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

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

'These people shouldn't be in jail': UN official seeks release of 16 human rights defenders

By Our Representative A United Nations human rights official has called upon the Government of India (GoI) to “immediately release" 16 human rights defenders who have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism in the Bhima-Koregaon Case, insisting, “These people should not be in jail. They are our modern-day heroes and we should all be looking to them and supporting them and demanding their release.”  

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.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Evolution of Sardar Patel's understanding of those 'involved' in Gandhi's assassination

By Shamsul Islam*  As the world mourns the 73rd anniversary of MK Gandhi's assassination by Hindutva terrorists on January 30, 1948, RSS, the most prominent flag-bearer of Hindutva politics, whose cadres rule India today, is found reacting angrily to the reality – that the criminals who assassinated Gandhiji were not only part of the ideological world-view of Hindu Mahasabha (led by VD Savarkar) and RSS brand of Hindu nationalism but were also connected with these. 

No Election Commission safeguard against electromagnetic hacking of EVM: Study

Counterview Desk  Releasing a new study simultaneously in Chennai and Kolkata in view of the forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Citizens’ Commission on Elections (CCE) – a civil society initiative – has regretted “lack of integrity of EVM voting”, pointing out, the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not appear to safeguard against the possibilities of ‘side-channel attacks’, i.e, hacking electronic devices through electromagnetic and other methods.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

Top academic claims he warned farmer leaders of Hindutva plot on Jan 26 morning

By Shamsul Islam* The photographs here show a Hindutva protagonist, Deep Sidhu, with his real masters. He is said to be the culprit who tried to derail the historic farmers' struggle by putting up a religious flag at Red Fort on January 26, with no Delhi police which works under the Indian home minister Amit Shah, a senior RSS cadre who is often described 'Iron Man' by Hindutva camp-followers.