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PETITION: Solidarity with the Uttarakhand Andolan in Gairsain

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The text is provided below:

October 2004

To the Chief Minister, members of the Uttaranchal State Assembly, members of the Lok Sabha for Uttaranchal, Secretaries, etc.

Whereas this October 2 marked the tenth anniversary of the darkest moments of Uttarakhand’s modern history,

Whereas ten years ago, the Uttar Pradesh state machinery unleashed a reign of terror in the hills in response to the non-violent and universally recognized just demands of the Uttarakhand movement,

Whereas to this date, the perpetrators of the incidents in Muzaffarnagar, Khatima, Mussoorie, and Dehradun — where citizens were killed and even raped by the provincial police — have remained at large,


Whereas Gairsain has been repeatedly identified as the ideal capital of any new state by various committees in 1992, 1994, and again in 2000 by the popular groups in the region,

Whereas Gairsain lies equidistant to all parts of Uttarakhand, is a historic meeting place between Garhwal and Kumaon, and was beloved by the region’s most prominent freedom fighter, Vir Chander Singh Garhwali,

Whereas Gairsain’s status and culture most resembles the lived experiences of the state’s impoverished rural majority,

Whereas basing the provisional capital in Dehradun has once again concentrated power and resources in a large urban centre, to the neglect of development in the hills,


Whereas the naming of the state as Uttaranchal in 2000 was done under political compulsions with profound disrespect and in total disregard for the culture, history, and demands of the movement,

Whereas, the reversion of the state’s name to the historic and true Uttarakhand was listed as the preeminent goal of the first ever elected state government in the governor’s address to the state assembly in 2002,


Whereas women are once again taking a lead role in the new movement by staging hunger strikes and mass rallies,

Whereas women are the backbone of Uttarakhand society, but have yet to see any benefits from the new state,

Whereas the time has come for their issues and concerns to take centre stage as the Uttarakhand Andolan moves into a new phase,

We hereby declare our full support for the Uttarakhand Mahila Manch and Uttarakhand Samyukta Sangharsh Morcha in their struggle for a progressive, democratic, and just Uttarakhand,


Request that the state government and all representatives at the centre take seriously their demands for moving the capital to Gairsain, returning the name to Uttarakhand, the prosecution of the perpetrators of the Muzaffarnagar incident and other atrocities during the Jan Andolan of 1994, and all the demands for full decentralization, a participatory political culture, women’s empowerment, protection of the state’s land, forest, and water resources from speculation and exploitation, and basic land reforms for the landless.

signed by
Uttarakhand Solidarity Network & Support Committee
October 16, 2004

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