Skip to main content

Jharkhand govt told to implement promise to cancel Adani plant, address rights abuses

Counterview Desk
The Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, network of people's organisations and activists, reminding the new state government of the promises it had made ahead of the budget session of the Jharkhand state assembly, has demanded withdrawal of all Pathalgadi cases, calling them human rights violations, set aside the “arbitrary” land acquisition law, and cancellation of the Adani power plant.
A statement, signed by well-known Belgium-born Indian economist Jean Dreze, Bharat Bhushan Choudhary, Elina Horo, Damodar Turi, Pallavi Pratibha and Vivek, said that the state government should come up with a law against mob lynching, address malnutrition and hunger resulting from aadhaar authentication, and pass a resolution in the state assembly against CAA-NCR-NPR.

Text:

Under the Raghubar Das-led BJP government, Jharkhand saw constant attacks on people’s rights and basic tenets of democracy - attempts to amend local tenancy laws, amendment in the Land Acquisition Act, setting up of land bank, starvation deaths, lynching, atrocities on Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims and women, state-sponsored communalism, attacks on the freedom of expression, subversion on traditional self-governance systems of Adivasis, to name a few.
The ruling parties, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) raised several of these issues in their election campaign. Their manifestos also included many people’s demands.
The people of Jharkhand clearly rejected the BJP and gave a decisive mandate to the coalition led by Hemant Soren, on local issues and demands. However, the government is yet to act on most of the issues flagged by the parties in their election campaigns and the promises made in their manifestos.
The budget session is set to begin from February 28. The Mahasabha wants to flag some pressing issues and demands of the state with the expectation and the government will discuss them in the assembly session and get into action.
Pathalgadi: The decision of the government to withdraw all Pathalgadi cases, right after taking office, was a welcome announcement. However, even after two months, it is yet to reflect on the ground. The fear and uncertainty amongst the Adivasis of Pathalgadi villages continue as the police and local administration are yet to act on the decision.
In addition to this, the government is silent on the massive human rights violations that took place in Pathalgadi villages and the setting up of police camps in schools, repeatedly flagged by Mahasabha.
Gram Sabha and natural resources: The silence of the government on two key demands that drove the Pathalgadi movement – implementation of fifth schedule provisions and The Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996” (PESA) – is also deafening. Both JMM and Congress promised full implementation of PESA in their manifestos.
The Adivasis clearly rejected amendments to land acquisition Act and land bank policy, brought by the earlier dispensation. We demand that the government immediately repeal both of these and adhere to their manifesto promise. Both their manifestos mentioned that the government would not allow forceful acquisition of land.
In addition, Congress promised cancellation of projects such as Adani powerplant project (Godda), Icha-Kharkayi dam (West Singhbhum) and Mandal dam (Palamu). But since coming to power, the government is silent on these issues. Thousands are languishing in jails as undertrials since years for opposing such projects or simply for being Adivasis and dalits. While both JMM and Congress manifestos mention this issue, the government is yet to act on it.
Mob lynching: While protection of natural resources and traditional governance system needs to be a top priority of the government, it also needs to check the rising communalism and mob violence in the state.
We hope the government will discuss and roll out a plan to prepare a law against mob lynching, as promised in the manifestos. The government should immediately implement the Supreme Court’s guidelines, to check lynching, in letter and spirit.
Hunger and undernutrition: One of the most pressing issues for the government should be to reduce the staggering hunger and undernutrition in the state. The government should prepare a five year comprehensive plan for this. It can start with making the Public Distribution System, social security pension schemes and maternity entitlements universal and gradual increase in the quantum of entitlements. 
The decision of the government to withdraw all Pathalgadi cases, right after taking office, was a welcome announcement. However, it is yet to reflect on the ground
Both Congress and JMM, in their campaign, repeatedly raised the issue of exclusion caused by Aadhaar-based biometric authentication (ABBA). Yet, they are silent on the need to remove ABBA from PDS and other welfare programmes. 
For reducing undernutrition, the government should immediately increase the number of eggs in mid-day meals and anganwadis. And it should act on its promise of increasing wage rate in NREGA and revive the programme from its current doldrums in the state.
CAA, NRC and NPR: The silence of the Jharkhand government on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) is extremely disappointing. The state looks all set to roll out NPR survey from April 1, 2020.
A government that claims to represent the poor and marginalised cannot remain oblivious to the danger of NPR and NRC for people of the state. We demand that the government stop all NPR-related activities in the state.
The government should also pass a resolution against CAA and NRC in the assembly. Mahasabha and other people’s organisations will organise a dharna at Raj Bhavan on 5 March to demand that the state government immediately rejects NPR.
There are some other issues too that need immediate attention. For example, repealing the current anti-Jharkhandi domicile policy and redefining it as per the original demand of people is definitely one of them.
We hope that the coalition will always remember that people voted for them in response to the anti-people decisions, communal policies and state repression of the earlier BJP government. The Mahasabha demands that the government shows firm commitment on all the issues discussed earlier and hope that the commitment reflects in the budget and the upcoming assembly session.

Comments

TRENDING

Ganga world's second most polluted river, Modi's Varanasi tops microplastics pollution

By Rajiv Shah  Will the new report by well-known elite NGO Toxics Link create a ripple in the powerful corridors of Delhi? Titled “Quantitative analysis of microplastics along River Ganga”, forwarded to Counterview, doesn’t just say that Ganga is the second most polluted river in the world, next only to Yangtze (China). It goes ahead to do a comparison of microplastics pollution in three cities shows Varanasi – the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – is more polluted compared to Kanpur and Haridwar.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

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.

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

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".

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Khorigaon demolition: People being 'brutally' evicted, cops 'restricting' food, water

By Ishita Chatterjee, Neelesh Kumar, Manju Menon, Vimal Bhai* On July 23, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that they have cleared 74 acres out of 150 acres. Despite the affidavit of the Municipal Corporation, the court, on the complaint of various litigants, that the arrangements for living, food etc. have not been made for the people.