Skip to main content

Madhya Pradesh Adivasis protest externment notice to Barwani tribal rights leader

By Harsing Jamre, Nasri Bai Ningwal, Prakash Bandod* 

Over 2,500 Adivasis mobilized in response to Barwani district administration’s recent move to issue a show cause notice to Valsingh Saste, a prominent Adivasi activist of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS), Madhya Pradesh. For two decades, Valsingh Saste as an activist of JADS has been continuously leading struggles for the constitutional and fundamental rights of Adivasis.
The move to hand show cause notice while accusing Valsingh of committing “heinous crimes” of organizing protests, rallies and demonstrations for their constitutional and fundamental rights has enraged Adivasis, who consider the notice an attempt to subdue the ongoing struggles of Adivasis for their constitutional rights. Protesting Adivasis unanimously responded to this attack by raising slogans of – "Valsingh kon che? Aamu che, aamu che!" (Who is Valsingh? All of us!) – making it clear that this was not an issue of mere harassment of an Adivasi activist, but an affront to the entire Adivasi community who has continuously leading constitutional struggles for their rights.
Adivasi women and men were stopped on their way to the District Collector’s Office as the gates of the office were shut to prevent protestors from entering the premises – Adivasis led their protest right at the gate of the office, barring all entry and exit from the office until the district administration formally ‘received’ the showcause notice being submitted to them – seeking a response from the administration as to why shouldn’t Adivasis of the district pass externment orders on the administration instead, for their crimes of the constant violation and denial of the fundamental rights of Adivasis?
Adivasis were enraged at the district administration: “You get paid for one job- to know laws that serve people and to ensure that the constitutional rights of Adivasis are not violated – and yet, it is us who has to constantly come to you, to protest, to agitate and to educate you, leaving behind our homes, our fields, our work – thousands of illiterate Adivasis have to travel all the way to come to you, teach you the law regarding NREGA, regarding ration (National Food Security Act or NFSA), regarding our education (Right to Education), regarding our health! While you receive salaries from our money, it is us who have to do your work for you! Instead of taking out externment notices against us, you should be paying us!”
Throughout the protest, Adivasis publicly testified to these ‘crimes’ of the government and administration. Adivasi farmers remain bereft of their right to sell crops at minimum support price (MSP) and are forced to sell their crops at low prices, which do not even cover their costs of production, pushing them into debt while traders derive a hefty profit.
Instead of guaranteeing the MSP for all 24 crops at 1.5 times the total cost of production, the government is attempting to do away with all possibilities of Adivasi farmers receiving remunerative prices for their crops. The lack of employment opportunities, the deliberate mismanagement and corruption in the implementation of NREGA has led to the forced displacement and migration of thousands of Adivasis to Gujarat and Maharashtra, where women and men suffer harassment, violence and exploitation at the hands of their employers. 
Citing the Madhya Pradesh government’s order to close down more than half schools across 89 Adivasi blocks in 20 districts, contrary to the provisions of ensuring a school every 1-3 kilometers as per the Right to Education Act, 2009.
Already the futures of Adivasi students have suffered tremendously due to the imposition of online education - further, the government is actively trying to privatize education and deny Adivasis, Dalits and other children of the working masses their right to education! 
Hospitals remain perpetually understaffed, while health centres and hospitals in Adivasi blocks, lack basic tools and machines for investigation and diagnoses – protestors demanded that the District Collector, SP come out and respond to the notice publicly, however only the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) and the sub divisional police officer (SDOP) appeared to receive the show cause notice addressed to the district administration.
As the show cause notice was read out to the officials, protestors demanded that the officials answer for each of the ‘crimes’ listed in the notice. For over an hour, uncomfortable officials were forced to face a barrage of questions on aforementioned issues, to which the SDM and SDOP were unable to provide concrete answers.
Adivasi organisations across Barwani – Adivasi Chhatra Sangathan, Jay Adivasi Yuva Shakti, Adivasi Ekta Parishad, Adivasi Vikas Parishad, Adivasi Mukti Sangathan, Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Mahasabha and OBC, SC, ST Ekta Manch all participated in the protest and warned the administration that such attempts to harass and subdue constitutional Adivasi struggles would not be tolerated and would be responded by the entire Adivasi community, across the State.
---
*Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, Madhya Pradesh

Comments

TRENDING

Importance of Bangladesh for India amidst 'growing might' of China in South Asia

By Samara Ashrat*  The basic key factor behind the geopolitical importance of Bangladesh is its geographical location. The country shares land borders with Myanmar and India. Due to its geographical position, Bangladesh is a natural link between South Asia and Southeast Asia.  The country is also a vital geopolitical ally to India, in that it has the potential to facilitate greater integration between Northeast India and Mainland India. Not only that, due to its open access to the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh has become significant to both China and the US.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

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.

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".

'BBC film shows only tip of iceberg': Sanjiv Bhatt's daughter speaks at top US press club

By Our Representative   The United States' premier journalists' organisation, the National Press Club (NPC), has come down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for recent "attacks on journalists in India." Speaking at the screening of an episode of the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question,” banned in India, in the club premises, NPC President Eileen O’Reilly said, “Since Modi came to power we have watched with frustration and disappointment as his regime has suppressed the rights of its citizens to a free and independent news media."

Chinese pressure? Left stateless, Rohingya crisis result of Myanmar citizenship law

By Dr Shakuntala Bhabani*  A 22-member team of Myanmar immigration officials visited Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar to verify more than 400 Rohingya refugees as part of a pilot repatriation project. Does it hold out any hope for the forcibly displaced people to return to their ancestral homes in the Rakhine state of Myanmar? Only time will tell.

China ties up with India, Bangladesh to repatriate Rohingyas; Myanmar unwilling

By Harunur Rasid*  We now have a new hope, thanks to news reports that were published in the Bangladeshi dailies recently. Myanmar has suddenly taken initiatives to repatriate Rohingyas. As part of this initiative, diplomats from eight countries posted in Yangon were flown to Rakhine last week. Among them were diplomats from Bangladesh, India and China.

40,000 Odisha adolescent girls ask CM: Why is scheme to fight malnutrition on paper?

By Our Representative  In unique a postcard campaign to combat malnutrition, aimed at providing dietary diversity, considered crucial during adolescence, especially among girls, signed by about 40,000 adolescent girls from over 10,000 villages, have reminded Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik that his government's Scheme for Adolescent Girls (SAG), which converged with Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman  ( POSHAN ) 2.0 in 2021, is not being implemented in the State.

Natural farming: Hamirpur leads the way to 'huge improvement' in nutrition, livelihood

By Bharat Dogra*  Santosh is a dedicated farmer who along with his wife Chunni Devi worked very hard in recent months to convert a small patch of unproductive land into a lush green, multi-layer vegetable garden. This has ensured year-round supply of organically grown vegetables to his family as well as fetched several thousand rupees in cash sales.

Over-stressed? As Naveen Patnaik turns frail, Odisha 'moves closer' to leadership crisis

By Sudhansu R Das  Not a single leader in Odisha is visible in the horizon who can replace Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He has ruled Odisha for nearly two and half decades. His father, Biju Patnaik, had built Odisha; he was a daring pilot who saved the life of Indonesia’s Prime Minister Sjahrir and President Sukarno when the Dutch army blocked their exit.