We, the undersigned, condemn the targeting of yet another Gandhian Institution by the Modi-Yogi Double Engine Sarkar. The BJP-RSS regime continues to attack Mahatma Gandhi, his ideology, his life, all the values and principles that he stood for, his unparalleled contribution to our freedom struggle and the fact that it laid the foundations of the modern Indian republic.
Today, yet again, the nation stands aghast as a Gandhian institution faces the bulldozers. The Sarva Sewa Sangh Campus at Rajghat, Varanasi, which stands at the banks of the Ganga-Varuna rivers, has been taken over by subterfuge and deceit. This 14-acre campus is to be handed over to yet another Crony Capitalist Corporate, who will construct a 5-Star project on this site. The campus is steeped in history and was founded and built by legends & stalwarts such as Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Lal Bahadur Shastri & Jayprakash Narayan. For over 6 decades, the Campus has been a centre of promoting Gandhian thought, but today stands demolished. As part of this pattern, earlier, too, the Gandhi Vidyapeeth, in Gujarat, founded by Mahatma Gandhi himself, has been taken over by the RSS. The Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, founded by Gandhiji, too has taken over.
It was on the 9th-10th of August, 2023, that Varsnasi was witness to a major national gathering of leading Gandhian, Socialist & Progressive activists from across the country. A massive public meeting with more than 3000 women & men was held at the Ghats of the Ganges. The regime, on realising that the movement to save the campus was receiving national support, then decided to unleash the bulldozers to quell any hope of resistance. The organisers of the public meeting have been arrested & the regime is trying to unleash a wave of fear. But little do they know that this has only strengthened the resolve of the activists & the people of Varanasi, of Uttar Pradesh and of India.
We categorically condemn the fascist onslaught on the campus. Yet, we do know that the larger attack is on the very ideology of Mahatma Gandhi, which is why every Gandhian institution is under constant threat, as is every democratic, parliamentary and constitutional institution of our country.
We thus call upon all social movements, political parties, and all the people of India to continue to resist the communal fascist attack on India and defend our democracy and our Constitution.
Dr. G G Parikh, Prof. Anand Kumar, Medha Patkar, Tushar Gandhi, Dr. Sunilam, Arun Srivastava, Feroze Mithiborwala, Guddi, and others.