Skip to main content

CAMPA: Government of India’s pro-corporate step at the cost of the common people, especially tribals

By Sadhan Mukherjee*
With the passing of the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Management and Planning Authority) bill in the Rajya Sabha on July 28, the BJP government seems to have done away with the basic rights of the tribal people to forest produce who live near and in the forests.
This is one more pro-corporate step of the government at the cost of common people, especially many tribal groups who are socially and economically deprived.
A last minute bid by tribal groups who sent a petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to stop the passing of the bill has failed. It spelt out: “We the Scheduled Tribes/Indigenous Peoples /Adibasis of India feel, it is anti-Adibasi and anti-Constitutional and we oppose the Parliamentarians move in diluting the rights of Gram Sabha in FRA 2006 in a very cunning manner,” the petition said.
It further added that such proposals are violating not just the domestic laws but also India’s international commitments.
There are several issues. Where will the land come for afforestation when “development” takes away large tracts of forest land? It will not be possible to provide contiguous areas. Already in Orissa, huge tracts of forest land are being used for Teak wood plantations replacing the traditional produce of millets, tuber, fruits etc., which indigenous tribal people were engaged in. Besides, they also had access to kendu, honey, medicines and many herbs from the forests besides fuel wood. On top of all that, they worshipped the forest gods and that will now be restricted.
In many parts of Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, forest lands are being used to set up factories and for mining industries. Jhinkpani in Jharkhand, Barbil in Orissa, Gua, Chiria, Kiriburu and Noamundi in Bihar and several such places are notorious for spreading pollution.
The Saranda forest zone is severely affected. Already nearly 50 per cent of forest cover is under mining lease. Industrial activities without adequate nature protection measures in these areas have already inflicted considerable damage on environment.
This situation is prevalent practically all over the country, not only in mining and factory-based industrial areas.
One really wonders why even non-NDA parties also allowed the bill to be passed when they profess so vociferously about the uplift of poor and the deprived.
FRA or the Forest Rights Act ensures the rights of these people to forest produce that sustains their livelihood. These rights were ensured by the FRA and overseen by gram sabhas which will have no role anymore and the whole thing including funds and the process of afforestation will be handled by the bureaucrats.
Not only that. Those forest lands vested in gram sabhas will now be out of their control. They will also not get any compensation for these lands. In a country where bureaucrat-capitalist nexus is well entrenched, one wonders how will bureaucrats ensure justice to the tribals.
---
*Veteran journalist

Comments

TRENDING

US research: 40% of India's casteist Facebook posts are anti-reservation, anti-Dalit

By Rajiv Shah
A recent American civil society research has found that 40% of India's casteist posts on Facebook (FB) have anti-reservation slant. Asserting that the reservation policy in India is similar to affirmative action in the United States, the research study, titled "Facebook India: Towards The Tipping Point of Violence Caste and Religious Hate Speech", says, this type of hate content on FB is mainly directed against Dalits and Adivasis.

Sanjiv Bhatt paying price for deposing on Modi role in Gujarat riots: Wife Shweta

Counterview Desk
Following the Jamnagar sessions court ordering life imprisonment to former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for his alleged involvement in three decades old custodial death case, his wife Shweta Bhatt has said that he has been sentenced for a “for a crime he did not commit”, even as criticizing the Indian Police Service (IPS) Association, Gujarat, for not standing up for him.

Senior advocates targeted because they took up cases against Amit Shah: Lawyers' NGO

Counterview Desk
The Lawyers Collective (LC), an NGO claiming to promote human rights issues, has expressed surprise at the latest move by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR against the Lawyers Collective (LC), its president Anand Grover and unknown office bearers for alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

How Gujarat govt imposed curbs on livestock export for 'fear' of losing BJP vote share

By RK Misra*
Insidious are the ways authorities function, preaching one thing, practicing quite another. Administrative muscle-flexing to suit political goals was on display when the BJP-led Vijay Rupani government in Gujarat banned the export of livestock days ahead of Eid. Even the Narendra Modi-led government expressed its intent to confirm it countrywide, but stopped short of doing so.

One of the least peaceful countries, India's global peace ranking deteriorates: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report has asserted that India's ranking in the Global Peace Index (GPI) is 141st among 163 countries, deteriorating by four ranks in a year. Ranking 163 countries by providing a score to each, the report, prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), headquartered in Sydney, Australia, has found India to be one of the least peaceful nations in the region.

Demand for Bharat Ratna to Dalai Lama as top RSS leader warns China of 'strong' action

Nava Thakuria*
Dharamshala: Indian supporters for a free Tibet have urged the Government of India to confer Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, on the Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, for his “immense contributions” in creating goodwill for India in the last six decades. A declaration, adopted at the 6th All-India Tibet Support Groups’ Conference held on June 15 and 16 in Dharamshala township of Himachal Pradesh, said that the Nobel laureate continues to be a holy ambassador of Indian culture enriched with non-violence, compassion and religious harmony.

Sabarmati 'cleaned up' swimming pool style: Untreated effluents discharged in river

Counterview Desk
In a fresh letter to the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, senior Gujarat environmentalists Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) have taken strong objection to the recent clean-up drive of the about 11.3 km stretch of Sabarmati riverbed undertaken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), terming it as “swimming pool type clean-up.” The river’s total length is 371 km.

Jharkhand mob lynching: Adivasis protest police 'inaction', FIR against victims

Counterview Desk
The Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JJM), a civil rights network, on Monday sponsored a protest against the police action against the Adivasi victims of the lynching which took on April 10, 2019, in Jurmu village of Dumri block in Gumla district of Jharkhand. The incident led the death of Prakash Lakda, aged 50.

Gujarat govt 'considers' temples, charitable institutions as shops and establishment

By Pankti Jog*
The Gujarat state assembly recently passed a new law which would "govern" the working condition of shops and establishments. One of the most talked about provisions of the Act is, it allow shops and establishments across Gujarat to function 24 hours.

There is no 'separate' Kashmir story, as there is for Afghanistan, Nepal, Tibet, Palestine

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of South Asia. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The name Kashmir derives from the Sanskrit Kashyapmeru. The Greeks knew it as Kaspeiria. Herodotus called it Kaspatyros.