Aamir and NBA


“Oh, look at him!” cheered a 13-year-old boy from my back, “He is Nana Patekar, and I just love his Machhar song.”

“I watched his 2 films on video in our village on Holi.” Snapped the other boy of same age.

“He must be so rich.” Said the first boy.

“Is he the brother of Medha Patkar?”

“Who Knows?”

“He must be. Otherwise, why this great artist should have visited our village?”

The year was 1996, when Nana Patekar visited Barwani and its nearby villages to support the cause of Medha Patkar in the ‘Narmada Bacho Aandolan’ (NBA). The visit was a rage in the area. I, as a teenager, was quite confused about what on earth made this big guy visit and support the cause of NBA?

People started cashing on his visit. Music shop started playing his songs, local cinemas were showing his old blockbusters and people who never visited to theaters went out to see his ‘Krantivir’ to know more about the guy who come to their homes.

Though Nana was supposed to talk about government’s policy about dams and people’s benefit and loss, he opened his differences with Baba Aamte and NBA on the stage in Chikhalda, a small village with a population of 1000, situated at 8 K.M. from Barwani. That was a flop show as NBA can count but from the prospect of the villagers, it was ‘Nana Patekar’ who visited their soil.

A decade later, another superstar, Aamir Khan placed his foot forward to support NBA. Wherever you see, media is going bonkers about Aamir’s NBA cause. Everyone is saying if Aamir is there, there is something to look forward to.

But do he understand the Sardar Sarovar or Indira Sagar Pariyojana or Narmada Valley Project?

The ‘Rang De Basanti’ statement is all over him and he is out to support a cause and may be in future there is more youth present to support his cause. It is coming from Aamir. The same guy who evoked the nation with his statement of a lifetime in ‘RDB’. He must be right with his decision on NBA too. Right?

Wrong.

If we talk about a developed nation, that means a country with a lot of industries which will represent India as a manufacturing hub, a lot of employment opportunities and less people under poverty line.

Why after 59 years of independence the primary slogan for each election is the same and that is ‘Bijali aur Pani’?

The whole country is suffering from the power shortage. In the villages and small towns of Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are surviving with less than 8 hours a day of electricity supply. Government is increasing per unit charges. Providing water to the fields is now proving it self as an impossible task to the farmers. Suicides among farmers become a regular column in newspapers. Government of India confirmed that the power shortage is causing a loss of more than $370 million a year. Without electricity the water supply is not possible even to towns closer from the rivers. Without water fields are drying. Farmers are heading to industrial areas where industries with power shortage are also under losses.

It infrastructure is booming. Sensex is touching new heights. Companies are making their own arrangements of power in forms of generators, which are totally dependent on diesel. They are surviving on their own. Diesel is already a valuable resource. Oil prices are touching new heights.

Mr. Aamir Khan, are you listening?

To make a perfect country, developed nation, independent from power, finance and food, initiatives are required.

No country can produce entrepreneurs out of students studying in candlelights in the exam times. Not everyone is rich enough to buy and maintain generators and invertors.

Sitting in Air-conditioned vans and living in generator backed apartments can never make anyone understand the real situation of people spending sleepless nights in almost 40 degree temperature.

Dams on Maa Narmada will make the valley more prosperous. People will have electricity and water for their fields. The power shortage in 5 states will be a thing of past. Farmers will saw seeds 3 times a year like any European country. Food prices will come down. Industries will have more power and will be able to provide more employment opportunities. India will become an Industrial hub.

Government is doing just the right thing. They are paying for everything the people are loosing. The relief amount is more than the worth of their property. People who never have seen money in their entire life are now playing with raining rupees and leading a good life elsewhere.

Wherever Medha Patekar is doing is just a publicity stunt. Backed by NGOs from outside the country, this is her business.

To make a great nation, sacrifices are required. By opposing the dam projects, NBA is opposing the growth of the nation. Aamir’s initiative is for aadivasis, but the truth is the so-called aadiwasi’s are the people who are from the likes of Gurjar communities who already had all the relief money from government and now being paid to participate in the rallies.

Know the ground realities before jump into the opposing arena.

Aamir you are making things worse. Governments in the past had already spent a fortune on these projects and now by opposing, we may loose all the money and electricity and water will never come.

We are making the sacrifices of towns like Harsud and villages like Chikhalda a total waste.

Aamir, please step back.

Lets support the cause of a nation. Lets come forward to support the dam. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

For the completion of a ‘Yagna’, ‘Purnahuti’ is required to meet the purpose of the ceremony.

Twadiya Paad Pankajam, Namaami Devi Narmade.

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