Skip to main content

Odisha tribals are not beneficiaries, they are forest rights holders: State govt told

By Our Representative
The Odisha state chapter of the Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), the national level forum of tribals and forest dwellers which struggled for the enactment of Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, has raised serious concern over the use of the word “beneficiary” instead of “forest rights holder” by the scheduled caste (SC)-scheduled (ST) development, minority and backward classes welfare department, Government of Odisha on its website.
Questioning the word “beneficiary”, used by SC-ST department while uploading village- and district-wise list of individual forest rights (IFR) title holders, CSD asserted, “We are seriously hurt with this attitude of government officials/SC-ST department, which has been the nodal department for the FRA implementation in the state since 2008.”
“FRA is not like other anti-poverty schemes and programmes, and by using the ward “beneficiary, government officials are not only disrespected the forest rights holders but also undermining the forest rights recognized under the FRA”, it said in a statement.
CSD said, it is of the view that FRA, 2006 is a historic enactment passed by the Indian Parliament and is the result of consistent struggles of the tribal and forest dweller from the British period. In the preamble of the Act, the government has admitted to have done injustice with the forest dwelling tribals and other forest dwellers in pre- and post-independence period and FRA said to have enacted to undo that historical injustice done over the period.
The preamble reads: “The forest rights on ancestral lands and their habitat were not adequately recognized in the consolidation of State forests during the colonial period as well as in independent India resulting in historical injustice to the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who are integral to the very survival and sustainability of the forest ecosystem”.
“We believe that by considering and mentioning the rights holder as ‘beneficiary’ the Government of Odisha is trying to repeat the injustice done with the forest dwellers and FRA which recognizes the pre-existing rights of the tribal and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs), and by recognizing these rights, Government of Odisha is not doing any charity”, CSD claimed.
CSD said, the Government of Odisha should know said that “while in the claim form-A for claiming IFR given in the Annexure-I, the word ‘claimant’ has been mentioned, and the ‘name(s) of holder(s) of forest rights’ has been mentioned in the IFR title format in annexure-II. Besides, Section 6 of the FRA recognizes the Gram Sabha as the authority of the village and village common resources including community Forest resources CFR.”
In a letter to the chief secretary, Government of Odisha, who is also the chairman of the FRA State level Monitoring Committee (SLMC), CSD said, it was a gross violation of FRA by the SC-ST Department and has requested him to immediately correct the mistake. “Otherwise we will be bound to take next course of action against it and will write to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission on Scheduled Tribes (NCST), the state High Courd etc.”, the letter warned.
CSD also drew the attention of the chief secretary to look into the comments/orders made by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India and the Odisha State Food Commission (OSFC) after review of FRA implementation in the state, urging his office to expedite community rights recognition process, review all rejected claims, including those of OTFDs, to demarcate whatever IFR titles which have been recognized under the Act till date and to do records of rights (RoR) correction in the state.
CSD further requested the chief secretary to upload village-wise details of IFR and community forest rights (CFR) titles in the SC-ST department website including number of claims filed and titles issued, the area recognized in all district, including Sundargrah and Kandhamal, which have been left out.

Comments

TRENDING

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".

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

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.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Despite crisis, Modi's Hindutva strategy 'increased' mass base in society and polity

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Narendra Modi and his RSS brethren can qualify as masters of fake claims. There is a long lists of lies spread by RSS, BJP and their IT cell workers. It is not a personality disorder or lying with fear. They are trained to defend Modi and his government’s decisions in whatever possible way. They defended demonetisation by arguing that it is “an important step” in his fight against black money and corruption.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.