Skip to main content

Land acquisition ordinance: Calling it "anti-democratic", people's bodies decide to start united struggle

By Our Representative
In yet another effort to unite, trade unions and political parties came together with peoples movements in protest against the latest ordinance amending the land acquisition Act, 2013. Calling it “an attack on the constitutional rule of law”, the two-day national convention at the Nehru Yuva Kendra, New Delhi, on January 23-24 agreed that the ordinance was introduced by the government to “boost corporate loot of the land and other resources.” The participants also agreed to organize protests across the country during forthcoming budget session, starting in February third week.
Organised by the National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM), the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), the Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, the Jan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti, the INSAF, the Delhi Solidarity Group, the Right to City Campaign and other groups, representatives of farmers and workers' organisations from UP, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, uttarakhand, Rajashtan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and other states joined the convention.
Highlighting how parliamentary procedures were bypassed by promulgating the ordinance through the backdoor in order to avoid any debate or discussion in both houses of Parliament, even when the parliament sessions were scheduled in a month’s time, an NAPM statement at the end of the two day meet said, “The 2013 Act was passed after arriving consensus of all stakeholders over a period of nearly seven years. It is a shameless attempt by the government with gross violation of Article 123 of the constitution, which allows for ordinances to be passed for only ‘urgent’ and ‘extraordinary’ situations.”
NAPM further said, “The government has dismantled the already limited rights of citizens recognised over natural resources including land, water, forests and minerals to ease the way for the process of land acquisition, even when government land banks have lakhs of hectares of unused acquired land in every state, to acquire more of productive agricultural land, putting food sovereignty and the lives of the majority of its population at risk.”
The top apex body of tens of people's organisations pointed out, “Although the amended act of 2013 was also the law for acquisition, and not for its fair use, redistribution or much needed land reform, it still, however, recognised the constitutional consultative and self-determining role of local self-governing institutions in the process of land acquisition, with the consent of 70-80 per cent of the farmers.”
It added, “The 2013 Act envisioned a life of dignity for people being affected by land acquisition for development projects, with provisions for the social impact assessment, recognising the requirement of assessing the impact on the society prior to the sanction of land for projects.”
In sharp contrast, NAPM insisted, “The ordinance passed by the Modi government has generously exchanged these provisions in favour of the vested corporate interests and has brought the progressive legislations such as the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and Forest Conservation Act in its ambit, diluting other provisions which have recognised the natural and constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people to life with dignity – an inviolable part of Fundamental Rights.”
Expressing the danger that the ordinance “would free every processes of acquisition and encroachment of land by corporations and government of legal intervention”, the NAPM said, “The convention chalked out the following programmes for the protests against the ordinance –
  • Resolutions would be passed in Gram Sabhas across the country against the land acquisition ordinance on 26th January. 
  • Copies of the land ordinance would be burnt across the country on the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, January 30. 
  • Dharnas in protest of the ordinance would be organised at district HQs, State Capital, and BJP offices across the country. 
  • Dialogues would be established with leaders of ruling parties in non-BJP ruled states to pass resolutions against the ordinance in their respective state assemblies. 
  • Coordinated programmes to be organised for a day (Feb 22 or 23) at all district headquarters in protest during the budget session of the Parliament, along with a huge dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
  • Nation-wide yatras to be organised from 20th March to 8th April 2015 to create wider participation and support from people across the country. 
  • People's movements to release a white paper on land acquired, used, land bank, proposed acquisitions etc. as has been demanded by the movements over a period of time. 
Those who addressed the meeting included Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, Kavita Krishnan of the CPI-ML, Hanan Maula of the CPM, Captain Ajay Rao of the Congress, Aam Aadmi Party leader Yogendra Yadav, Pandey of the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, Dr. Prem Singh of the Socialist Party of India, Roma of the AIUFWP, Vijay Panda of the Adivasi Mukti Sangathan, among others.

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

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.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Top ex-Gujarat babu tells Modi: Not yoga but solar system is our biggest source of energy

By Rajiv Shah  An email alert to Counterview from a top ex-IAS bureaucrat, termed as Gujarat’s turnaround man for revamping loss-making state public sector undertakings (PSUs), has sought to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on the Yoga day – that the ancient Indian exercise provides an “infinite solutions” within ourselves, offering “the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.