Skip to main content

Modi "encouraged" Gujarat, Odisha to promulgate own bills to undermine "progressive" 2013 land law

By Our Representative
National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), the apex body of tens of mass organizations, has wondered if the Narendra Modi government has “encouraged” Gujarat to bypass the "progressive" Land Acquisition Act, 2013, by coming up with its own legislation, Gujarat Agricultural Land Ceilings Bill, in order to allow corporates to buy up farmers’ land without any hindrance.
Even as welcoming Modi for deciding not to re-promulgate the ordinance which had sought to undermine the “progressive” and “pro-farmer” provisions of the LAA, 2013, the NAPM, noting the new disturbing trend, says, “It remains to be seen if there is proper implementation of LAA 2013 at the state-level.”
Led by well-known social activist Medha Patkar, NAPM has said, already, two states have been “encouraged” to bypass the Central LAA and frame their own legislations, Gujarat and Odisha. In a statement, it has demanded, “The Government of India needs to ensure that the LAA 2013 is uniformly applied to states and the rights of the people are protected.”
Calling Modi’s announcement not to re-promulgate the controversial ordinance as “symbolizing victory of people’s movements”, NAPM said, “Since the time government promulgated land ordinance in the last week of December 2014, farmers and peasants, forests dwellers, adivasis and numerous others have showed their steadfast opposition to the ordinance and demanded that it should be repealed without conditions.”
NAPM recalls, in its submission to the Joint Parliamentary Committee, it “not only demanded the withdrawal of the ordinance, but also asked for addition of many other provisions to the 2013 Act.” The provisions to be added, it suggested, should be such that they “protect land rights and also address the woes and sufferings of the millions who have been displaced in the country in name of development and national interest, post-Independence.”
NAPM further says, “On the face of it, Bihar elections are being said to be the reason for this political decision.” Disagreeing with such an interpretation, it added, “However, it is the massive opposition to the corporate designs of the Modi government by the people of this country, which has forced the government to reverse its decision.”
Praising the role played by Congress, Left and other parties in ensuring that LAA remains intact, NAPM says, “Political parties in opposition have played a crucial role inside Parliament but ultimately it is the strength of the people’s movements and farmers organizations on the ground which has forced the government to take back the ordinance.”
“Now that it is clearly proved that this government will go to any lengths in order to please its corporate masters, it remains the primary onus of people's movements to ensure a constant vigilance on attempts of endangering the rights and livelihoods of millions of India's agricultural workers and farmers”, the statement says.
NAPM points out, “Even as we wait for the government to come up with the notification on application of 2013 Act to 13 Central Acts, we also look forward to the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which debated and discussed the submissions made by different stakeholders, majority of which rejected the proposals of the government.”
Meanwhile, the Gujarat Agricultural Land Ceilings Bill, passed in the state assembly recently, has come under sharp criticism for favouring chosen businessmen by helping them acquire “precious agricultural land, usurping the rights of tribals, members of other backward class (OBC) communities, Dalits and cattle holders”.
In a statement, national spokespersons and Congress Shaktisinh Gohil said, “To make its plan smooth, Congress members were suspended from the House and the amendment bill was passed unanimously.” He added, “The government has taken advantage of the recent Supreme Court judgment which declared that grassland should be treated as agricultural land.”
Gohil, who is a Gujarat High Court advocate, too, said, “The land available under the Supreme Court verdict can change lives of lakhs of poor people of tribal, members of OBC communities, Dalits and cattle holders. But the government is interested in its favourite businessmen and industrialists, and so it changed the Act. Now this land can be given to industrialists.”

Comments

TRENDING

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.

Union budget 'mum' on relief to marginalised communities facing climate change impact

Counterview Desk  ActionAid, an international advocacy group which claims to work for a world without poverty, patriarchy and injustice, has wondered if the Union budget 2023-24, which is being acclaimed for providing succour to the middle classes, has anything to offer to the India's poor. In a statement, it said, while the budget may have "prioritised inclusive development", the financial outlay for ensuring it "does not show the zeal as hoped." Stating that the Finance Minister said Rs 35,000 crore revenue would have to be "forgone" due to a reduction in personal income taxes, "fiscal prudence is not enough to expand public employment, social security, welfare, education and health expenditures considerably." "The need of the hour is to raise revenues through the reduction of revenues forgone and innovative mechanisms such as wealth tax on super accumulation of wealth", it added. Text: The Union Budget 2023 has given significant

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.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

Why no information with Assam state agency about female rhino poaching for a year?

By Nava Thakuria   According to official claims, incidents of poaching related to rhinoceros in various forest reserves of Assam in northeast India have decreased drastically. Brutal laws against the poachers, strengthening of ground staff inside the protected forest areas and increasing public awareness in the fringe localities of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the State are the reasons cited for positively impacting the mission to save the one-horned rhinos. Officials records suggest, only two rhinos were poached in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve since 1 January 2021 till date. The last incident took place probably in the last week of December 2021, as a decomposed carcass of a fully-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino was recovered inside the world-famous forest reserve next month. As the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was apparently hunted down, it could not be a natural death. Ironically, however, it was not confirmed when

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Lack of welfare schemes, BSF curbs force West Bengal farmers to migrate far away

Counteview Desk  In a representation to the National Human Rights Commission chairperson, a senior West Bengal based activist has complained that villagers living near the border with Bangladesh are forced to migrate to as far away as Mumbai and Kerala because of lack of government sensitivity towards their welfare in original villages. Giving specific instances, Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), said, if the Border Security Force (BSF) had not put any restriction on agricultural activities, and if villages had properly implemented welfare schemes, these people would never migrate to other States. Text: I want to attract your immediate attention to the inhumane condition of the migrated workers of Gobra village, Swarupnagar Block in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal to seek your urgent intervention to protect the rights of these people. Gobra is a village situated near the Indo-Bangladesh Border where the border fencing is about 500 meters i

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen