Skip to main content

Tribal rights: Gujarat a poor performer, suggests Central govt document

By Rajiv Shah
A new Government of India document, in possession of Counterview, has suggested that Gujarat’s performance in providing land to the tribals under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, is one of the poorest in India. The document shows, as of December-end 2014, Gujarat, an early starter, was able to “dispose of” just 39.97 per cent, or 75,974 claims, out of the total 1,90,051 tribals who had applied for land title deeds or community rights. This is against the national average of a whopping 82.60 per cent (17,13,519 out of 39,59,0190).
The document, titled “Status report on implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 [for the period ending December 31, 2014”, was sent to the Cabinet Secretariat on January 16, 2015.
The most overzealous state for disposing of tribal plea for land is Maharashtra, which disposed of more claims than the number of applications it received (119.89 per cent). This was followed by Uttar Pradesh (99.39 per cent), Chhattisgarh (97.40 per cent), Rajasthan (96.97 per cent), Kerala (86.55 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (83.28 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (81.46 per cent), Odisha (80.34 per cent), Jharkhand (76.78 per cent), Karnataka (69.52 per cent), Bihar (57.06 per cent), Assam (56.06 per cent), and Himachal Pradesh (44.02 per cent).
Even as disposing of the applications, there are 38.10 per cent of Gujarat tribals’ pleas were okayed for handing over land title deeds or community rights. In all, Gujarat’s 1,90,051 tribals put up their claims, out of which 72,418 of them received land titles. This is lower than the all-India average – out of 39,59,019 claims in the country as a whole, in as many as 15,56,676 cases, or 39.31 per cent, land was either distributed to individual tribals, or community rights were given.
The states which perform better on this score than Gujarat are Kerala (65.53 per cent), Odisha (56.46 per cent), Rajasthan (48.93 per cent), Chhattisgarh (41.51 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (41.20 per cent), The gap between disposing of claims and title deeds and community rights actually ready for being handed over suggests, according to observers, poor rate to scrutiny of applications by the Gujarat officialdom, compared to most other Indian states.
This is clear from a further breakup. In Gujarat, out of 1,90,051 claims, 1,82,869 were for individual land titles, and 7,182 for community rights. Of these, in as many as 72,418 cases – 68,562 individual title deeds and 3,856 community rights were positive.
But what seems disconcerting is, in Gujarat, while the tribal gram sabhas – which are the primary decision making body clearing land titles – decided in favour of handing over land titles in most cases (1,86,495 out of 1,90,051), it is the higher level tribal and forest bureaucracy which came in the way of ensuring that the tribal rights. Of the 1,86,495 cases cleared by the gram sabhas for handing over land titles and community rights, the District Level Committee, which is responsible for a final nod, gave its nod to just 72,148 cases.
And yet, the note – prepared by the Modi government’s tribal affairs ministry – does not find any issues Gujarat. It merely say, “Members of Gujarat Tribal Advisory Council had raised concern over high rate of rejected claims and the matter was discussed in the meeting held on June 1, 2011, and it was decided to review all rejected claims at various level. Following the decision, Government of Gujarat created a special review cell on July 8, 2011 and circulated procedure to review all rejected claims. As a result, number of claims disposed of has been reduced considerably.”

Comments

TRENDING

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Kailash Satyarthi NGO makes slum kids laud RSS founder Hedgewar as freedom fighter

By Rajiv Shah  In a move which may raise many an eyebrow, a Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi-supported child rights NGO has celebrated Prime Minister Narendra Modi-intitiated Har Ghar Tiranga by commemorating 75 freedom fighters by "narrating their famous deeds and chanting slogans of each leader", including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai and a person who had little or nothing common with the freedom movement -- RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar. A communique from the Kailash Satyarthi Childrens Foundation (KSCF), which organised the event, said among the freedom fighters celebrated by 75 children on the occasion of 75 years of India's independence placing photographs of each freedom fighter included that of Hedgewar, who is alleged to have maintained a distance from Indian Independence movement led by Gandhiji. According to Hedgewar's biography, when Gandhiji launched the Salt Satyagraha in 1930, Hedgewar sent information ev

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Gujarat's 'low-key' communalism: right-wing groups compete for anti-Muslim space

By Rajiv Shah  Noticing the emergence of a novel trend, a just-released report based on a fact-finding team's observations following its interaction in particular with Hindu and Muslim political activists, administrators and police officials, has claimed that a major reason why chasm between the two communities in Gujarat has lately reached new heights is, a veritable competition between Hindu right-wing groups and leaders to capture the existing communal space. Titled "Hindu Right, Communal Riots and Demolitions: Emerging Pattern of Communal Riots in India", the report has been prepared against the backdrop of what it calls "low intensity" communalism which has characterised rioting in Gujarat in the recent past, especially after the 2002 communal carnage, one of the worst in Independent India. Especially focusing on riots in two Gujarat towns, Himmatnagar and Khambhat, which took place on April 10, the day clashes broke also out in different parts of India on

Why global recession is 'big threat' to India, despite Nirmala Sitharaman’s bravado

By Prasanna Mohanty*  It would be imprudent to assume that a global recessionary trend will bypass India. In fact, a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman categorically ruled out the possibility of recession and stagflation (with high unemployment and high inflation India is technically witnessing stagflation) hitting India in her responses to the Parliament earlier in the week, Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam dropped a bomb shell. He released latest trade data showing fast deteriorating trends. The data showed, in July 2022, exports fell to five-month low of $35.2 billion and imports sequentially increased to $66 billion. The details revealed a fall in seven of top 10 export items: engineering goods, petroleum products, gems and jewellery, pharmaceuticals, readymade garments, cotton yarn and plastics. All this happened, Subrahmanyam acknowledged, due to the growing recessionary trends in developed countries and elevated commodity prices. The trade deficit (merchandise g

RSS, Sangh Parivar consider tricolour as "state flag" and not "national flag"

By Teesta Setalvad* Today, when the nation has been independent for 67 years, the Sangh Parivar is set to launch ‘Tiranga yatras’ and Satyagrahas to defend the honour of the flag and the nation. Yet when the Indian people were involved in the decades-long struggle for freedom against British imperialism, the RSS was conspicuous by its absence in the struggle. When thousands of people faced lathis, bullets and jail sentences for hoisting the tiranga and participated all over the country in satyagraha during the Civil Disobedience and Quit India movements against the British Raj, the Sangh publicly took the stand that it would not take part in the movement and seldom missed the opportunity of assuring the British rulers that they would keep to the right side of colonial law and avoid any clash with the authorities. Of course the reason given for this was that the Sangh was secretly strengthening itself and would take on British imperialism only when it was strong enough to do so! A simil

Bangladeshi women crossing borders: Demand to sensitise cops, BSF personnel

Counterview Desk  Bringing more instances of how the security personnel along the borders in West Bengal refuse to probe the human trafficking angle while arresting Bangladeshi women, human rights leader Kirity Roy has said, they are treated as accused in violation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Government of India and the Government of Bangladesh on Bilateral Cooperation for Preventing of Human Trafficking, especially trafficking in Women and Children. In a letter to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and national convenor, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), Hooghly, said, “The victims should be immediately repatriated to their own country and the criminal charges against them must be withdrawn at the earliest”, insisting, “The matters must be handled by the police or the BSF personnel with a human approach.” Text: I am writing this complaint regarding det

Need to ask at today's 'critical juncture' of India's history: Whose Freedom@75?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  The official propaganda states that: “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of it's people, culture and achievements. This Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The official journey of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav commenced on 12th March 2021 which started a 75-week countdown to our 75th anniversary of independence and will end post a year on 15th August 2023.” So as India completes a landmark seventy-five years of freedom – a platinum jubilee – the only question one needs to ask at this critical juncture of the country’s history is “whose freedom@75?” Since March 2020, it has been a di