Skip to main content

'India is not for sale': Land rights movement plans nationwide agitation on August 9-10

By Our Representative
Following an online conference, India’s top land rights network, the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan (BAA) announced that on August 9-10, 2020 it would hold a nationwide day of protest across the country under the slogan ‘India Is Not For Sale’ in view of the changes introduced to dilute environment conservation efforts through the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification 2020.
The slogan ‘India Is Not For Sale’ was adopted adopted the conference, in which 150 representatives of people’s movement groups participated. The August 9-10 protest would also focus on fresh moves reportedly being made to decimate the processes of social impact assessment and consent for land acquisition amidst Covid-19 crisis. In the meanwhile, it was decided to reach out to the people who might be affected by he Government of India move.
The day of protest would be preceded by a nationwide campaign on July 23 at block and tehsil levels to agitate people for land reforms, demand royalties for the use of natural resources as their rightful due, support working classes’ opposition to changes being introduced by the government in labour laws, and pressure government to take adequate steps to solve the crisis faced by migrant workers on their lives and livelihoods.
A communique issued by BAA following the virtual meet said, “The 73rd amendment to the Constitution gives credibility to the assertions of peoples’ movement groups. Hence it is important that it is implemented in adivasi areas in its letter and spirit along with implementing the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996” (PESA) and Forest Rights Act (FRA)”, insisting on the need for “peoples’ movement to emerge as pressure groups for this purpose.”
Participated, among others, by Hannan Mollah (All India Kisan Sabha), Medha Patkar (National Alliance of People’s Movements), Ulka Mahajan (Sarvahara Jan Andolan), Dayamani Barla (Adivasi, Moolvaasi, Astitva Raksha Manch), Ashok Shrimali (Mines, Minerals and People), Ashok Chowdhury and Roma Malik (All India Union of Forest Working People), and others, speakers shared the challenges faced by working people expressing concern on the government’s “non-collaborative nature” in deciding what is good for the country.  
Amidst Covid-19 crisis, instead of focusing on public health or social security, the government is seeking to indiscriminately sale natural resources to corporate groups
The BAA note said, “In the name of rhetorical development, the Union government has made natural resources a commodity for exploitation.” Referring to Covid-19, it added, “Even in the times of a humanitarian crisis of this magnitude, there has not been focus on public health or social security but on the indiscriminate sale of natural resources to corporate groups.”
The note stated, “The conference focused on the plight of working caste-class groups who continue to suffer immensely due to the negligence of state and union governments”, adding, “It has been amply clear that this regime is against the interests of common people and does not care about them.”
“In the time of a pandemic, when people are unable to come together and express their opposition, the imposition of various amendments and ordinances in the management and control of natural resources points to their high-handedness in the matter”, the note insisted.
Held in four sessions, discussions ranged on the changes in labour laws, challenges faced by migrant workers on their lives and livelihoods, commercialization of coal mining, negative impacts on agriculture, changes introduced to dilute environment conservation efforts through the introduction of EIA notification 2020 and the virtual decimation of the processes of social impact assessment and taking consent for land acquisition.
It was pointed out at the conference that the increasing attacks on forest dwelling communities by forest departments and atrocities by police as a widely used method of state violence had emerged as a major cause for worry. Speakers focused on the fact that the Union government has used the pandemic as an excuse to impose “anti-people” laws, seeking to hand over public resources to private players rather than take efforts to improve the conditions of people.
The note said, “Opposition to the government policies has been criminalized, and it was realized that a united opposition must be built for democratic movements to take shape”, adding, “While the government won elections with the slogans that they would not let the resources of the country get out, it is working overtimes to do the opposite and sell out natural resources to national and international capitalist groups.”

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.