Struggle of 111 days went in vain?October 13, 2018
In last couple of years, river Ganga has been a centre point of social and political debates. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself gave popular slogan- “na to mein aya hun, na hi mujhe bheja gaya hai, darasal maa ganga ne mujhe bulaya hai” (Neither I came here, no I am sent, actually, I was called by mother Ganga.) His this slogan in Varanasi was very popular in 2014 general election. Post victory in polls, Modi government brought Namami Gange project. Moreover, BJP fire brigade leader and Cabinet member of Modi government Uma Bharati had exaggeratedly boasted that if she fails to clean Ganga, she will sink to die in the river.
Meanwhile, the demise of protagonist and a great environmentalist GD Agarwal has once again unmask the ground reality of the river Ganga cleaning drives.
Popularly known as Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand was on an indefinite fast since June 22 appealing government to clean river Ganga. He took his last breath at the AIIMS hospital in Rishikesh after 109 days fast. 87 years old activist was in deed real son of Ganga (Gangaputra).
The renowned activist has laid down his life for saving the river. His noble demand was protect the river and maintain its uninterrupted flow between Gangotri and Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand.
Despite NDA government always represent itself as patronage of river Ganga, Modi-led government machinery did not pay heed to his fight to save river Ganga. He was on fast since last 109 days but insensitive government and society did not do anything to meet his demand.
As it always happened in India, the death of the activist ended the hangover of politicians and PM Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other consoled his death.
However, Union Water Resources and Ganga River Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari had claimed that almost all his demands had been met and wrote a letter to GD Agarwal to give up his fast.
Now his death left many burning questions like when the life of river Ganga will be important for the government and society as whole? When government will listen river activists? Why the initiatives and protests of environmentalists go unheard by media? Why Satyagrah of 100 plus days went unnoticed?
Hope his sacrifice will make some differences and government will bring some result on projects related to rejuvenate River Ganga.