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The order of the honourable justice of National Green Tribunal regarding shifting of the prime venue of processions, demonstrations, hunger strike and dharnas by various political parties and social organisations at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi against the complaint of the local VIP residents of heart of the city for excessive sound and other forms of pollution is undoubtedly a welcome decision for some but for those who are protesting here for years in the form of of protracted sit ins and several others like the Hindi Bhaashi Andolankaries who’d almost made Jantar Mantar their home is a news no less than a worst tragedy.

The news analysts believe that the decision would be welcomed by the environmentalists as well as the nearby residents who were literally fed up by the incessant acrimonious protest demonstrations, incessant sound pollution and other form of activities of the socio political workers, trade union activists and parties raising their voice against the ruling establishments at the centre as well as states for the last 25 years. Prior to this venue, the Boat Club used to be the main centre of political activities and protest demonstrations where historic rallies of lakhs of people used to take place and was the venue of great political significance that hosted the biggest ever rallies like that of the leader of the total revolution Jaya Prakash Narayan and several other political stalwarts of their time like Babu Jagjiwan Ram, Chandra Shekhar, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, Chowdhary Charan Singh, Harkishan Singh Surjeet, EMS Namboodiripaad, C. Rajeshwar Rao, Kisan leader Mahendra Singh Tikath and several rallies of the left parties as well. It was only after the massive rally of prominent peasent leader, 25 years ago from now that this prime venue of boat club was shifted to Jantar Mantar, a squeezed venue that is just a tenth part of what boat club was.

During Tikath’s movement the entire boat club and its facinating highly sanitised lawns up to India gate were badly defecated by the peasents who had gathered from all over the country in support of their several demands. The government therefore had to be constrained to shift the venue to Jantar Mantar that hardly accomodates at the most only few thousand protestors . While boat club had been the witness to massive public meetings like that of the leader of total revolution late Jai Prakash Narayan during the eighties resulting in the downfall of the then Congress government led by late prime minister Indira Gandhi, the current venue of Jantar Mantar has been the main centre of historic Uttarakhand rallies n dharna that lasted for more than 6 years, it had also been famous for the most talked about and popular movement of legendary crusader against corruption and responsible for making the then ruling party Congress loose at the hands of BJP led NDA on account of Anna’s nationwide awakening against the corruption of the former. Jantar Mantar is also popular and famous for AAM AADMI PARTY’S FORMATION as BOAT CLUB WAS remembered for the birth of then Janata Party, a conglomeration of 22 anti Congress political parties.

This is the same Jantar Mantar which witnessed the two most powerful movements of NIRBHAYA OF DELHI, VASANT VIHAR AND NIRBHAYA OF NAJAFGARH the killers of whom were finally sentence to death. Now that the National Green Tribunal has directed the NDMC authorities to ensure the immediate shifting of the protest venue of Jantar Mantar to far away Ram leela grounds which has till now been the main all India centre for democratic protest movements for the last two and a half decades, the Delhi’ s ruling AAM AADMI PARTY and its chief Arvind Kejrival has questioned the logic behind the move terming it as an atempt to stifle the voice of democratic dissent and constitutional right to protest.

SUNIL NEGI