Faces Behind Truth Of Gujarat

Websites can be remote and impersonal. We at “Truth Of Gujarat” want to give our website a human face that can interact with our friends and followers. We would like our friends to know us, debate with us, disagree with us but at the end of it create a secular democratic institution.

JSM and GFTU Office
JSM and GFTU Office

At the beginning of our struggle we were a few individuals. Some were researchers from the prestigious “Physical Research Laboratory (PRL)” at Ahmedabad; Some were from the famous”National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)” at Anand; others from “National Institute of Design (NID)” and “Indian Institute of Management (IIM)” etc. That was 1978-1980 and I had just finished my PhD in Plasma Physics from PRL. My friend Narendra Patel was from NDDB. Strangely we were facing the same problem at our work place. Both the employers, who were supposed to be enlightened public functionaries like scientists, were totally averse to the employees organizing themselves for collective negotiations.

Similar problems were being faced by employees of NID, IIM, ATIRA, GROFED and similar educational and research institutes. The Central Government headed by then Prime Minister Morarji Desai had put a blanket ban on the registration of trade unions in education and research institutes. As research students, we were perplexed by the arrogance and hostility of the scientific managers towards a very recognized right of the employees all over the world. Though we were not directly affected by the dispute, we were thrown out as we had opined in favour of the employees right to organize.

JSM Activists Arrested during a protest
JSM Activists Arrested during a protest

Those were the roots of our struggle in 1978-1980. For the next six years, we had organized trade unions in most of the institutions in Gujarat and even in Mumbai. Thereafter many unions in the Industrial sector were also formed which ultimately led to the formation of Gujarat Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU).

By 1986-87, the question of democratic rights of the marginalized classes other than trade union rights had surfaced in a big way, specially the housing issue of the urban poor. Since such questions fell outside the frame work of the traditional trade-union organisations, the activists joined together and had formed Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) in 1987. Throughout its journey for the next 25 years, the paramount goal of JSM has been to uphold the constitutional, democratic and civil rights of the oppressed irrespective of caste, creed or religion. JSM  has been able to save the demolition of thousands of slums in Ahmedabad and through public interest litigations we have been able to rehabilitate thousands of hutment dwellers in proper dwellings. We were successfully able to stem the environmental destruction caused by major industries including Reliance, Essar etc. During the 2001 Kutch Earthquake, JSM carried out a systematic scientific expedition to pin-point the correct epicenter of the earthquake that led to the proper rehabilitation of the most affected people. JSM through the court of law also succeeded in getting the building laws changed to include earth quake proof designs and also helped the residents of the two major apartment systems in Ahmedabad that had fully collapsed for their compensation.

Nirjhari Sinha, a physician from PRL did all the phone call analysis
Nirjhari Sinha, a physicist from PRL did all the phone call analysis

2002 was a significant milestone in the history of JSM. The Godhra incident of 27th February 2002 which was followed by the state sponsored violence against the minority starting 28th February and the continuous persecution of the minorities in every sphere of life including the planned fake encounters had convinced JSM that the fundamental it’s duty is to expose and defeat the communal forces in order to protect the rule of law. JSM participated in the Nanavati Commission appointed by Government of Gujarat and through it’s cross-examinations were able to bring out facts about that established that Godhra Train Burning incident was not a pre-planned terrorist act and complicity of the State Government in the riots thereafter. JSM also fought against the draconian law POTA (Prevention of Terrorist ACT) enacted by the NDA Government and was successful in getting it repealed in 2004.

We hold that BJP is the biggest danger to the democratic Consitution of India and Congress is wholly incapable of protecting the rule of law. People alone can defend the constitution and JSM wants to be a part of this historical struggle.


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9 Comments on "Faces Behind Truth Of Gujarat"

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[…] and ask that orders be issued. [Also see Truth of Gujarat , a website set up by members of the Jan Sangharsh Manch .] If the Supreme Court is persuaded to monitor trials, which in this case they did; if reasonably […]

Dear Mr. Mukul Sinha, If I will give the information the money received from Center Government and from USA during 2005 floods of Gujarat, you will be surprised where this money gone. The grant received in 2005 was much more than in Earth quake on 26.1.2001. no one have a tongue to ask from our dear NaMo where this money gone? Read following trips of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi with Defense Mintier at that time Mr. Pranab Mukerje 0Now our Hon. President of India) Print this article Gujarat flood relief inadequate: Sonia Ju ly 04, 2005 22:55 IST Congress president Sonia… Read more »
Divyesh K. Raythatha

I appreciate all out efforts of JSM and Truth of Gujarat in exposing and defeating the communal forces in order to protect the rule of law in Gujarat. I congratulate Shri Mukul Sinha, Narendra Pate and othersl for initiating such organizations to reinforce democratic values where BJP government created difficult situations to maintain democracy and establishing human rights in the state.

Mohamed Nazeer

It is the need of hour to support and generate movement like JSM as you have said BJP is a real danger to our democracy and CONGRESS does not care aout our democracy.

we are with you Truth of Gujarath.

Malek Yasin

nice work keep it up…

Nareshchandra Jamnadas Patel

joint in 1985 in navgurat.

Yazdy Rusi Palia
While I agree with the idea of fighting communal forces and also agree that the employees may join hands for collective bargaining. I also believe that the employees or disgruntled employees may stay off work voluntarily on their own, but I do not believer that they have the right to obstruct any one who is worse of than them and would willingly work for the terms that the disgruntled employees do not agree to work for. ” I believe in the primacy of individual rights and do not believe that a group of people have the right or authority to… Read more »
Magp Gujarat

I regularly read truth of Gujarat, and many of my friends in US also read it. Really appreiate this work. and any time if I can be of any help it will be my pleasure. – Pankti

Dhruva Mistry

freedom of speech, expression and belief should never mean freedom to hurt, dominate and subscribe to inhuman treatment of fellow Indians regardless individual and ideological difference. “One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.”

~Simone de Beauvoir