Skip to main content

Based on "assurance" from Ahmedabad collector, JAAG decides to postpone cattle rally to Gandhinagar

By Our Representative
The Jameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (JAAG) has decided to “postpone” its scheduled “cattle rally” from Hansalpur village in North Gujarat to the state Capital in Gandhinagar based an “assurance” from the district collector, Ahmedabad, to “look into” various demands of the maldharis, who were protesting against the Maruti-Suzuki Company’s acquisition of huge tracts of land in the area. A JAAG statement signed by its leaders Lalji Desai and Sagar Rabari said, “The collector has assured the villagers that he would represent maldharis’ and other communities’ demands to the appropriate authorities.”
Planned for October 23, the statement said, as the district collector has told them that there would be a “positive outcome” at the meeting with the maldharis at Hansalpur, a decision was taken to “postpone” their cattle rally and await the government’s decision. “If the outcome is not to their satisfaction, then the maldharis will hold the cattle rally afresh at a later date”, the statement declared, claiming, “The announcement of the rally stirred the administration, and the collector of Ahmedabad district was deputed to meet the maldharis of Hansalpur.”
JAAG said, the maldharis and other villagers of Hansalpur put forward following demands before the district collector:
· Transfer the titles of the lands given to the Dalits, Maldharis and Thakores in 1954 to their name.
· Implement the Gujarat state rule and norm for maintaining the ratio of grazing land to the cattle population of the village and allot adequate land for grazing purpose.
· The land given to Maruti Suzuki Company should be processed under the new Right to Fair Compensation &Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act, 2013 since it is going to be applied post-facto from 2013.
· The residential houses and other buildings on survey No 293 and others should not be disrobed and they should be handed over to the title holders after due process.
· There should be dedicated roads and paths leading to the agricultural fields and grazing lands for the maldharis’ safe passage.
· The government must allocate village common (gamtal) land with the provision for the next 25 years.
Giving details of the controversy around land acquisition by Maruti Suzuki, including reasons why the maldharis should be given a grazing land in proportion to the cattle population, JAAG statement said, “In 1954, the then government had allotted this land to the maldharis, the Dalits and the thakores of the village who were landless. This land has now been given away by the Gujarat government to the Maruti Suzuki Company. This was done without taking the affected families into confidence or initiating any talks with them.”
Suggesting that this was pointed out to the district collector in no uncertain terms, the statement regretted that it wasn’t just the land that belonged to the deprived sections of the population that was given away. “The village wasteland was also been handed over to Maruti Suzuki, leaving very little grazing land for the maldharis of the villages, raising a serious issue of their livelihood and sustenance,” the JAAG statement complained.
“As a result, cattle-rearing was rendered extremely difficult for them. Hence, under the leadership of JAAG and Azad Vikas Sangathan, the maldharis decided to undertake a cattle rally from village Hansalpur to Gandhinagar in October 23, and to hand over their cattle to the government for their care. They were to start on the October 23 morning and reach Gandhinagar on October 26”, the statement said.
According to activists associated with the maldharis and other communities protesting against Maruti-Suzuki’s land acquisition, if their demand is met this would be the second big victory of the rural folk of the area. Previously, in August, following several months protest, the Gujarat government was forced to reduce the size of the special investment region (SIR) planned in the Mandal-Bhechraji area of North Gujarat. This was described by JAAG, which leads the struggle, as “partial victory”, as two other demands – asking Maruti-Suzuki to withdraw from the area and cancel the SIR Act – were “not met.”
Ever since state government decision to reduce to size of the SIR to just eight villages out of 42 which were to be affected because of land acquisition, there was a lull in JAAG movement. However, things began to acquire heat once again as it became clear to the rural folk that they were forced to hand over their land, which was their main source of livelihood.

Comments

TRENDING

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

Over 3.8 billion animals at risk: India on crossroad in animal welfare practices

By Rupali Soni*  In a collaborative effort, the India Animal Fund and Dasra have unveiled their report , "Our Shared Future | Securing Animal Welfare, Human Wellbeing, and Sustainability in India." This landscape report provides a thorough overview of animal welfare and underscores its indispensable role within India's socio-economic and ecological frameworks. It also illustrates how animal welfare is intricately intertwined with public health, labor welfare, and climate resilience.

August 9 to be observed as Corporates Quit India day: Top farmers' group

By Our Representative A recent general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the top farmers' organisation, stated hat "there is no need for any illusion of change in the pro-corporate policies of the BJP-NDA government" following the recent elections in which BJP failed to achieve even simple majority. It insisted,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi "is hell bent" to continue 'business as usual' policies.

Maharashtra govt's proposed bill may be used against 'dissenting' journalists, writers, filmmakers, artists

Counterview Desk  The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Maharashtra, strongly objecting to what it calls “repressive and unconstitutional” Maharashtra Special Public Security Bill 2024, has demanded the proposed law be scrapped in its entirety. In its Statement of Objects and Reasons for the Bill, PUCL noted,  the broad and non-descript label of ‘urban naxal’ has been used, which is actually a “common slur used for any citizen who expresses their opposition to state policy or is not aligned with right-wing majoritarian views."

Belgian report alleges MNC Etex responsible for asbestos pollution in Madhya Pradesh town Kymore: COP's Geneva meet

By Our Representative A comprehensive Belgian report has held MNC Etex , into construction business and one of the richest, responsible for asbestos pollution in Kymore, an industrial town in in Katni district of Madhya Pradesh. The report provides evidence from the ground on how Kymore’s dust even today is “annoying… it creeps into your clothes, you have to cough it”, saying “It can be deadly.”