List of Satyagraha
|01- From 03 to 16 March 1998||Two saints Swami Gokulanand Saraswati and Swami Nigamanand Saraswati began Satyagraha to ban mining and crushing activities in Kumbh Area haridwar and to Stop passing of all vehicles through the River Ganga.|
|02- 27 May to 09 June 1998||In order to ban vehicles that Passes through the sacred River Ganga.|
|03- 01 June to 09 June 1998||Swami Gopilanand Saraswati ji’s Satyagraha against the barbaric act of District administration.|
|04- 09 to 21 January 2000||Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati and Brahmachari Divyanand ji, sat on Satyagraha for apponting honest Distict administration and Police officers in order to put an end to the Mafia Raj.|
|05- 07 to 18 February 2000|
Matri Sadan protests against environmental degradation and corruption by conducting Satyagraha, the tactic employed by Gandhi to oust the British from India. It is a non violent protest in the form of a continuous fast, and loosely means, ‘the power of Truth’. When they first started their Satyagraha’s in 1998? they began by fasting outside government offices in Dehradun and were, ironically, arrested and imprisoned for ‘disturbing the peace’. But it was during his short stint in prison that the tactics employed by the mafia took a macabre turn, in jail, Swami Shivanand believes that he was poisoned with arsenic and almost died.
Though he survived, two of his sanyassins were not so lucky. Swami Gopalanand died of scholine poison in 2004 and Swami Nigmanand died from organophosphate poison in 2011 after a staggering 68 day long fast. The threat is so real that today, the sadhu’s have 3 armed policemen permanently assigned to protect them from the mafia.
Swami Shivanand says that undertaking Satyagraha has spiritual power, and judging by their success, his claim is well supported. Each and everyone of their satyagraha’s has inevitably ended with mining being banned. But just as inevitably, permissions are mysteriously regained and mining starts up again in the Kumb, sometimes just a few months after a heroic 70 day long fast. Their rigorous attempts to stop the destruction of the holy river is gathering local support, but their story remained relatively unknown until the death of Swami Nigmanand, whose sacrifice for the Ganga became front page news. Swami Shivanand believes he was murdered by the mining mafia when he was in hospital recovering from his fast, but the final report from a CBI investigation in 2012 stated that he died of problems related to starvation. Three years later, the sadhu’s of Matri Sadan, have challenged the verdict and the case is currently under reinvestigation. Should the court find that Swami Nigmanand was murdered, it would imply a direct cover up at the highest levels of government.
India to her credit has maintained a strong connection to its spirituality, and wider commitments to a balanced environment, but materialism has ripped the people of Hariwar in two and instead of communities working side by side, balancing the forces of life and wellbeing for the betterment of all. People are now forced to take a side and fight, one side for economic empowerment, the other for a more intangible spirit of the river and respect for the environment. Its why the miners are today in the streets protesting against Matri Sadan and its last successful bid to force mining to close down.