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adivasis and numerous others have showed their steadfast opposition to the ordinance and demanded that it should be repealed without conditions.”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

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.