Skip to main content

India's North-Eastern States opened up for "corporate loot", Assam being treated as chicken corridor: Land rights meet

By Our Representative
Arguing strongly against the Government of India allegedly curtailing the special category status to India's North-Eastern States, the country's well-known land rights apex body, Bhumi Adhikar Andolan (BAA), has said that this is being done in order to open the region for corporate "loot and plunder."
Well-known civil rights activist Akhil Gogoi of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, speaking at a BAA meet in Delhi, said that Assam as also other North Eastern States are already in the throes of deep economic crisis because the special category status of the region has been "removed" by the Government of India.
According to him, this has resulted in "stopping the flow of central fund, centre-sponsored schemes and also limiting the state’s taxation powers by imposing Goods and Services Tax (GST)."
Gogoi said, "In the light of these changes the picture that emerges is that the government has deliberately halted the infrastructural and developmental activities along with the funds for government schemes to cripple the economy of the region and create a state of emergency."
Instead of the special category status, the Government of India, he said, was imposing special industrial policy for the North-Eastern states. While the North East Industrial Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP), which accelerated industrial growth in the region with subsidies and incentives for small scale as well as big enterprises, has been suspended, it been replaced by the North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS).
Announced recently by Central cabinet, the new scheme, he told the meet, imposed budgetary curbs to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore for the interim period till 2020 for all the eight states of the North East, further escalating the economic crisis. Those who are suffering the most, according to him, are marginal farmers and landless people, forming 32 per cent and 28 per cent of the population, respectively.
According to him, "There is no intention to implement land reform in the region, or a policy framework to address the flood and erosion problem of the state", Gogoi said, adding, instead the government is coming up with diversionary tactics like the citizenship amendment bill, "which tries to disrupt the social and cultural fabric of Assam."
Joining in, Jitendra Chaudhary, joint secretary of All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), member of Parliament from Tripura, said that that Assam "was once one of the most economically prosperous regions of the Indian subcontinent, but after the partition it has been reduced to being the chicken corridor due to neglect and underdeveloped.*
"The North Eastern region could have been a buffer for the country, we could have contributed more for the development of the country but the government is dividing the people against caste lines and it has no intention to address the issue of livelihood that they face", he said.
Former MP and senior CPI(M) farmer leader Hannan Mollah stressed on the need to intensify struggle. He informed the meet that BAA has now 14 state chapters and has initiated the process of state committee formation. "Our focus is on the need to have extended reach and bring together issues of farmers from across the country and form a collective strength", he added.
The meet condemned what it called "state-sponsored atrocities" in Tripura after the BJP government came to power, and in order to saffronize the politics and society, is actively seeking to eliminate any opposition and dissenting voices in the state. The ground situation has been worsening with vigilantes backed by the ruling BJP government breaking into CPI(M) offices and vandalizing property.

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)".

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018). "In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

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”.

Modi's PRO, who served previous Congress, BJP CMs in Gujarat with "equal" competence

By Rajiv Shah
A public relations officer (PRO), even as maintaining anonymity, is supposed to “manage” reputation of his or her client, reflecting the client’s views in order to influence opinion and behaviour. A PRO is also known to use, the world over, media and communication to build, maintain, manage and plan publicity strategies and campaigns, even as dealing with enquiries from the public, particularly media, organising promotional events such as press conferences, open days, exhibitions, tours and visits. A PRO is also supposed to final touches to press statements for his or client.

Proposed expansion of Karnataka N-plant "ignores" worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima

Counterview Desk
EAS Sarma, former secretary, Government of India (GoI), in a letter addressed to secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, with copies to chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and chairman Karnataka Pollution Control Board, has said that radiation and environmental risks have been ignored in DAE’s proposal to set up Units 5 & 6 (2X700MWe) at Kaiga Nuclear Power Station in Karnataka.

80% school children are beaten up, 91% parents "approve" of it: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A recent report, prepared by researchers with the civil rights group, Agrasar, has revealed that of the 521 children from marginalized groups surveyed in Gurugram, Haryana, 80% said they are punished at school. Based on data collected from semi-urban communities in Gurugram, the report’s conclusions also take into account survey 100 parents, personal interviews with 26 children, three focus group discussions and one seasonal calendar exercise with 29 parents.

Forced child labour rampant in Uttar Pradesh sugarcane fields: Oxfam study

By Rajiv Shah
A 14-year-old boy and his older brother were hired by an agent from Bihar under the pretext of getting them a job in a shoe factory in Uttar Pradesh. The agent brought with him a dozen-odd to Uttar Pradesh under the pretext of offering work to them in a factory. Only upon arrival in Muzaffarnagar, the boys were told that they would be working in a sugarcane field.