By Asit Das, Sanhati.com
This write-up is dedicated to the memory of Ashis Mandloi, Rehmal Punia and Sobha of ‘Narmada Bacho Andolon’, Shri Dula Mandal of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samity, the martyrs of Kalinganagar, Kashipur and Nandigram, and numerous other struggles against forcible land grab……….
A bridge with no river
A tall façade with no building
A sprinkler on a plastic lawn
An escalator to no where
A highway to the places
The highway destroyed
An image of a TV
Of a TV showing another TV
There is yet another T.V
The blood bath in Nandigram, Kalinga Nagar reflects the Contradictions between India people and the predatory land grab by the National and International big business. The Indian state in service of its imperial masters and their agents in India has unleashed a ruthless war on its own people. Under the Neo-liberal regime the Indian state has resorted to brutal terror and repression on its own people especially Adivasis, Farmars, Dalits and other marginal communities by forcibly evicting them from their habitat. World imperialism led by U.S has forced all the subservient third world states to sell their land, forests, water, natural resources to the profit-hungry Multinational Corporations and their Junior Partners in third world Countries. If the local regimes refuse to fall into line military aggression is the order of the Day. Iraq was ruthlessly invaded and millions were massacred in the direct military assault and economic sanctions to control Iraq’s oil. Millions in Afghanistan have died as a result US aggression since 2001. Libya is being ruthlessly bombed by NATO forces for its oil resources. Taking cue from their imperial masters the Indian state and its provincial administrations have resorted to massacres, tortures and police trying to facilitate land grab by greedy corporation. The massacres in Kalinga Nagar and Nandigram to Police firing, murders of farmers and Adivasis in Bhatta Parsaul, Tappal, Kathikund, Kashipur, Karchhana (Allahabad) Sompeta offer a partial testimony to this ongoing plunder, not to mention custodial deaths, fake encounters in Kashmir, North East and Central India. Unprecedented in the history of state repression on its own people the Indian state has unleashed operation Green-hunt with hundreds of thousands of paramilitary forces, including killer brigades like Cobra, greyhound and special operation group backed by the India army. Operation Green-hunt is launched to grab land, forests, water, minis and other natural resources in resource-rich regions of Central and east India like Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh. The National and International Corporations are out of grab the iron ore and other mineral resources of Bastar, which the local Adivasis are resisting to save their homes, livelihoods and habitat. Salwa Judum has displaced more than two lakh Adivasis from 250 villages in Bastar to hand over the mines to the Corporates.
Millions of hectares of rich multi-crop land, forest land, coastal villages have been forcibly grabbed by the state for factories, mines, dams, infrastructure, special economic zones, resorts, malls, multiplexes, highways, sanctuaries, national parks etc. Hundreds of dams are being built in Uttarakhand, Assam and the entire Northeast which will inundate vast tracts of farm land and forest making millions destitute.
The entire Ganga will vanish from Uttarakhand by turning it into a tunnel to generate electricity for private Corporations. According to Shri K.B. Saxena, in the past 20 years after the neo-liberal agenda was imposed in India more than 108 lakh hectares of agricultural land has been converted from agriculture to non agricultural use. This is happening at a time of an acute agrarian crisis; the neo-liberal reforms have turned terms of trade totally against agriculture. More than 2.5 lakh farmers have committed suicide in the past 10 years both under NDA and UPA regimes. The years since the early 1990, have also been a period when, as a result of long years of neglect by the state, the agricultural sector has been in crisis, with the viability of crop production under challenge in an environment of lower subsidies and higher costs. Yet, for lack of alternative opportunities, land remains an important source of livelihood for the majority. For a few from outside agriculture, however, the diversion of land to new uses appears to be the route to substantial profits. This is partly because, during these years, governments, using the argument that they are strapped for funds, have presented the private sector as a far more important player than in the past in any strategy for development. The government’s role is therefore, seen as one of incentivizing and facilitating private sector led development Land is an unusual asset: while limited in its availability, it is available in perpetuity and can, even after accounting for geographical characteristics, serve multiple purposes. This makes it more fungible than many other physical assets. So, as countries develop and populations expand, the demand for lands of particular type is bound to multiply.
Not all competing demands can obviously be served. Hence, when first put to human use and at subsequent point in time choices have to be made as to whether a piece of land should be diverted from its natural state, be it forest or desert and as to the use to which it should be put at any particular point in time. The important feature of land is that even in its natural state its value is substantially different. Some lands cover reserves of natural resources that are extremely valuable. Some are covered by forests that can be preserved, worked or logged. And some, because of characteristics such as the nature of the terrain, soil properties, moisture conditions and climatic contexts, are inherently more productive as cropped land than others. Thus, the social or private benefits that can be derived from land within any geographical boundary varies considerably. In all contemporary societies land has become an asset whose ownership rights are assigned to states, particular communities or individuals.
The long history through which the ownership and user rights to land came to be vested with states, communities or individuals is replete with instances of occupation, forcible eviction and acquisition though the use of force. In the event, the claims of some are better defined than those of others. What matters is that, when well defined, such rights can be transferred, making land a tradable asset like any other. While limited in terms of physical availability, the value of land within a geographical boundary can be enhanced considerably by investment. Such investments can be directed not just at improving the physical productivity of land, but at building infrastructure, obtaining and exercising the right to mine resources, establishing factories or construction living spaces. The returns on such investment include not just cost and revenues that can be estimated reasonably, but also the uncertain extent of appreciation in the value of that land given the way markets are structured, the prevailing prices of land do not reflect adequately the gains that would accrue to the buyer because such appreciation. Thus, finding a price that shares fairly between the buyer and seller, the capitalized return from land over some reasonable period is difficult. Since the appreciation of land value that accompanies its first use is uncertain, the land market tends to attract investors who look to gain from appreciation and therefore look for land that is likely to appreciate or can be made to appreciate in value because of decisions taken by other agents.
The recent police firing and atrocities in Bhatta and Parsaul reflects the conflict between corrupt politicians, speculators, the builder’s mafia and under world. Noida and greater Noida authority had forcibly acquired land from the farmers for Rs. 700 per square meter and sold it the builders for Rs. 10,000 per square meter. The builders’ mafia then sell it to prospective flat buyers and make many times more money. In the seventies, the Noida authority has acquired land for as low as Rs. 11 per square meter. Hence the farmers in Noida, greater Noida feel cheated and they have revolted under the banner of Kisan Sangharsh Samity. Tens of thousands hectares of land has been acquired for the Yamuna express highway and handed over to the builders. The 9500 crore Express way will need 43, 000 hectres of land. As many as 1191 villages have been notified for the project. The high tech city is expected to affect nearly seven lakh people and 334 villages in six districts of Noida, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Mathura, Agra and Mahamayanagar. The average land holding in this area is two to four heelers. The Ganga expressway, a public-private partnership project with JP infratech, seeks to link greater Noida in western Uttar Pradesh and Ballia in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, a stretch of 1847 kms. To be built at an estimated cost of 40,000 crore, it requires more than 10,000 hectares of land and will displace more than 5000 villagers.
In the neo-liberal era which has resulted in crony capitalism, the compradors and the robber barons have used the subservient state to snatch millions of hectares, driving people to destitution. More than 60 million farmers, Adivasis, Dalits and marginal communities have been displaced in the past sixty years. A majority of them, without any dignified and secure livelihood, land up in urban slums to join the brutalized city underclass. It is necessary to say here that this forcible land grab is justified in the name of employment. But in reality what we are seeing in the neo-liberal world is jobless growth. Since the start of economic reforms two decades ago the general job situation has become much worse. Retrenchment of employees in the public utilities, computerization and privatization all contributed to job loss. The Indian state cut back sharply on development spending, especially in rural areas, and the results are there to see from successive national sample survey studies: a sharp rise in daily and weekly status unemployment for male and female workers, both rural and urban, and a rise in the numbers of the usual status openly unemployed. The net change in employment between 1993 and 2005 has been adverse. In such a situation of job alternatives, the rural producer with a bit of land will naturally cling to it and resist any attempt at dispossession. That bit of land is security against unemployment and destitution, even in the face of the neoliberal attack on agriculture, combined with exposure to global price volatility, causing an acute agrarian distress leading to forced proletarianisation.
The millions of dispossessed farmers, agricultural laborers and Adivasis whose lands and livelihoods have been forcibly snatched by the brute force of state power land up in urban slums as a huge army of reserved labour for super exploitation. In an anti-poor anti-labour economic regime they are forced to work in the informal sector and sweat shops for super profits.
This is the most horrifying aspect of this modern primitive accumulation or Accumulation though dispossession with brute state violence where direct producers are forced out of their means of production to work as cheap labour at very low insecure subsistence wages. This is the hard reality of the US-led neoliberal world where the Indian lackeys are too happy to lick the boots of their imperial masters.
In the neoliberal age, corporations are able to roam the world, with most obstacles to free trade and mobility of capital removed while labour, unable to move easily, is rooted in particular nations and localities due to immigration laws, language, custom and numerous other factors. What David Harvey has called “accumulation by dispossession” associated with mass global removal of peasants from the land by agribusiness and peasant migration to over crowded cities, has greatly increased the industrial reserve army of labour world wide. On top of this the fall of the soviet Bloc and the integration of china into the Capitalist World Economy increased the number of workers competing with each other world wide. All of this has led some corporate analysts to speak of the great doubling of the global capitalist work force.
This means that the global reserve army of labor has grown by leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades, making it easier to play increasingly desperate workers in different regions and nations off against each other (for details see David Harvey “The new Imperialism” . New York, oxford University Press 2003). Inequality in all its ugliness, is, if any thing, deeper and more entrenched today. Today the richest 2 percent of adult individuals own more than half of global wealth with the richest 1 percent accounting for 40 percent of total global assets. (James B. Davies, Sussanna Sand Strom, Anthony Shrroks and Edward N. Wolff. “The world distribution of house hold wealth in James B Davies edited”. “Personal wealth from a Global perspective” oxford University press 2008)
Explaining the present onslaught of capital in the name of Globalization John Bellamy foster, Robert W Mcchesney and T. Jamil Jonna, say “The supreme irony of the internationalization of monopoly capital is that this entire thrust towards monopolistic multinational corporate development has been aided and abetted at every turn by neoliberal ideology, rooted in the free market economics of Hayek and Friedman. The rhetoric invariably promotes human freedom, economic growth, and individual happiness or democracy in popular parlance on a global scale, with no outposts of “tyranny” remaining. There are, in the Hayekian view, two enemies of this rosy future, labour and the state (insofar as the latter serves the interest of labour and the general population).
This neoliberal campaign for the internationalization of monopoly capital is not merely an attack on the working class. Rather it must be understood, more broadly as an attack on the potential for political democracy, that is, on the capacity of the people to organize as an independent force to counteract the power of corporations. With no clear notion they are contradicting themselves, much less denying reality, neoliberals paint a picture of small “liberation” state that gets out of the way individuals, business, and free markets world wide. Yet to paraphrase the old calypso song this millionaires “libertarian” heaven is the poor person’s hell.
In fact, state spending across the planet has hardly shrunk, instead, states increasingly serve the needs of national and international monopoly capital, by aiding and abetting “the take” of their own giant corporations with political elites corrupted by pay offs, which come in innumerable forms. At the same time, these quasi-privatized state systems have become ever more preoccupied with incarcerating and oppressing their domestic populations (see John Bellamy foster, Robert W Mcchesney and R. Jamil Jonna “Internationalization of Monopoly Capital” Monthly review June 2011)
This predatory neoliberal regime in world and India has not only created a social crisis like displacement and destitution but also an severe ecological crisis which threatens the very existence of this planet.
“Notwithstanding the depth and horror of the social crisis, an even worse crisis is looming, threatening to knock down the basic pillars of the economic production and development process. This crisis has to with the ecological foundations of not only the economic production process but life itself. The logic of capital accumulation and the economic process of industrialization and modernization have pushed the system well beyond its ecological limits. Ecologists of various persuasions have raised their voices in unison about an impending ecological crisis evident in clear signs that the carrying capacity of the Earth’s ecosystem has been stressed well beyond its limits, with irreparable and irreversible damage to the systems that sustain human life and livelihoods.” (James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer in “ System in crisis- the dynamics of free market capitalism”. Aakar books New Delhi-2010)
2. RESISTANCE TO DISPLACEMENT:
However the heroic peasants and Adivasis of India have refused to be forcibly evicted by the Indian state who acts as an bloodthirsty agent for rapacious greed of the corporate sector. They have put up brave resistance against forcible displacement across the length and breadth of the country.
Peasants and Adivasis have valiantly fought the state terror and encroachment of their habitat in Kalinganagar, Nandigram, Gopalpur, Koel Karo, Raigad, Kathikund, POSCO, Niyamgiri, Aligarh and numerous places. Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh has became a theatre of war between people and the state. Farmers and Adivasis have put up a strong resistance against proposed nuclear power plants at Jaitapur (Maharashtra), Haripur (West Bengal), Fatehabad (Haryana), Mithivirdi (Gujarat) and Chutka (Madhya Pradesh).
The six year long anti-POSCO struggle of Dhinkia, Gadkujang and Nuagaon Panchayat of Jagatsinghpur district Odisha under the banner of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samity has become an inspiring symbol of resistance against forcible disposseion. It has become one of the advanced outposts of anti imperialist struggle in the third world challenging the might of a giant transnational corporation POSCO. Since 4th June this year thousands of men, women and children of Govindpur, Dhinkia and Patana have formed a human barricade, lying down on hot sand in the scorching heat preventing the police from entering their villages.
This ruthless accumulation through violent dispossession has been done by the state using the anti-people colonial Land acquisition act, 1894. which confers the power of “Eminent domain” to the state which shamelessly uses it for ruthless capital accumulation by the MNC’s and their lackeys, the Indian Corporate sector.
Various Mass movements and progressive organizations have been struggling relentlessly to scrap the act. Sangharsh a collective of different mass movements are holding a Dharana at Jantar Mantar From 3rd August 2011 to 5th August demanding the scrapping of the oppressive land acquisition act
2a. Displacement in India and the trajectory of destruction:
After the transfer of power in 1947, the Indian state chose a strategy of development which perpetuated dependence on imperialist capital and preserved the legacy of colonial rule. The state of the Indian economy was alarming at the end of the Second World War. A stagnant market, absence of infrastructure for industrial development, and absence of capital goods industries meant that the needs of the economy could not be left purely to the market forces. Thus began the era of Nehru’s planned economy. What followed were large PSUs, dams like Hirakud, heavy industries, roads and mines. Licenses, quotas and nationalization of banks benefited the domestic big industrialists who could avail the quotas and licenses because of their close association with the government. Dependence on foreign aid, loans and technical knowledge from countries like the US, Germany and the Soviet Union meant that India was not really independent. Feudal land relations in the countryside did not fundamentally change through these years. Token land reforms ensured that large landowners and dominant castes remained in power.
Conditions of the people remained miserable even after two decades of planned economy under the care of a welfare state; social and economic indicators of poverty, inequality, illiteracy and disease did not improve much. Development projects, heavy industries and the Green Revolution did not benefit the workers, peasants, labourers and the unemployed. These people, many of whom had to make way for this development, had hoped that the benefits would reach them too, sooner or later. Over the years, this hope gave way to despair and disillusionment. In 1980s, the big industrialists had taken advantage of the infamous license raj to grow further and consolidate their position in the economy. Now, they no longer needed the government controls. Instead, they required foreign collaboration and investment. This was needed both to venture into newer sectors of the global economy, as well as to enter those industries, which it could not have done earlier, because of its own limited capacity. This was also the period when the advanced capitalist world was trying to recover from recession. One of the ways out was to export capital goods and luxury consumption goods to underdeveloped countries like India. The interests of the imperialist Capital and the domestic big industrialists converged. The post-1990s saw conditions worsen for the majority of the people. The rhetoric of planned development and the veneer of a welfare state have been finally abandoned. Inequalities have widened and the poor have become more impoverished and marginalized. Disparities have increased between the beneficiaries and the victims of reforms and development.
The magnitude of displacement due to development projects has increased manifold. According to studies, as many as sixty million people have been displaced and affected due to various development projects in the country from 1947 to 2000. The beneficiaries of development and the victims of displacement have not changed over the years. What has increased, as has its intolerance and repression? (See “Abandoned: Development and Displacement”, Perspectives, New Delhi.)
It is the small and marginal farmers, landless, Dalits and Adivasis who bear the brunt of displacements. A Planning Commission study has shown that 73 percent of cultivable land in the country is owned by 23.6% of the population. An increasing number of farmers are being displaced through land acquisitions for SEZs, food processing, technology parks or real estates, accumulating land further in the hands of the elite and resourceful, with Chief Ministers acting as agents of the corporate. Farmers are forced to hand over their land. Food security and food self-sufficiency are no longer the country’s political priorities.
The World Bank has estimated that 400 million Indians would willingly or unwillingly move from rural to urban centres by 2015. Subsequent studies have shown that massive distress migration will result in the years to come. For instance, 70% of the population of Tamil Nadu, 65% of Punjab, and nearly 55% of the population of Uttar Pradesh, is expected to migrate to urban centres. These 400 million displaced agricultural refugees will constitute the new urban underclass. According to the Ministry of Steel, the Government of India’s target for the steel industry stands at 110 million metric tonnes by 2019-20, an achievable number if all the MoUs signed recently come through. Different state governments have signed more than 102 MoUs. This will add up to 103 million tonnes (mt) in steel capacity and investments of over 5,994 million dollars – of these more than 40 are in Orissa alone. Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are the other two states that lead in signing MoUs in the mining sector. Of the total investment committed, about 17.9 billion dollars form the FDI component coming from two large steel projects. The first by the South Korean steel giant Posco in Orissa, and the second from Mittal Steel in Jharkhand. What is really a matter of concern, is the negative fallout of the pro-market policies that will affect natural resources and livelihood of many dependent on these mineral rich areas, which are mostly forested, and dominated by Adivasis and other indigenous populations. However, this has not acted differently for a country that is globalizing its economy by exploiting its mineral wealth. These projects have invariably led to the marginalization and impoverishment of affected people, creating an alarming situation, particularly for those from the weaker sections. The manner in which these projects have been implemented has raised questions of equity, fairness, justice and equality before the law in the matter of distribution of benefits and the resultant destitution.
More than one lakh hectares of forestland (almost 11% of the total forest area diverted in the entire country since 1980) has been diverted for non-forest use in the three mineral rich states of Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
The neoliberal development process currently taking place in India has led to the destruction of basic livelihood sources of the majority of the people, predominantly Adivasis and Dalits. These resources include land, water and forests. Degradation of the environment is the direct outcome of the process of capitalist development. Forests in the ongoing development programmes are considered just for consumption or for mining. Consequently, in the scheme of economic growth, forest as a resource does not exist. The current development model does not consider the need to strengthen the relationship between natural capital and economic growth resulting in an acute livelihood crisis for the vast majority depending on these resources for survival. A target number of problems are emerging for the livelihood of poor people. Adivasis have faced displacement and extreme hardship since the early 1950s, when planned development was introduced with greater emphasis on infrastructure development such as dams, industries and power. Aggressive growth-centered development has adversely affected all sections of rural people nationwide. States with a high tribal concentration such as Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, face the worst scenario. The nature of consumption, access to goods and services, and cultural forms, have all been adversely impacted. There has been a rapid collapse of stable livelihood among the peasantry and a perceptible change is visible in the pattern of work that used to ensure minimal level of income. The traditional forms of protection based on family and community groups, are fast receding and institutions created over the years for public protection are fast becoming redundant.
There has been very significant increase in open unemployment rates; people are unable to find any kind of a job – be it part time, a subsidiary job, or even very small low-paying jobs. Another offshoot of this aggressive growth is unprecedented migration in search of livelihood, from rural to urban areas. The current development paradigm is aggressively reducing the ability of small-scale producers to survive, resulting in the collapse of rural employment generation. The aggressive growth model being pursued violates the fundamental legal obligations of the state, regarding non-transferability of tribal land, for the benefit of corporate sector. Projects belonging to the mining industry, power, information technology and other sectors, are causing total disruption of livelihood, cultures and the physical environment. Over the years, people have developed sustainable systems of utilizing and maintaining natural resources. Communities, rather than individuals and governments, have been central to such a system. Principles of conservation and moderation, rather than exploitation and profit, have driven these systems. Face market economics, rolled in the concept of individual profit rather than in community sustainability, does not just disrupt such a system but creates inequitable and exploitative relationships between people and nature.
The displaced people, deprived of their land and livelihood, normally do not get employed in other sectors of the economy. The growth of employment in the organized sector has been very low since 1991.
The marginal increase in organized sector employment from 1991 to 1997 was more or less completely reversed by 2003. The rate of growth of employment has fallen every year from 1997 to 2001 – even now the precipitous slide continues. In this scenario of declining opportunities, the displaced have little chance of getting employed, as most of them have not been trained for the required skills. Experience and statistics show that there has been a consistent decline in the number of people employed even in the mining and quarrying sector. This is in spite of an increase in the number of mines and their output. Although the number of mines rose from 2,480 in 1996 to 2,518 in 2001, the total employment declined from 7,16,183 to 5,99,301 over the same period. According to the Tenth Plan document, between the Ninth Plan and the Tenth Plan the incremental capital output ratio, which shows the increase in the mining and power sector, shot up from 5.44 to 7.99 indicating a massive leap in the mechanization and capital in pensive methods in the mining sector.
The fruits of the mining and industrial projects have no relation whatsoever with the needs of the people who have been living in these areas for generations. The output of the mines and the industries is meant either for generating private profits or for consumption.
Rehabilitation of the displaced people has been negligible. Despite talk of a more human rehabilitation policy, evidence till now has shown utter callousness and contempt for those displaced. Even in sheer numbers of people rehabilitated, the experience has been dismal. For example, twenty-five years after the massive Bhakra Nangal project was completed, only 730, of the 2,180 families displaced in the early 1950s from the Bilaspur and Una districts of Himachal Pradesh, have been resettled. Official indifference and callousness is also evident in the lack of data regarding the total number of people displaced by different development projects.
The story of other big dams is not very different. Hydroelectric and irrigation projects have been the largest source of displacement and destruction of habitat. Apart from the fact that people displaced on account of big dams are usually not the beneficiaries of the same. There is also a debate as to whether big dams are strictly required and whether small dams and watershed projects with much lower human costs can provide the same benefit.
Globally, conflicts created 20-22 million internally displaced persons. In India, internal displacement caused by development projects was over 21.3 million in 1990 and is probably 30 million today. [“India Disasters Report: Towards A Policy Initiative”, by S. Parasuraman and P.V. Unnikrishnan. Oxford University Press, New Delhi (2000)]
Displacement, as a result of development, has recently become a highly politicized and globally important issue. Big dams, mines, industrial establishments, wildlife sanctuaries and parks are not phenomena restricted to India. Nevertheless, there seems to prevail a certain disease of gigantism specific to this country, which is not likely to be questioned in the near future. As a consequence, a large number of people, among them a high number of tribals and Dalits, have to endure the trauma of being displaced from their natural habitat.
3. CHHATTISGARH, ORISSA AND JHARKHAND
Since Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand are the centres of conflict over natural recourses, major anti-displacement struggles are being waged here. I am giving an analysis of the problems of displacements in the three states. These states are also bearing the brunt of Operation Green Hunt. There has been massive state repression on the anti-displacement struggles in these states.
The state of Orissa occupies a unique place amongst the underdeveloped states of India because of its large concentration of tribal population. The most striking observation one can make about Orissa is that while it is rich in resources, the people are poor. Orissa, though a relatively backward state in economic development, possesses a vast amount of water, mineral and forest resources. It covers 2 percent of the land area of the nation, yet it has 10 percent of two surface runoff. The rich mineral resource of the region has led to the establishment of large-scale industrial and mining projects in this state. After independence particularly, a process of socio-economic development was initiated in the state in successive plans. Although development activities in Orissa began in the late 1940s, it gained real momentum in the early 1950s, with the introduction of planned development.
Notable projects in the 1950s were the Rourkela Steel Plant and Hirakud Multipurpose Dam.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS), and Balimela Hydroelectric Project in the 1960s.
Rengali, Upper Kolab, Upper Indravati Multipurpose Dam and Subarnarekha Major Irrigation Dam in the 1970s.
IB Thermal Power Project, Talcher Super Thermal Power Station and National Aluminium Company (Nalco) at two locations in the 1980s.
Along with these mega projects, open cast coal mining also started in the state in the 1960s resulting in large land acquisition – mainly agricultural lands for mining operations. These projects were executed in resource-rich regions, which have been traditional names of tribal and rural poor. Although these development projects have brought manifold benefits to the state, yet these have resulted in large-scale deforestation not only for raw material exploitation, but also for acquisition of vast areas of land under cultivation for the establishment of factories, reservoirs and needed residential complexes. The unintended consequence of such action has not only meant loss of habitat for the rural tribal poor, but also of their means of livelihood, which had been mainly agriculture, and utilization and sale of forest produce. The groups displaced have been mostly the weaker sections of the society, belonging SCs, STs and OBC. In the first decade of the post-independence era, development process under the five-year plans started in this state with the establishment of two giant projects in three different fields – agriculture, energy development and industrial development, namely Hirakud Dam Project and Rourkela Steel Plant.
According to Government of Orissa, the total number of families displaced from 1950 to 1993 is 81,176 families, but the actual numbers are quite high. Out of this, about 80% are displaced due to irrigation and hydropower projects.
Tribals are the worst affected population in Orissa due to various development projects. The rehabilitation and resettlement scenario of the project oustees indicated high backlog even in the official estimates.
Of the total oustees of Hirakud Dam numbering 22,144 families, only 4,744 families have been rehabilitated; of which 3,098 families are yet to receive full compensation.
The Rengali Project has displaced 10,897 families; of which only 2,986 have been either resettled in colonies or allotted land, and cash grant was given to 7,901 families.
Similarly, Rourkela Steel Plant has displaced 2,364 families; of which only 1,721 families were allotted house plots.
Nalco Damanjodi has displaced 610 families for mining and alumina plants, from which only 462 families are resettled in colonies.
The ground realities are totally different. Nobody knows the fate of the thousands of Adivasi families displaced from HAL, Naval Armament Depot, central cattle breeding farms at Sunabeda in Koraput district; and the Adivasi oustees of Macchkund Kolab and Indravati dams.
The above account of rehabilitation and resettlement in official estimates suggests a large-scale backlog. Significantly, some of the backlogs are from the earlier projects way back in the 1950s and it is extremely difficult to even trace out these families. It is recognized that displacement is the logical outcome of destructive development projects. The burden of displacement and the trauma associated with it is borne mainly by the underprivileged, such as tribal people and other vulnerable sections of the population, who have to make a highly disproportionate sacrifice for being the involuntary victims of displacement from their habitat, society and culture. There are equally traumatic situations, when deprivation and destitution are the results of development processes, which result in physical displacement of vulnerable communities. This trauma is accompanied with lowering of quality of life, exposure to new kinds of ailments and health risks for the displaced people in general, and greater drudgery and physical strain for women and children in particular. Moreover, even when the Government provides them with civic amenities in rehabilitation colonies, the displaced people encounter hostility from the host population and insensitive conduct of the project bureaucracy. Having been physically uprooted from their traditional moorings, they forge new links among themselves, although originally belonging to different villages, ethnic groups, etc. This process of developing community feelings among the diverse ethnic groups from several social ecological zones in the region, is both very slow and painful.
Ties established, nurtured and reinforced through decades and generations in respect of sharing the commons and other resource sharing, market access, social intercourse and cultural and ritual performance, a network of human, animal flora and the supernatural, all break down or are completely snapped. These cannot be easily repaired much less replaced. These relationships are sometimes remade, reshaped, or even restructured. It takes a long time and effort to forge new ties, new links and new networks. The other neglected dimension of displacement is its adverse impact on women. Their trauma is compounded by loss of habitat – for fuel, fodder and fruit, the collection of which inevitably requires much greater pauperization and they have to bear the vagaries of the labour market. Similarly, children are adversely affected since not only does schooling become less accessible, but also in most cases there is a disruption of the traditional socialization process. What is still worse is that in some cases the displaced people have had to go through more than one displacement and undergo the same traumatic experience more than once.
2b. The Tragedy of Multiple Displacements in Orissa
Due to displacement, the oustees undergo a tremendous psychological trauma and face an identity crisis. The tragedy intensifies manifold when the same group of people get displaced repeatedly. The case of the oustees of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Hirakud Dam Project in Orissa is illustrative of this human tragedy. Most of the oustees of HAL in Koraput district, who where displaced in the 1960s for the first time, faced the trauma of a second displacement in the 1980s due to the construction of the Upper Kolab Multipurpose Dam Project, and were again displaced for the third time because of the establishment of the Naval Armament Depot and agricultural farms. Similarly, the oustees of Hirakud Multipurpose Dam project, who were displaced in the mid 1950s and resettled in Brajarajnagar area of Jharsuguda district, faced displacement for the second time due to the construction of the IB Thermal Power Station in the late 1980s and some others because of the IB valley coal mining project in the 1980-90 project.
The following Table shows the amount of land and the number of village lost due to mega projects.
The Appendix contains a list of MOUs signed by the Government, as well as literacy rates in Orissa.
Like Orissa and Chhattisgarh, the Jharkhand State Government also went on a signing spree of MoUs after the economic reforms in the 1990s. The state is rich in mineral resources, and this is why successive Chief Ministers after the formation of the state are selling off the fertile land, forests and mines to profit-hungry corporations at a throwaway prices.
According to 2001 census, Adivasis constitute only 26.3% of the population. This explains the story of eviction and marginalization of the Adivasi population who bore the brunt of predatory industrialization and mining, resulting in the widespread eviction since decades when the first Tata Steel Company was established in the 1930s. This process continued with Damodar Valley Corporation, Heavy Engineering Corporation in Ranchi, numerous power projects and mines coming up in the state since the past six decades. In the globalization period, the state has signed 74 MoUs with different companies, which include mining and steel plants by ArcelorMittal, Bhushan Power & Steel, Jindal Steel, and thermal power plant and dam by ECSC.
The execution of these projects will result in displacement of thousands of persons – predominantly tribals, damage to the natural resources, flora and fauna, and diversion of rich agricultural land and forestland for non-agricultural purposes. As these tribal areas are designated as ‘scheduled areas’ under the Constitution, the Provisions of Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 [The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992, commonly known as PESA Act] is applicable; besides several special laws like Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act, 1908 and the Santhal Parganas Tenancy (Supplementary Provisions) Act, 1949 also apply. The prior consultation of Gram Sabha is necessary under the PESA Act for acquiring tribal land for any developmental project and for their resettlement and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, when it comes to the land grab by corporations, none of the above tribal acts are used. For the land to be acquired for the projects of ArcelorMittal/Bhushan Power & Steel/Jindal/Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC), etc., the revenue authorities go out of their way in illegally altering the documents of tribal land.
Despite massive investment, the human development indicators are abysmally low. According to Planning Commission data of 2004-05, 40.3% of the population is living under the poverty line and the figure is almost twice that of all-India figures. Health indices show that only 34.2% of the total child population in the age group of 12-23 months is fully immunized in 2004-05 in the state, which is far behind the national average. Another important set of indicators of development are related to education as it improves the quality of life by adding human capital. The overall literacy rate is 58% – only again, lower than the national average. Only 45% children above 10 years completed primary schooling in Jharkhand. Considering the availability of educational infrastructure, the number of pre-college institutions and schools per million people decreased from 817 in 2001-02 to 802 in 2005-06 which is not only unexpected from a democratic government, but also critical for a state, that severely lacked social infrastructure through the plan period.
The above evidence suggests that large-scale industrialization does not necessarily result in sustainable, inclusive development. There have not been any automatic links between industrial expansion and people welfare. The result actually depends on the linkages present in the economy – such linkages can be of different nature. Whether the industrialization process has been able to create sufficient jobs for the people is the most critical issue. The rapid industrialization in this area since 1980s, which is dependent on the availability of local minerals and electricity, has not created enough jobs in Jharkhand. The low labour intensity of the projects under private multinationals in the post-globalization era has worsened the situation even more. The second issue is whether the local people of Jharkhand can take advantage of whatever employment is created. Extremely poor education and health scenario answers the question in negation. The poorly educated people, particularly the tribals, stand excluded from the process of industrialization; still 62.48% of total population are non-workers, while another 13.59% are marginal workers in the state according to census 2001 data. Also, the net out-migration from rural areas of Jharkhand was 0.87 males and 1.47 females per 100 populations between 1991 and 2001. This figure explains the same fact that the rural people in the state rarely got any opportunity to work here. The higher women’s migration might hint at the existing feminization of casual workers all over the country in the post-globalization era. In the agricultural sector of Jharkhand, Planning Commission data reveals that 81.3% of total rural households have land in this state. The net irrigated area in Jharkhand, however, is lowest in India, only 9.3% of total agricultural area was irrigated in 2005-06. According to RBI figures, the farmer’s access to institutional credit is extremely low in this state. These two have collectively resulted in low yield per acre. However, one startling fact about Jharkhand is that in spite of low productivity in agriculture, a very small proportion of the total population is food insecure. 59 forced displacements is the logical outcome of the aggressive industrialization in Jharkhand. The large dams and factories have so far displaced a large population, a significant share of it being tribals. The total number of people displaced in Jharkhand from the year 1951 to 1995 is 15,03,017 out of which 6,20,372 are Adivasis and 2,12,892 are Dalits. The displaced people do not have any houses in most of the cases. These rural people, owning land and continuing subsistence agriculture within villages, are being ruined once their land is taken away. A large proportion of them are also migrating out to other states.
The neoliberal projects, as they are aggressively implemented, can be discerned if one makes an analysis of the project profiles of some of the projects coming up in the districts of Gumla, Khunti, East Singhbhum and Dumka in the state of Jharkhand. The material resources, which belong to the state, have to be utilized in such a manner that they empower the people and the ultimate goal of equality is achieved. This is what our constitution provides. The project profile of these companies will show not only the questionable modus-operandi of the industries in getting hold of the land and resources in these areas, but the same is also being done in collusion with the Government officials. The prominent projects, among others, which are coming up in the above-mentioned districts are as follows:
1. Mittal Projects – Gumla and Khunti districts
2. Bhushan Steel Project – East Singhbhum district
3. CESE Project – Dumka district
ArcelorMittal and Jharkhand government signed a MoU on 8.10.05 for setting up an integrated steel manufacturing operation. The project encompassing 10,000 hectares in Gumla and Khunti districts comprises of a steel mill of 12 million tonnes per annum capacity iron ore and coal mines – a captive power plant of 2,500 MW. The total investment is Rs. 47,000 crores.
The 10,000 hectares are spread out in four blocks covering 54 villages. ArcelorMittal has been unable to acquire land from the villagers and has been fraudulently getting them to sign agreements on bond paper pledging their land to the company. These ikrarnamas were conspicuously introduced in several villages by the company middlemen who coerced the villagers to sign them. On getting news of the same, people’s organizations and village samitis confronted the middlemen and the innocent villagers understood the evil intentions of the company behind the ikrarnama – it was rejected and the malicious campaign withdrawn by the company’s middlemen.
As per the MoU, the Government of Jharkhand will endeavour to provide the required land. It will endeavour to facilitate grant of all statutory clearances for withdrawal of water, power diversion of forestland, etc. ArcelorMittal will be given the first fill reserved for its requirement of 10 million cubic meters per hour water from North Karo or South Koel river, which will be taken in addition to the Latratu dam water. In the face of the severe protest from all the villages in the project area, the state government has recently, in March 2009, offered 1,000 acres of government owned land in 10 villages of Kamdara block at the cost of Rs. 1,548 crores. Interestingly, this land, which the government claims to own, is in collective ownership with the people, and also includes the village religious and cultural plots of land which the government cannot alienate as per the tenancy laws in a tribal area.
Bhushan Steel signed its MoU with the Jharkhand government on 23.7.05 for setting up an integrated steel plant of 3.1 million tonnes per year capacity. The total investment is of Rs. 7,000 crores and the project is spread over an area of 3,400 acres in Golmuri and Potka blocks of East Singhbhum district. The project includes a thermal power plant of 900 MWs. The company has already acquired about 100 acres directly from the farmers and will get 333 acres from the government.
Jindal Steel signed a MoU with the Jharkhand government on 5.7.05 for setting up an integrated steel plant of 5 million tonnes per year capacity with an investment of about Rs. 20,000 crores. The project will acquire 3,000 acres in three blocks of East Singhbhum district.
Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) of RPG Goenka group signed a MoU with the Jharkhand government on 15.9.05 to set up a 100 MW thermal power plant at an estimated investment of Rs. 4,000 crores. The project requires about 700 acres of land in Aamgachi and Pokhria villages of Kathikund block in Dumka district. CESC has been allotted captive coal mines at Mahuagarhi coal block which is about 12 kms from the proposed power plant site at Aamgachi by the Ministry of Coal in 2008. The project would require 3.33 million cubic meters of water per month to be made available from Brahmi River during five months of the monsoon season. For the rest of the year there is a proposed check dam with capacity to store about 25 million cubic meters, for which more land is required. Out of the proposed production of 1,000 MW, the company would provide 250 MW to Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) at a regulated price, while the remaining 730 MW would go to the national grid. The firing on 6th December 2008 in Kathikund was just before the 154th Foundation Day of Santhal Parganas, which came into existence on 22 December 1855 following the Santal Hul led by Sidho and Kanhu against the British.
Like Jharkhand, the state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of an existing state, Madhya Pradesh in November 2000.
While the people of Chhattisgarh are extremely poor, their land is extremely rich in minerals and forests. One again, the dependence of the people on agriculture and forests is very high. For the entire state 76.48% of the people depend on agriculture; in some of the districts the dependence on agriculture is as high as 90%. In Jashpur district, Adivasis form 32.40% of the population; 45.71% of land was under forests and 34.5% was net sown area in the year 2000-01. This shows heavy dependence of the people, particularly tribals, on forests. Per capita gross cropped area was merely 0.26 hectares and 20.6% of the cropped area is irrigated. For majority of the people, agriculture is not viable mainly because these are no investments in technology and irrigation. Less than 12% of the net cropped area is irrigated and has double crops. There are severe restrictions on the use of forests for livelihood purposes. Tribals and the local people thus have little possibility of actual development without improvement in agriculture. More than 45% of the population in Chhattisgarh is below poverty line and the state is suffering from acute poverty and malnutrition. Infant mortality rate is as high as 94 per 1,000. This is the third major state which is being targeted by multinationals and domestic big capital. The reason is not difficult to see.
The state has forests which can provide part time planthouse, rich mineral resources which can be exploited and poor, predominantly tribal people can be dispensed with. The ninth largest state of India accounts for 13% of total mineral production; 23% of the country’s iron deposits; 14% of dolomite deposits, and 6.6 percent of limestone deposits are located here.
In coal, Chhattisgarh ranks third after Jharkhand and Orissa, possessing around 18% of total deposits.
The state also has reserves of gold, bauxite, quartzite, corundum precious and semi-precious stones such as diamond.
The pride of the state’s mineral wealth is undoubtedly its reserves of iron ore. The deposits in Bailadila, which were discovered in 1955-56, are considered to be among the best quality in the world and have a huge market in Japan. Ore from the Bailadila mines is sold at a nominal price to private players.
A special railway line was laid to supply ore to the Japanese companies. Recently a Gujarat based company was given permission to set up a pipe-line to transport iron ore to Vishakhapatnam.
Most of the MoUs are being signed in the area of the erstwhile undivided Bastar District. It is slightly larger than Kerala and 62% of the district is covered by forests. Adivasis, who constitute 87% of the population, live in the rural areas and irrigation covers only 2% of the cropped area. Subsistence agriculture and collection of forest products like Mahua, tamarind, chironji seed and gum are important means of livelihood for the Adivasis.
The State Government of Chhattisgarh has announced a new industrial policy. The main objective is to derive maximum value from the resources. It is another matter that this value will be pocketed by imperialists, and their local agents. It is not surprising that Chhattisgarh has witnessed the highest number of proposals by investors. Only in six months between January and July 2006, the State Government signed MoUs involving investment of Rs. 51,842.22 crores. Out of this, Rs. 8,143 crores has been already invested. Land has been acquired for mega steel plants to be set up by Tata, Essar and IFFCO in Bastar and Sarguja districts. Other major parties are Texas ponbergen of U.S.A. These are also 10,0000 MWs power projects under construction. In this underdeveloped and backward state, the government is coming up with proposals like food parks, aluminium parks, gems and jewellery parks, etc.
To compete with other state governments, the Chhattisgarh government enacted the Chhattisgarh Investment Promotion Act in 2002 and set up a State Investment Promotion Board – a statuary single point of contacting and facilitating investors. To ensure the supplies of iron ore to the industries NMDC and CMDC have come together for a joint venture. Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation (CSIDC) signed a MoU with Balco in 2002 for investment of Rs. 6,000 crores for further expansion of Balco’s operation. CSIDC had promised to provide all the necessary assistance in providing land for the proposed projects in Korba district. This included additional land for the proposed projects in Korba district. This included additional land for ash disposal for the power plant – 6,000 acres of land was acquired for this project. CSIDC had also promised to ensure that clearances pertaining to environment would be given.
Amongst other incentives, the duty on consumption of electricity was to be waived for 15 years, entry tax for capital goods and raw materials was to be exempted, and stamp-duty fee was to be waived. This is the same Balco which was a profit-making PSU and was to be privatized. The then NDA government sold it off at abysmally low prices to Sterlite. And this was despite the fact that the workers of Balco had offered to run the factory themselves. In 2004, an investigation ordered by the Finance Minister of the state found that the company had illegally occupied 1,000 acres of land and had cut fifty thousand jobs. When the matter was raised in the State Assembly in 2005, the government expressed its incapability to do anything. Now Balco is to help the government in developing an aluminium park.
Tata Steel signed a MoU with the government for setting up a five million tonne Greenfield integrated steel plant in Bastar district in 2005. The project includes the development of captive iron ore mines in the Bailadila Reserve Forest area. The proposed investment is worth twelve thousand crore rupees and the company has to acquire 3,500 acres of land. Another 2,000 acres will be required for setting up the township. The land which will be acquired is spread over the villages of Bastar. The Shabri River will provide water for the project. In other words, people lose their land, their hills, their rivers, their natural resources, and their livelihood. All the profit which will be garnered by Tata; however there is a clause in the MoU which prohibits both the parties from disclosing the terms and conditions of the MoU. Although NMDC and CMDC, both public sector units, had also applied for prospecting lease in the same area, the state government has recommended Tata Steel’s application to the central government.
In the same year, Essar group had signed a MoU with the government for setting up a 3.2 million tonne Greenfield steel plant in Bastar. The proposed investment was more than Rs. 6,000 crores and the company was assured that it would get priority treatment from the state government for development of the captive iron ore mines to meet the iron ore requirements of the plant from the region itself. This is the district, which has a literacy rate of 43.9% and 1,473 primary schools for a population of more than thirteen lakhs. Without any effort to raise the living standards and purchasing power of the people, like all other mega projects, this will also spell doom for them. CSIDC and Jindal Steel and Power signed a MoU in November 2005 for developing a 750-acre industrial park at an estimated cost of Rs. 32 crores. The same company had been given environmental clearance for expansion.
The company disposes tonnes of waste every year which pollute underground water resources and enter the food chain through fertilizers and crops. The investigating team of MoEF conducted a survey on 17th July 2005 and completed it in just one day. The team met only company officials but chose not to meet any people from three villages which would be affected.
In Kanker district, plans had been made to open iron ore mines in Chargaon and Raoghat. The state government also sanctioned the construction of a railway line from Dalli Rajhara to Jagdalpur via Raoghat to fully exploit the mineral wealth. The contract for mining was given to Nikko. Mining hills would pollute the stream that flows into the rivers Paralkot and Mendhaki, destroying the livelihood of thousands of families who use these rivers for irrigation as well as for catching fish. The villages around Chargaon have fertile land, producing two crops annually, which would be destroyed. About sixteen villages would be directly affected, while many more would face acute shortages of drinking water. For the third time in the last ten years, the government is trying to start the project, but the resistance of the local people has not let it happen.
In Nagarnar where National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) had set up a steel plant, more than 40 villages were displaced. The government used violence against the protestors to acquire land. Gram Sabha resolutions that were unfavourable to the government were replaced by pro-plant resolutions in the records. In Lohandiguda (Bastar district) the local Adivasis are waging a stiff battle against a proposed steel plant.
I would conclude by giving a summary of the opinion of the jury members given in a public hearing on displacements and Operation Green Hunt held at Constitution Club, New Delhi, from 9-11 April 2010, under the auspices of Independent People’s Tribunal.
The jury heard the testimonies of a large number of witnesses over three days from the States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Orissa, as well as some expert witnesses on land acquisition, mining and human rights violations of Operation Green Hunt. The immediate observations of the Jury are as follows:
Tribal communities represent a substantial and important proportion of Indian population and heritage. Less than ten countries in the world have more people than we have tribals in India. Not only are they crucial components of the country’s human biodiversity, which is greater than in the rest of the world put together, but they are also an important source of social, political and economic wisdom that would be currently relevant and can give India an edge. In addition, they understand the language of Nature better than anyone else, and have been the most successful custodians of our environment, including forests. There is also a great deal to learn from them in areas as diverse as art, culture, resource management, waste management, medicine and metallurgy. They have also been far more humane and committed to universally accepted values than our urban society.
It is clear that the country has been witnessing gross violation of the rights of the poor, particularly tribal rights, which have reached unprecedented levels since the new economic policies of the 1990s. The 5th Schedule Rights of the Tribals, in particular the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act and the Forest Rights Act have been grossly violated. These violations have now gone to the extent where villages inhabited solely by tribal people have been declared to be non-tribal. The entire executive and judicial administration appear to have been totally apathetic to their plight.
The development model which has been adopted and which is sharply embodied in the new economic policies of liberalization, privatization and globalization, have led in recent years to a huge drive by the state to transfer resources, particularly land and forests which are critical for the livelihood and the survival of the tribal people, to corporations for exploitation of mineral resources, SEZs and other industries, most of which have been enormously destructive to the environment. These industries have critically polluted water bodies, land, trees, plants, and have had a devastating impact on the health and livelihoods of the people. The consultation with the Gram Sabhas required by the PESA Act has been rendered a farce, as has the process of Environment Impact Assessment of these industries. This has resulted in leaving the tribals in a state of acute malnutrition and hunger which has pushed them to the very brink of survival. It could well be the severest indictment of the State in the history of democracy anywhere, on account of the sheer number of people (tribals) affected and the diabolic nature of the atrocities committed on them by the State, especially the police, apart from the enormous and irreversible damage to their habitat. It is also a glaring example of corruption – financial, intellectual and moral – sponsored and/or abetted by the State, that characterizes today’s India, cutting across all party lines.
Peaceful resistance movements of tribal communities against their forced displacement and the corporate grab of their resources is being sought to be violently crushed by the use of police and security forces and State- and corporate-funded and armed militias. The state violence has been accentuated by Operation Green Hunt in which a huge number of paramilitary forces are being used against the tribals. The militarization of the State has reached a level where schools are occupied by security forces.
Even peaceful activists opposing these violent actions of the State against the tribals are being targeted by the State. This has led to a total alienation of the people from the State as well as their loss of faith in the government and the security forces. The Government – both at the Centre and in the States – must realize that its above-mentioned actions, combined with total apathy, could very well be sowing the seeds of a violent revolution demanding justice and rule of law that would engulf the entire country. We should not forget the French, Russian and American history, leave aside our own.
1. Stop Operation Green Hunt and start a dialogue with the local people.
2. Immediately stop all compulsory acquisition of agricultural or forest land and the forced displacement of the tribal people.
3. Declare the details of all MoUs, industrial and infrastructural projects proposed in these areas and freeze all MoUs and leases for non-agricultural use of such land.
4. Rehabilitate and reinstate the tribals forcibly displaced back to their land and forests.
5. Stop all environmentally destructive industries as well as those on land acquired without the consent of the Gram Sabhas in these areas.
6. Withdraw the paramilitary and police forces from schools and health centres, which must be empowered with adequate teachers and infrastructure.
7. Stop victimizing dissenters and those who question the actions of the State.
8. Replace the model of development which is exploitative, environmentally destructive, iniquitous and not suitable for the country by a completely different model which is participatory, gives importance to agriculture and the rural sector, and respects equity and the environment.
9. It must be ensured that all development, especially use of land and natural resources, is with the consent and participation of the tribal communities as guaranteed by the Constitution. Credible Citizen’s Commissions must be constituted to monitor and ensure this.
10. Constitute an Empowered Citizen’s Commission to investigate and recommend action against persons responsible for human rights violations of the tribal communities. This Commission must also be empowered to ensure that tribals actually receive the benefit of whatever government schemes exist for them.
Filed under: India Tagged: | adivasis, corporate land grab, dams, farmers, forced displacement, liberal regime, mass rally, mass removal of people, mass resistance, military aggression, mining, Nandigram, Operation Green Hunt, peasants, third world countries