Ahmedabad, Sep 8 (UNI) National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) president V K Saxena today criticised bollywood actress Shabana Azmi for her recent statements on Indian democracy and said this exhibited how imprudence in public life can harm the image of celebrities.
Shabana on August 17 had stated that ''Indian democracy is unfair to Muslims.'' She had made this remark after the builders in Mumbai had denied her the right to property.
In a letter to Shabana, Mr Saxena said ''NCCL will offer every help to defend her ''right to property'' if you could establish the credentials of your claims. However, you have failed to identify the builders that have denied you the right to property, thereby, confirming that you lied to the nation.'' ''A large section of the secular society is increasingly getting convinced that your statement harmed the Republic more than it could serve any purpose of social transformation. With that, it has become very difficult to identify you anymore amongst the secular intellectuals and conscience keepers of the society.'' He said ''you carelessly brought another disgrace on your hitherto clean image when you shared the dais with social activist Medha Patkar on August 20 in Indore to release a report that diminishes the value, importance and service of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) to the Nation. By joining hands with those who have introduced impediments in the path of national development, you have brought upon you the stigma of ill association and the choice of anti-social voice.'' He asked the actor that how could she be unaware of the benefits of national development created by the SSP? The SSP has sustained the lives of millions of people in the drought stricken Western India and has heralded the beginning of a new era of development, peace, prosperity and opportunity to the underprivileged.
Mr Saxena reminded that at present, the SSP is irrigating 2.98 lakh hectares of drought-prone lands in Gujarat. The project till July has generated 11,495 million units of electricity. Many rivers of Gujarat that were dry in the past are now flowing with Narmada water.
He said Barmer district in Rajasthan, which was prone to famine for centuries, has now found water and life support due to the SSP.
Women from the drylands of Gujarat and Rajasthan used to walk for 10 to 12 km to fetch water for their families, stand on the roadside for hours in anticipation of the government tankers and had become easy prey to voyeurs and rapists until the waters of Narmada reached their villages, restoring their dignity.
''It is utterly disgraceful that you chose to show your opposition to such a life-sustaining project, by releasing a report of TISS that belittles the human efforts of national development. The NCCL is bringing out a point-wise rejoinder that exposes the glaring misinformation promoted by the TISS report and will also hold you responsible amongst others who have perpetrated and supported the mischievous propaganda against national development,'' he noted.
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