Popular resistance to development policies that make life on earth impossible and deny social justice continues in various parts of India. Medha Patkar, who has been a strong presence in this struggle for decades, is the inspiration of the people’s movement. Medha recently came to Kerala to take part in the struggle against the destructive Silver Line Project ( Semi-high speed railway line) which the government is trying to implement despite the strong opposition of the people. She spent some time with Keraleeyam during the busy ‘Samara Yatra’. She talks about the challenges that democracy and the resistance of the people face in India.
She says the Silver Line Rail Project of Kerala government is anti-people and anti-Nature which is a result of unconditional engagement with neoliberal policies for sheer economic growth of few. And where common people cannot find any benefit from such a mega project designed at the cost of thousands of people. Today the state is not representing people, especially the disadvantaged sections. It is in collusion with the corporate sector that disregards the interest of people for their brazen objective of economic growth.
She finds hope in civil society movements that raise their dissenting voices and come to street to fight for their rights for a dignified life. The huge victory of the farmers’ movement, though all the demands of the protest is not yet realized, is an indication of people’s power over authoritarian regime that controls the Indian state today. She vehemently criticized the dictatorial terms that Modi government has been implementing in India that disregards the scope for discussion and debate even in the parliamentary process. She believes it’s time for the younger generation to find some time in their life to devote for social cause and be part of democratic process. She firmly believes the values ingrained in Indian constitution would be a leading light for them.
Originally published by http://www.keraleeyammasika.com
A.K Shiburaj is a journalist with Keraleeyam Masika