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.



  1. 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 Gandhi said on Monday that there were complaints of inadequate flood relief in Gujarat and asked the state government to pay cash doles for 15 days and speed up rehabilitation in affected areas.
    “I have been receiving complaints that cash doles are not being given. The state government should ensure that money reaches the people,” Sonia said as she undertook a whirlwind tour of Vadodara, the worst hit area in the recent rain-induced floods.
    Sonia was on a day-long tour of flood-hit Gujarat.
    The United Progressive Alliance chairperson visited relief camps and slum areas along the swollen Vishwamitri river, stopping at several places to interact with the flood victims.
    A major portion of the relief package would be spent on rebuilding houses of slum dwellers that were washed way in the floods, she said.
    Sonia and defence minister Pranab Mukherjee undertook an aerial survey of Vadodara, Anand, Kheda and Ahmedabad districts to have a first-hand account of the flood situation.
    Expressing his dissatisfaction over relief and rehabilitation work, he told reporters in Ahmedabad that “help has not reached many parts of the state.
    “Even the assessment of damage has not been done as several areas are still cut-off,” he said.
    Asked whether he blamed the state government for the delay, Mukherjee said “I am not here to make a value judgement. Villages are marooned and many areas are still inaccessible.”
    “No doubt the magnitude of destruction is huge and unprecedented. Three-fourths of the land in the state has been affected. We wanted to land in some villages but could not do so as conditions were not suitable,” he said.
    The armed forces were dropping food packets in marooned villages and arrangements were also being made to provide cooked food to those affected, Mukherjee said.
    In Ahmedabad, Gujarat law minister Ashok Bhatt briefed Mukherjee and Sonia on the situation. State revenue minister Kaushik Patel thanked the Centre for sanctioning an immediate relief package of Rs 500 crore and lauded the armed forces for their swift help.
    The air force dropped 130 tonnes of food in the flood-hit regions and 12 helicopters are doing sorties to rescue stranded people, official sources said.
    The state government has also deployed 500 medical teams in affected areas and steps are being taken to prevent spread of epidemic, they said.
    © Copyright 2013 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

    And also in 2006
    Media coverage of Sonia and Modi visit to flooded Surat
    • From: imemind@xxxxxxxxxxx
    • Date: 10 Aug 2006 14:30:16 -0700
    When providing the coverage to Modi’s visit to flood-hit Surat, media
    focussed on following
    – reaction and statements of people who did not like Modi’s visit. No
    coverage of reaction and statements of modi or his entourage.
    – modi came and went by helicopter but no help in sight
    – plight of people still suffering in gory detail
    – litney of Problems and break down and outages due to flooding
    – slam on State administration for not doing enough – all the
    shortfalls are detailed
    – no coverage of relief and rescue measures taken or annonced by state
    – no coverage of sucessful relief and rescue efforts by people
    When providing coverage to Sonia and Pranab visit to same area, media
    coverage focussed on the following:
    – Reaction and statements of sonia and pranab and other congress
    leaders themselves
    – how they chose to come by truck rather than fly-by visit and related
    – how they comforted the vicitms
    – details of relief and measures announced by these leaders
    – politicization of disaster by blaming state admin and modi
    Same PTI and two separate treatment to visits by BJP leaders and
    congress leaders. Who says Indian media is not partisan and committed
    to certain political parties.
    Centre announces Rs 150 crore flood relief for Gujarat
    Vadodara, Aug 10 :
    Centre today announced an assistance of Rs 150 crore for flood-hit
    This was announced by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee after making an
    aerial survey of Surat and surrounding areas along with Congress
    President Sonia Gandhi and her politial secretary Ahmed Patel.
    Gandhi later returned to Delhi while Mukherjee and Patel, along with
    Union Textile Minister Shankarsingh Vaghela, took stock of the
    situation during a meeting with state government officials.
    Addressing reporters, Mukherjee indirectly blamed the Gujarat
    government for the sudden release of water from Ukai dam, which he said
    has caused massive flooding of Surat city, that is battling for its
    Mukherjee said till now several areas of Surat are water-logged and it
    would take some time for the situation to normalise. Twenty-four
    mechanised boats have been despached to Surat city for evacuating
    stranded people, he added.
    He said 32 boats were already assisting in evacuating over 4,000 people
    while nine helicopters — six from the Air Force, two from Navy and one
    from Coast Guard — have been pressed into service for carrying out
    relief and rescue operations in Surat.
    Army personnel have been deployed and four more helicopters have been
    kept as standby for Surat, Mukherjee said.
    The helicopters made 51 sorties over Surat and dropped 48.42 tonnes of
    relief materials.
    — PTI
    Date:01/07/2005 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2005/07/01/stories/2005070105631400.htm

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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 prevent others from going about their daily life. Democracy , without individual rights is “Mob rule”.
    I believe that the individual is the smallest minority and if his rights are not guaranteed, then we can not call that society a moral society. I have worked as an ordinary employee, I was forced to become the member of a union, whether I liked it or not. I was forced by the union to take part in activities that I did not believe in and I was also beaten up by the union for no fault of mine but just because someone who did not like my aloofness made a untrue accusation against me.
    I do not agree with the use of force, if striking is voluntary and if the striking workers are not obstructing others who wish to work, it is moral if not it is immoral. It is against the rights of the individual.

  6. 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