Skip to main content

Gujarat govt rejects 60% of tribal land claims, disallows protest rally in Ahmedabad: Tribal rights activist

A Gujarat tribal village
By Our Representative
A well-entrenched Gujarat tribal rights group, Ekalavya Sangathan, has said that the state government has so far recognized just 40.42% of the tribal claims for land out of a total of 1.83 lakh applications okayed by tribal village councils for regularizing forest land. The rest of the 59.68% “stand rejected”.
Talking with newspersons in Ahmedabad a day ahead of a rally planned for regularizing the land rights of the tribals, Paulomee Mistry, executive secretary, Ekalavya, said, as many as seven Indian states have “performed better than Gujarat” in regularizing forest for tribal and other forest dwellers under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.
“The states where a higher percentage of tribal land rights have been recognized are Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura”, Mistry said, adding, “Now, in utter disregard of the FRA, 2016, the state government claims it has completed its job of scanning all the applicants, and it believes it does not need to do anything more.”
Mistry insisted, “While the tribals are clearly angry, in a clear signal that they are not being given the democratic space, they have not been given the permission for their proposed rally with Ekalavya support. The rally was to start at the district collector's office in Ahmedabad at 12 noon. As many as 4,000 tribals are expected to come from six districts. We will, however, hold a mass demonstration at Sardar Bagh, for which we have been given permission.”
Saying the massive rejections would force as many as 1,08,948 claimants to go into an appeal, Mistry said, “Even those who have been given land haven't yet become the legal owners. They have only received cultivation rights, and not land titles, which means that the land still belongs to the state forest or revenue department.”
Under the FRA, 2006, all the tribals and other forest dwellers who had been cultivating forest land as on December 13, 2005 would receive land ownership title. The land legally transferred to a tribal, according to the law, cannot be sold or transferred to anyone except by inheritance.
Contending that these are official figures, released by the Government of India on January 11, 2016, Mistry accused the state government of moving at an “extremely slow pace” in providing land titles. “Almost no one of the 73,921 forest dwellers. who have been given cultivation rights, have so far received the titles”, she said, adding, “Of these, 73,921 tribals,we estimate, 20 per cent are fake.”
Mistry said, “What is also appalling is that, the tribals do not know whom to appeal against the rejections, as the forest rights committees, whom they should be approaching, have still not been formed, such as in Sabarkantha district's Vadali and Idal talukas, Aravalli district's Meghraj, Malpur and Modasa talukas.”
She further said, “In Jhalod taluka of Dahod district, the state government has not even begun scanning the tribal land claims after then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's tall promises on December 31, 2003”, adding, “In Virpur and Balasinor talukas of Kheda district, forms for making forest land available have not even been distributed.”

Comments

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

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.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

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.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).