Shabana Azmi joins Sathenagar slum-dwellers' demand for justice

As the indefatigable Satyagraha of thousands of Mumbai’s slum-dwellers, including dalits, labourers and urban poor women & men entered its eighth day, their Andolan for justice received immense support from acclaimed Parliamentarian, social activist and actress Shabana Azmi. Read more

It is know that the residents of Anna Bhau Sathe Nagar have been on an indefinite peaceful mass action for past 8 days now, protesting the illegal and inhuman demolition and burning down of more than 500 hutments by the Government of Maharashtra and have been joined in solidarity by their fellow brethren from Rafiqnagar, Jai Ambe Nagar, Mandala and other bastis, challenging the amplifying corporate-builder-politician nexus in the state.

Congratulating the people on their resilience in the face of state-sponsored adversity, Shabana Azmi emphasized that is due to the sweat more than 60 lakh people who stay in slums, that a 'happening city' like Mumbai functions and without their labour it cannot work and 'grow' even for a day. It is utter nonsense and the height of insensitivity to allege that people who slog day and night can burn their own houses, she said. Ms Azmi added that the land on which Anna Bahu Sathe Nagar stands is the Collector's land which means it is Public land and thus the people, who have no other alternative, have every right to stay on it. Connecting with the women and children from the numerous bastis, assembled and staying put despite the hostility of the State and the summer heat, Shabaniji said "all you women and children who keep the struggle for justice alive and take it ahead are my real source of inspiration and now this struggle is not only yours but also mine."

Senior architect Shri PK Dass also visited the dharnasthal and expressed gave out his heartfelt support to the slum dwellers. He felt that it is incomprehensible for the State not to make positive attempts to redress the grievances of the people on whose human-resource the city and state functions.

The slum-dwellers, though keen on the meeting that is to be held tomorrow with concerned Ministers and officials of the Maharashtra Government, are also proactively using all form of peaceful sataygraha to highlight the innumerable injustices in today's urban set-up and everything that passes off in the garb of 'development and renewal.' This pro-activeness forced the local Member of Parliament to submit a public apology and the people to challenge corporate builders like Hiranandani, once again.