Skip to main content

Delhi people's organizations' meet protests proposed changes in India's forest and environmental laws

By Our Representative
A broad spectrum of civil society and people’s organizations under the Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan (BAA) has demanded from the Government of India to work for the implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 in its letter and spirit, even as ensuring that collective rights of tribal communities are upheld.
Simultaneously asking the government to “stay away from making any changes to the Act”, a BAA statement issued after a mass demonstration in Delhi insisted on the need to strengthen India’s environmental laws by withdrawing Environment Law (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
A BAA communiqué issued after the meeting said, “Over 500 people associated with different social movements, democratic struggles and trade unions from different states of the country gathered at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, on the historic day of enactment of FRA in 2006.”
Following the meeting, a delegation from BAA met Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram, who “assured” the protesters that he would “raise” these issues in Parliament.
Calling the FRA 2006 “a landmark in the history of indigenous people in this country whose rights have time and again been neglected by the state”, the BAA said, “The FRA was enacted to correct this historic injustice meted to our people and restore their rights over their forests, land and water.”
“The Act ensures individual tenure rights over cultivable land and more importantly collective ownership rights over all non-timber forest products (NTFP) and forest-based resources to the Gram Sabhas and those duly elected by the community members”, BAA added.
“However”, it alleged, the government has “neglected in effectively implementing the progressive Act meant to bring about a structural change in forest governance.”
Referring to the tenth ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Nairobi, Kenya (15-18 December). BAA said, “WTO has repeatedly pushed forward the agenda of the developed nations and has sidelined the real concerns of developing nations like India.”
Addressing the meet, Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan said that BAA has been formed to collectively “denounce the proposal of change of law in FRA.” She blamed the government for not implementing them even after the gram sabha passed a resolution for it.” She added, “Though the negotiations would have started in Nairobi, we hope the government does not proceed to sell off our lands there.”
Roma, General Secretary, All-India Union of Forest Working People, said the reason for the meeting is “to remind the government that the people will oppose the governmental move to sell of our lands to the corporates. The government thinks that we will be content with the declaration of FRA, but we will not end our struggle until it is properly implemented.”
Dr Sunilam of the Kisaan Sangharsh Samiti blamed the lack of political will in government for the non-implementation of FRA till date. Referring to the struggle in Chindwara, Madhya Pradeshagainst the Adani Group’s control over tribal land, he said, “The government assumes that they can stop us from democratic struggles by imposing 144.”
Ashok Chowdhary of the All-India Union of Forest Working People said, “Water, food and land are some of our main issues, and everything has to be addressed together.” He added, “Siding with corporates will only ruin our country.”

Comments

TRENDING

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Labelling a Jesuit a Marxist? It's like saying if you use a plane, you become American

Jesuits: Cedric Prakash, Stan Swamy By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* A thirteen- fourteen-year-old has many dreams! That's an impressionable age; at the cusp of finishing school. It is also a time when one tastes a different kind of freedom: to go for camps with boys of your own age (not with ones family). Such camps and outings were always enjoyed to the hilt. The ones, however, which still remain etched in my memory are the mission camps to the Jesuit missions in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

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".

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

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.

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Gujarat govt gender insensitive? Cyclone package for fisherfolk 'ignores' poor women

By Our Representative A memorandum submitted to the Gujarat government by various fisherfolk associations of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat under the leadership of Ahmedabad NGO Centre for Social Justice's senior activist Arvind Khuman, who is based in Amreli, has suggested that the relief package offered to the fishermen affected by the Tauktae cyclone is not only inadequate, it is also gender insensitive.