadav, Prayas Centre for Labour Research and Action, Ahmedabad
- Prakash N. Shah, Editor, Nirikshak, Ahmedabad
- Ulka Mahajan, Sarvahara Jan Andolan
- Krishnakant, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Vadodara
- Rajendra Ravi
- Vijay Diwan, Aurangabad
- Satyam Shrivastava, SRUTI, New Delhi
- Hasmukh Patel
- Deepti Raju, Jeevantirth, Gandhinagar
- Jayesh Patel, Khedut Samaj (Gujarat)
- Paulomee Mistry, DISHA, Ahmedabad
- Vipul Pandya, Bandhkaam Majdoor Sangathan, Ahmedabad
- Pankti Jog, Ahmedabad
- Harinesh Pandya, Ahmedabad
- Badribhai Joshi, Gram Seva Mandal, Tancha
- Rameshbhai Patel, Vice President, Khedut Samaj (Gujarat)
- Pradyumansinh Chudasma, Bhal Bachao Samiti
- Ramdevsinh Chudasma, Bhal Bachao Samiti
- Naranbhai Chauhan, Bhal Bachao Samiti
- Bhavubhai, Sandhida, Bhal Bachao Samiti
- Shivlal Vekaria, Saurashtra Khedut Sangharsh Samiti.
- Dahyabhai, Saurashtra Khedut Sangharsh Samiti.
- Chandubhai, Saurashtra Khedut Sangharsh Samiti.
- Pinak Dhamadia, Khedut Samaj (Gujarat)
- Sailesh Raval, Azad Vikas Yuva Sangathan
- Dashrath Desai, Maldhari Sangathan
- Bharatsinh Jhala, CRANTI, Ahmedabad
- Bhavubhai Thakor, Azad Vikas Sangathan
- Nipuj Patel, President, Bharuch Jilla Khedut Samaj
- Natubhai Nayak, President, Navsari Jilla Khedut Samaj
- Dilip Jhala, Mahabal Gauchar Bachao Samiti, Vadodara Zala
- K. K. Gohel, Mahuva.
- Hamirbhai Shiyal, Kheti Paryavaran Bandhara Bachao Samiti, Mahuva.
- Shaktisinh Gohil, Bhavnagar Jilla Gram Bachao Samiti
- Damayantiben Modi, Anu Abhyas Juth, Bhavnagar.
- Abha Tandel, Kinara Bachao Samiti, Umargaon
- Vimlaben Kharadi, Himmatnagar
- Sonal Mehta, Eklavya Foundation, Ahmedabad
- Ashim Roy, National Trade Union Initiative, New Delhi
- Advaita Marathe, Ahmedabad
- Sanjeev Kumar, Delhi Forum, New Delhi
- Subhash Lomte, Convenor, National Campaign Committee for Rural Workers, NCCRW
- Vijay Diwan, Aurangabad Social Forum, Nisarg Mitra Mandal
- Soumya Dutta, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha
- Balendra Vaghela, Saurashtra Kutchchh Lokhit Sangharsh Samiti
- Shilpa Vasavada, Ahmedabad
- Sushila Prajapati, Ahmedabad
- Neha Shah, Ahmedabad
- Johanna Lokhande, Ahmedabad
- Vijay Parmar, Ahmedabad
- Rasikbhai Joshi, Dwarka Jilla Khedut Samaj.
- Jaskarnbhai Chaudhari, Mahesana Jilla Khedut Samaj.
- Shrenik Shah, Bhavnagar.
- Mahendrasinh, Bharuch Jilla Khedut Samaj.
- Jignesh Mewani, Jan Sangharsh Manch.
- Akshay Kankaiya, Nature and Human Care Society, Rajgidh Prakruti Mandal, Mahuva
- Dhirubhai Dobariya, Rajkot.
- Dinesh Sanghavi, Kutch
- Bharat Patel, Machhimar Adhikar Sanghathan, Bhadreshwar, Kutchh.
- Virajibhai Patel, Bhavnagar Jilla Khedut Samaj.
- Vipin Patel, Khedut Samaj Gujarat.
- Amrish Patel, Jan Sangharsh Manch, Ahmedabad
- Umesh Solanki, Editor, Nirdhar, Ahmedabad
- Vijay Bharatiya, Ahmedabad
- Bhagubhai Patel, Bardoli
- Ranjitbhai Desai, Navsari
- Kamlesh Patel, Rajkot Jilla Khedut Samaj
- Shantubhai Patel, Farmer leader, Surat
- Sureshbhai P. Makwana, Khedut Hit Rakshak Samiti, Junagadh
- Karabhai A. Jhala, Khedut Hit Rakshak Samiti, Junagadh