June 30, 2015 – Another black blot on the history of democracy. Government, Police & Administration bulldoze the settlement that the brave people of Mandala had set up on the 55 acres that were snatched away from them on promises of a better housing facility. This injustice shows the cruelty of modern urban civilization where the poor are mercilessly crushed by a power nexus made by the privileged elite of the society. More Mandalas will be built again and again. It will be proved one day that this city doesn’t belong only to a few but everybody. Its daily wagers, porters, cleaners, migrants, everybody who makes the Dalal Streets of the city tick. Long Live the Occupation of Mandala.

#पीछे नही हटेंगे



Call and denounce the demolition –

Sr. No. Name Designation Contact Details
1. Shri. Devendra Fadnavis Chief Minister of Maharashtra Email: chiefministerchiefminister@maharashtra.gov.in,

Phone: +91-22-22025222,22025151

Fax: +91-22-22029214

2. Shri. Rakesh Maria Commissioner of Police Email:cp.mumbai@mahapolice.gov.in

Phone: 22620826, 22613552

Fax: 22621835




It’s the year 2015 and the crux of Indian civilization rests on its few big cities. A 1484 km2 big political capital of Delhi is made up of a crore people and Mumbai, its financial twin is only 603 km2 but accomodates 1.2 crore people. 60% of Mumbai’s population lives in just 48 km2. Who occupies the other 550 km2 is anybody’s guess. Total number of slums exceeds 33 thousand in these few cities. 4.5 Crore people live here in apalling conditions. Slums are routinely demolished. The poorest of the poor living in small shanties are considered illegal residents. Their shanties and belongings are swept away by bulldozers which belong to the caretakers of the city – the Municipality. With slums and shanties demolished, its people come to the streets and live in pavements and underbridges. Census 2011 estimated the total number of homeless at 95 lakhs in 2.5 lakh families. Living without a roof over their head, surrounded by the maddening traffic 24 hours of day, living through hot days and heartbreaking nights, see the family of 6 and a pet mangy sleeping peacefully by the pavement under the yellow street lights. When a drunk Salman Khan, India’s most loved superstar slammed his car into sleeping day labourers, his friends from the city tweeted that its not his fault that he smashed his car, it’s the fault of the homeless to be sleeping on the streets.

The urbanscape has snatched away the right to assert from its marginalized. It’s rare in the history of the city to see its marginalized rise up against the matrix of insensitiveness of its elites, police, municipality, its entire structure.

Mandala is the first of its kind. It’s time for the city’s most exploited to assert their idenity, and claim their share to this city. Awaas Haq Satyagraha, launched by the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan is a historic Housing Rights movement where 5000 people who were displaced in 2004 – 05 from their homes in a demolition drive have returned and occupied 55 acres of prime land and declared mutiny.

Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan is a decade old network working incessantly through slums of Mumbai, bringing them together whose rights to shelter have been snatched by the state in collusion with builder-corporate lobby. Thousands of poor having been raising the question of their rights of housing in front of every ministry, every department, every forum. Time and again, they have been manhandled, beaten up, arrested and tortured. At the heart of the struggle are the instances of inequality, of corruption in Slum Re-development Authority, of leasing out of land at 40 paise/acre to builder Hiranandani, non-distribution of available land to the poor.

Mandala was demolished in 2004 – 05 along with 85,000 other homes as part of a massive demolition drive by Mumbai administration. Later a Court order had ordered their homes to be reinstated but in 2006 they were again demolished. In 2008 – 09, after intense struggle, Mandala was chosen to be as a pilot project for Rajiv Awaas Yojana, a government project to provide home to the needy. 6 years have passed since the promise and not a brick has been laid. Instead of helping out the poor and the needy, the government is secretly shelving all plans that aim at their welfare. Rajiv Awaas Yojana (RAY) is facing a similar future. Even after surveys are carried out, there is no progress and there are whispers that like other welfare projects this also might not see the light of the day.

Everybody is frustrated by the false claims of the government, from farmers to industrial and construction labour, but the people of Mandala have set an example of resistance unmatched until now in the urban mindscape. People have taken a leave from their daily jobs, they have come back from their native land of Kerela and Tamil Nadu, left wedding unattended just to be a part of the Awaas Haq Satyagraha. Satyagrahis have demarcated the occupied land and mapped it out to start building their own homes in clear defiance to the tall claims of RAY. A community school has been announced. Already people are badgering the administration to provide toilets and safe drinking water in the occupied land. Earlier, hawkers and vendors who had gathered in the protest grounds selling snacks and drinks were hounded by the police, but the community protected the rights of these small traders by facing the police. A relay fast has now begun and Satyagrahi after Satyagrahi is continuing the non-stop fast until their demands are met. The administration is silent. The city is not used to the voice of people living in slums. But the voices are getting louder and louder. Political factions and progressive citizens are coming forward in support of the movement. It’s important for the Mandala movement to succeed, to secure the rights it is fighting for. It is important because the patience of crores of people living precariously in this city is running out. It is important for the future of the city which can no more be built on the foundations of inequality. It is important if one wants the city to retain its soul.

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