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

Political consensus? Celebrations, with over 5,000 plus post-vaccine deaths in India

By Rosamma Thomas*  As India fully vaccinated nearly 20% of its population and celebrated the “milestone” of administering one billion (100 crore) Covid-19 vaccine doses, it was time to remember those who died shortly after vaccination . By October 20, 2021 Twitter handle C400T, tracking deaths reported to have occurred after receiving the Covid-19 shot in India, updated the 5,134th death.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Is sacrilege charge against Punjab Dalits any different from Pak blasphemy cases?

Lakhbir Singh, his wife By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  There is no doubt that Sikhism actually was a revolt against the Brahmanical system and superstition. Guru Granth Saheb is perhaps the only Holy Book which contains matters from different religions as well as those of various Sufi saints, including Kabir, Ravidas, Baba Farid and others. The aim of Sikhism was to create an egalitarian society, and, definitely, Punjab that way is far better than many other States in India, where violence against Dalits is rampant.

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Uttarakhand, Kerala disaster due to policies favouring India's developmental mafia

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Two of India’s most beautiful regions where thousands of people go to watch and feel the wonders of nature are suffering because of the extremely disastrous rains and floods. The pain that the rains brought to Kerala and Uttarakhand is a warning to all of us. It's nature’s warning to us to mend our ways.

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.

Religious mobs replicate blasphemy laws, 'threatening' liberty in a free country

Nihangs, Lakhbir Singh By Ajit Singh*   A Dalit man, Lakhbir Singh, was mercilessly beaten up and lynched to death near farmers’ protest site in the State of Haryana allegedly by Nihang Sikhs. It was alleged that he committed blasphemy by desecrating the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib.

March opposes Sabarmati Ashram renovation: 'Mahatmaji had kept open for access to all'

Counterview Desk A Sevagram to Sabarmati march, which began on October 17 from Wardha (Maharashtra) and will end on October 24 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), has demanded that the Sabarmati Ashram, the government should not impose "the fashion and glitz of a shallow modernity" at the cost of Rs 1,200 crore, in the name of renovating the Ashram founded by Gandhiji.