Skip to main content

Withdraw "regressive" Land Acquisition Bill, 2015, during current session of Parliament: Bhumi Adhikar Andolan

By Our Representative
A massive rally, organized under the banner of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan (BAA) at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, has demanded that the NDA government should withdraw the “regressive” Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015, and begin implementing the “progressive” Land Acquisition Act (LAA), 2013.
The rally was addressed by senior civil society and political activists attached with mass organizations, including Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, Prafulla Samantra of theNational Alliance of Peoples' Movements, Hannan Mollah of the All India Kisan Sabha, Ashok Chowdhury of the All India Union of Forest Working People, and Yogendra Yadav of the Swaraj Samvad, among others.
Those attending the rally included people in different struggles such as tea plantations in West Bengal, the affected people of lower Suktel dam in Orissa, those affected by the Adani project in Chindwara, the power plants in Katni, and displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada in Gujarat.
The speakers stressed that the NDA government issued the land ordinance thrice, but each time it had to retreat. “We consider this to be a victory that amendment bill will be withdrawn during this budget session”, a BAA statement issued after the rally said.
The issues raised by representatives of different organizations included making attempts at diluting progressive laws like the Forest Rights Act 2006, increasing farmer suicides in different states, and “shocking” attacks in Chhattisgarh on adivasis and the increasing attack on educational spaces. 
It was pointed out that, today, there exists a nexus between the communal powers that preach hate politics and corporates that plunder our resources. They want to break the solidarity of people, who have taken a stand against on what is happening in India today.
The speakers pointed towards how whistleblowers, human rights defenders, journalists and activists across the country are targeted, beaten up and portrayed as ‘anti-national’ elements while defaulting corporations are given tax exemptions to the tunes of thousands of crores.
At the same time, it was noted, there have been efforts to paint environment laws and ‘hurdle to development’ by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, which suggests that the Government of India is indifferent towards the voices of the people.
In all, an estimated 5,000 people from different social movements, workers’ unions, fish workers, forest workers, and farmer organizations from across 15 different states of the country participated in the rally.
Asking the Government of India to stop states in their attempts to dilute the LLA, 2013, the rally demanded that the Government of India should take steps to stop forced land acquisitions in the name of land pooling and other means by various state governments.
Also asking the Government of India to stop tampering with the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and ensure its “effective and timely implementation”, the BAA demanded that there should be “effective” ways to tackle the agrarian crisis immediately to ensure remunerative support prices for farmers’ produce and compensate crop loss.
The BAA also demanded the Government of India should “stop attempting changes in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), rollback cuts in budget allocation and ensure 300 days work, even as providing Rs 300 wages daily.
Also asking the Government of India to stop implementing the TS Subramanian Committee’s “regressive” recommendations and changes to environmental laws, BAA also demanded there should be dilution of the labour laws relaxations.

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

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.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”