Skip to main content

Odisha tribal, Dalit rally asks gram sabhas to takeover community land, demands housing

By Our Representative
Hundreds of landless and homestead-less people from different gram panchayats, including Kharadi, Ampolba, Sukinda, Dudhjori, Lembo, Sansailo, Haripur, Hathibari and Kuchika, coming under of Sukinda tehsil, staged a protest rally and dharna on March 11 before the tehsil office of Jajpur district demanding land rights. The protest rally began at the Sukinda Cricket Stadium giving the slogan “Patta Nai to Vote Nai”.
Geetanjalii Mohanta, president, Odisha Manavika Adhikar Manch (OMAM), speaking on the occasion, said that landlessness among local tribals, Dalits and other people, was the main reason for their suffering. She added, people were being deprived of Indira Awas, caste certificate and other basic benefits under different anti-poverty programmes and schemes.
“While the government is handing over hundreds acres of land to private companies, local people living for generations in villages are being deprived of small patches of homestead land patta”, she asserted.
Narendra Mohanty of the Odisha Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan and Insaf, recalling the Kalingnagar “homicide” by the police and the Nagada episode of Jajpur district, alerted the community to be more conscious about false promises being made by different political parties in the upcoming general and assembly elections, and not to fall in the trap of money and liquor, being offered by them.
He said, people should keep high the prestige and dignity of common man while casting their votes. He called upon the people to be more organised in future and to continue their struggle for land rights.
Manohar Chauhan of the Campaign for Survival and Dignity(CSD) said, “After the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, was enacted, all gram sabhas (village councils) have become “gram sabha sarkars” and are the real owners of common property resources, and hence the community should understand what power FRA has given to them.
He said, “No community land (forest or revenue) belongs to the Odisha government or the Central government; it belongs to the people of gram sabhas, who are settled in villages, who have named these villages and have been conserving resources for generations.” He added, “Let gram sabhas do public settlement of land, recognize land rights of the landless and take resolutions, asking tehsilads and collectors to obey the law.”
Chauhan emphasized that if gram sabha is sarkar and has the right to govern forest land under FRA, it is equally empowered to decide on revenue land. He called upon protesters to stop saying that community land is “sarkari jamin”, insisting, gram sabhas should take over all community and forest land, using FRA. He demanded scrapping of the February 13 “anti-tribal and anti-forest dweller” order of the Supreme Court.
Pramodini Pradhan, convener, Odisha People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), addressing the protest rally, said, “It’s a matter of shame that we say we have a democratic socialist state but reality is that even after 72 years of Independence, common people are still struggling for a piece of land and to have a house of their own.”
She wondered, “When the BJD government in the state is asserting rights before the Central government, giving the slogan ‘Hak Mange Odisha’, and when the BJP government at the Centre is asking for ‘Jawab Manguchhi Odisha’, whom should the common citizens address their demands when their basic rights are denied?”
Organised by a local organization, Gaa Ru Andolan Abhijan, those who addressed the rally included its president Susanta Mallik, and senior activists Sushanta Mallik, Lambodar Mohanta, Munnu Bhai, Biswanath Patra, Jagabandhu Dez , Susanta Mahanta and Pintu Mallik.
Following the rally, over 1,000 claim forms for homestead land were submitted in the tehsil office and acknowledgment receipts were collected. The organisers have decided to have gram sabha meetings in the coming days to make communities aware of land and forest rights recognized under FRA.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.