Skip to main content

How Andhra govt modified, abandoned Nizam's 'good' policy to rehabilitate displaced

Palla Trinadha Rao*
The present paradigm of viewing development is mainly infrastructure building which goes against the poor, more particularly tribals and dalits in the country. According to estimates based on studies of development-induced displacement 1947 to 2010, researchers have arrived at an estimate of more than 65 million people who have been displaced or project affected people, and lost their sustenance without being relocated.
Such people deprived of their livelihood in the name of national development belong mainly to the subaltern classes, around 40% of them tribal who are 8.6% of the country’s population and 20% are dalits.
The findings of earlier studies have been further reinforced by a recent study on the displacement and marginalisation in Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana (1951-2010) undertaken by a study team comprises of Walter Fernandes, Nafisa Goga D’Souza, Arundhuti Roy Chaudhury, Mohammed Asif, M Gopinath Reddy and the author of this article.
The study was anchored by the North Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC) and Laya, a tribal resource centre which shows that more than five million people were displaced or affected due to the projects undertaken by successive governments in AP and Telangana during the period 1951-2010. .
The study was done in two stages in the formerly undivided AP, 1951-1995 (first stage) in the late 1990s and 1996-2010 (second stage) in the present decade. The study of more than 80% of the projects during the first stage reveals that about 24. 21 lakh acres of land was taken over by the government and deprived the livelihood of the total displaced/project affected population 30.75,631.
Of the total 15,28,441 Displaced Population (DPs) and 15,38,844 are Project Affected Population (PAPs), while the status of the remaining 11,346 (0.37%) could not be identified. The study team could get information of only around 60% of the projects which used the land of 15.12 lakh acres and displaced/affected were 18,78,685.
Of them 829833 (44.17%) of them DPs and 931663 (49.59%) PAPs. The status of the remaining 1,17,189 (6.24%) could not be identified. That brings one to 49,44,290 DP-PAPs but one speaks of more than five millions because data could not be got for more than 30% of land as well as DP-PAPs.
However, only 28.82% of the DPs were resettled during the first stage (1951-1995) and no information could be got on rehabilitation during the second stage though a new policy on Rehabilitation & Resettlement (R&R) was promulgated in 2005. Much of the rehabilitation was during the massive dams and industries built in the 1950s.
Earlier, it was done under the good policy promulgated by the Nizam while building the Nizam Sagar dam in the 1920s. The Nizam decreed that no cash compensation was to be given to the peasants lest they drift, not being fully familiar with the monetary economy. Rehabilitation of its 13,489 displaced families was to be an integral part of the project. They were to be resettled in model villages in the command area with facilities like land, houses and drinking water provided according to an approved plan and with due regard to sanitation.
As displacement increased slowly, the policy came to be modified and eventually abandoned. One possible reason for weak rehabilitation may be the type of DP-PAPs. The tribes, who are a little over 6% of the population of AP-Telangana, are 21.25% of the DP-PAPs. Their caste-tribe is known during the first stage, and of these, scheduled castes (SCs) are 25.27%. But the caste-tribe of 11.51% could not be identified.
During the second stage (1996-2010) the caste tribe of 28.14% could not be identified. Of those whose caste-tribe is known, 15.42% are tribal and 13.6% are SC. The second stage is the age of globalisation during which much more land than during the first stage was acquired.
It is no surprise to know that the total acquired during the first stage of 45 years comes to 52,200 acres per year but during the 15 years of liberalisation it is an average of 100,800 acres per year. The biggest land users during both the stages are water resource projects.
During the second stage to them are to be added mining and transport. For example, during 45 years of the first stage only 1.29,016.46 acres used for mining could be identified. During the 15 years of the second stage it was 336862.25 acres, and it does not include the high amount of illegal mining. AP-Telangana has the biggest number of cases of illegal mining in the country.
The failure to rehabilitate DPs and the poor state of data on people may be indicative of the attitude towards development. It leaves one with the impression that the GDP, infrastructure development and economic growth are accorded priority and people are ignored.
One found in the data signs of people’s impoverishment, social and environmental degradation because of alienation of the livelihood of the poor for the benefit of another class. Similarly, one found many signs of environmental degradation caused by projects though no technical study was done on this component. That is where one needs to search for alternatives to people displacing and resource intensive projects.
One also needs to search for new forms of rehabilitation. Does India in general and AP and Telangana in particular search for people-oriented alternatives? Does one need to keep destroying the environment for the development of a few and then cry hoarse about climate change?
---
One of the authors of "Displacement & Marginalisation in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana (1951-2010)", released on August 29, 2019 by tribal leader Kaki Madhu in Vijayawada

Comments

TRENDING

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.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

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.

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".

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.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.