Gujarat Confidential: Justice this Diwalihttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/gujarat-confidential-justice-this-diwali-6090598/

Gujarat Confidential: Justice this Diwali

Vasava, who has been vehemently opposed to the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, has used the ‘Statue of displacement’ and ‘Aarey’ hashtags in his posts to mention the “injustice” being done to tribals who have lost their lands to development projects.

A flower market at Khanderao market in Vadodara on the occasion of Diwali on Sunday. (Express Photo: Bhupendra Rana)

Gujarat MLA and tribal leader Chhotu Vasava has put up a series of Facebook posts explaining the significance of Diwali for tribal communities. Vasava, who has been vehemently opposed to the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, has used the ‘Statue of displacement’ and ‘Aarey’ hashtags in his posts to mention the “injustice” being done to tribals who have lost their lands to development projects. Vasava, in his post said that Diwali holds a different significance for tribals as compared to the Hindu community. “We tribals do not celebrate Diwali based on the panchang and tithi dates but by way of the decision of the village chief, who sends the village chowkidar to each home to announce the dates of Diwali. It usually comes in between the season of the rabi harvest and the kharif sowing because Diwali is associated with crops for tribals where we worship the dhan (crops) and the cows.” Explaining the four-day tribal ritual of harvesting the food, worshipping the cows, farm tools and the sun, Vasava has expressed hope for ‘justice for the innocent adivasis’ during Diwali.

Marked For Minister

Several minutes before Union Minister Amit Shah was set to arrive at Sola Civil Hospital to interact with Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries, hospital and government personnel were seen marking chairs with a blue ribbon and seating handpicked beneficiaries in the marked chairs. The interaction seemed to have been decided impromptu, and announced just hours before it was to begin. Approximately 15 such chairs were marked of the odd 80-90 chairs at the venue. Officials undertaking this task were seen asking those already seated on the marked chairs to move to another one. The same list was handed out to the minister for his interaction and the names of beneficiaries seated on the marked chairs were called out to share their experiences. Some other names too were called but the beneficiaries were absent. No beneficiary from the unmarked chairs was called out.