Social activist Medha Patkar's health has started deteriorating after a week into her indefinite hunger strike to demand swift rehabilitation of thousands affected by floods in areas surrounding the Sardar Sarovar Dam. She launched the agitation -- called the "Narmada Chunauti Satyagraha" -- at Chhota Barda in Madhya Pradesh's Barwani district on August 25, and 10 more villagers joined her four days later.

The main demand of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is that the authorities keep the gates of the dam open until the rehabilitation of 32,000 families affected people in the submergence area is completed. It also wants the government to keep in abeyance the Narmada Control Authority's directive to fill to its optimum level of 138.68 metres, and instead maintain it at 122 metres. She has made it clear to the government that there was no question of her backing out until a concrete plan is formulated for the rehabilitation of those affected. The NBA and the villagers have both warned that they will only intensify the struggle if the government does not give in to their demands.

CPI(ML) Red Star supports the struggle of Narmada Bachao Andolan led by Medha Patkar and appeal to all democratic forces to put pressure on the MP government to accede to the affected people’s demand.

KN Ramachandran
General Secretary
CPI(ML) Red Star

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.