Wednesday 24 July 2024

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Acting ‘British’, Guj Govt restrains writers from entering Dandi early morning


Dandi Yatra of writers, artists and social activists witnessed today the wrath of the BJP administration, which stopped a gathering of over 700 from entering the Dandi beach early morning to sing ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye’.

The first session on ‘Suppressed voices and struggle for Expression’ was also choked into an auditorium by the district administration.

Over 700 writers and artists from all over the country have gathered at Dandi today, the day Mahatma Gandhi was killed 68 years ago by a Hindu fanatic, to pay him a tribute and express solidarity with the ongoing countrywide struggle against increasing intolerance.

But the Gujarat administration could not tolerate the silent protest of Gandhi’s followers, who were restrained from entering Dandi beach, where Mahatma Gandhi had started his disobedience movement on 12 March 1930 as Salt Satyagraha.

The peaceful Satyagrahis were let to go on the Dandi Beach only after 11 am, citing ‘administrative and security reasons’ with a police force deployed on the spot along with the taluka Tehsildar.

At the first session held at the Navasari Agriculture College auditorium, eminent filmmaker Anand Patwardhan in fact described the whole scenario in the country as a ‘modern face of East India Company’.

From Film and Television Institute of India to the Hyderabad University, the youth wings of saffron brigades are today terrorising young minds in the campuses, he observed.

The first session, chaired by Goa’s eminent writer Damodar Mauzo, was addressed by Com Govind Pansare’s daughter-in-law Megha Pansare, Dr Narendra Dabholkar’s son Hamid and Prof M M Kalburgi’s son Vijay, besides Rajmohan Gandhi and Gujarati human rights activist Martin Macwan.

“The state of Indian democracy could be judged from the fact that people are not allowed to enter Dandi in a peaceful manner to pay tributes to our Mahatma”, said Hamid Dabholkar.

He also brought to the attention of the audience the progress of the murderers of democracy by highlighting the simple facts: “they shot Dr Dabholkar from backside, they shot Com Pansare in his chest and they entered Prof Kalburgi’s house to kill him.”

In fact Rakesh Shukla, activist in the FTII struggle, described it as ‘ruling Gandhi’s country in a Nazi way’ where the present government does not believe in fundamentals of democracy.

While stating that the BJP government’s ideology simply cannot be adjusted by sensitive and sensible artists, Shukla appealed to all the writers and artists to show the path India’s political parties should follow.

Ahmedabad-based human rights activist Martin Macwan, while referring to the death of a Dalit scholar Rohit Vemula in Hyderabad, informed the gathering that Dalits are still not allowed to enter in 90% of temples of Gujarat, 55% of the schools make the Dalit students sit separately for mid-day meals and 64% village panchayats have no chairs for the Dalit panchas to sit.


Com Pansare’s daughter-in-law Megha Pansare said organisations like Sanatan Sanstha want to ‘Make India’ a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, while not believing in secular and democratic principles.

“We have to unite without getting afraid to walk on the same path of rationalism that led to the killings of three rationalist writers including my father”, said Vijay Kalburgi, son of Prof Kalburgi.

Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma, said he was afraid of everything in his childhood till he read Mahatma Gandhi’s books and realised that love and sacrifice can give you all the courage in the world.

“Within the battles of ideas and weapons, let us remember that the battle of ideas has ultimately won in the history of the world”, he said, while his wet eyes recalled his association with Com Pansare and Prof Kalburgi.

Damodar Mauzo, while concluding the debate, said Goa is proud and yet shameful. Proud for the communal harmony the people in Goa maintain and ashamed for having the headquarters of Sanatan Sanstha in the peaceful and harmonious state of Goa.

The session began with Gandhi’s favourite chant ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye’ while the slogan ‘Nahi Darenge, Nirbhay Banenge’ marked the session throughout.

People have gathered at Dandi from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, West Bengal, Punjab as well as states like Assam and Meghalaya etc. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

Total Comments :4

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I feel like throwing up whenever I hear about this BJP government !! They are full of goons & mentally retarded blind followers. What the hell is their problem if people gathered to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi?

Hrishita , Dubai

Shame on the Government of Gujarat and the National Govt, led by Mr. Modi.Shame, Shame Shame.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Goans, brace up for things to come in the next 1 year before the next elections.

Utt Goenkara!!!!!

Jaret de Silva , Chandor Goa

This so called Dandi march is nothing but an assembly of people with leftist and rationalistic mindset. If they have a worldview they think is right than other side to have a view which needs to be respected. If Gujarat govt hasn't allowed them the March than its unfortunate.

Parag Hede , Panaji,Goa.

These courageous and committed Gandhians who have gathered at Dandi deserve the country's eternal gratitude .

They truly are the " salt" of our earth.

It is also a proud moment to witness two of Goa's stalwarts, Damodar Mauzo and Prabhakar Timble in the forefront of the protest.

Unsurprisingly, the Gujarat government has cracked down on the protest, a phenomenon that the blind bhakts will never find intolerant.

But that is in the nature of the game.

My question is larger: After this determined protest, then what??

Even the Mahatmas' protest eventually had to turn political to gain complete traction.

What is the political outlet of these protests??? Which political party must carry the message forward?? We will need to knock heads and gather a cogent answer to this dilemma.

If not, the forces of intolerance will easily melt away the " salt " of the earth.

The Mahatma must be smiling somewhere,up there , knowing that he's still alive and kicking in 21st century India.

Oscar Rebelo , bhangrachem Goem