SEZ ad depicting Gandhi kicks off row

13 October 2009

Advertisements worth several crores of rupees which the Mangalore Special Economic Zone Ltd had released to newspapers on October 2, Gandhi Jayanthi Day, is now caught in a controversy. Despite an Act being in force prohibiting the use of the name of Gandhi or his photograph for any industrial or commercial purposes, the advertisement of the MSEZ published in the dailies on October 2 has the photograph of Gandhiji along with ‘Satyameva Jayate’ as mentioned in the National Emblem.

It has been gathered of late that the farmers of Permude are planning to question in the court this action of the use of the photograph of Gandhiji, a staunch advocator of non-violence and a true Swadeshi, by the SEZ which is a foreign enclave within the region, aimed at implementing several mega projects and has acquired several thousands of acres of lands of farmers through false promises apart from forcibly acquiring the invaluable lands of the Kudubi tribals at Kudubipadavu.

In case the farmers move the court, then the different dailies which have published the ads would be in trouble, as along with the SEZ they too would be held responsible for going against the Act.
In fact the SEZ ad with the photograph of the Father of the Nation seems to be making a mockery of the Gandhian ideology when the SEZ officials and contractors had resorted to violence several times against the innocent villagers.

The advertisement reads so “ Today as the nation commemorates the 140th birth anniversary of the Mahatma the MSEZL remembers with reverence his great contributions to humanity and rededicates itself for the causes he stood for, social security and better living conditions to every citizen of India, inclusive growth and wholesome development of the nation.”

Reacting to the advertisement, Gregory Patrao, Vice President of Bala Gram Panchayat says so “ The SEZ officials and contractors who remember Gandhian ideologies on truth and non-violence however have only lied and resorted to only violence until now.”



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