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

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".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

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.

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.

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.”