The story of dispossession and criminalisation of the Adivasis of central India

The dispossessed Adivasi is hunted as a criminal; the looter-outsider has become ‘honourable citizen’

by Stan Swamy

August 03, 2010

1. The sad story of impoverishment of the Adivasi : A few examples will suffice. GladsonDungdung is a young human rights activist and writer. His family had 20 acres of fertile land in Simdega district, Jharkhand . It was forcibly acquired by the govt for the construction of a dam at a terribly low rate. The compensation for the 20 acres fertile land the family got was Rs. 11,000. Even by minimal standards, it should have been at least Rs. 20 Iakhs. This is just one example among many many such deprivations. Is this not deliberate impoverishment of a people ?

2. The Suvernrekha Project in Chandil, Jharkhand, displaced 120 villages and alienated 43,500 acres of land from the Adivasi, Moolvasi communities. A rehabilitation package was worked out 27 years ago. But it has not been implemented in about half of the villages. Yet people of these villages have lost every thing they had. To add insult to injury, the project management wants to close the radial gates of the dam which will inundate 44 villages awaiting rehabilitation Is this not a deliberate act of deprivation of a people?

3. Heavy Electricals Company (HEC) in Ranchi displaced 12,990 families and alienated 9,200 acres of land from Adivasi, Moolvasi communities. Of this, about 2000 acres of acquired land has been lying idle during half a century. This surplus land should as per law be returned to the original land owners.But the govt is giving it for real estate housing for the well-to-do. Is this not a deliberate violation of the legal rights of a people?

4. During the past five decades, about 17 lakh of Adivasis&Moolvasis have been displaced and about 24 lakh acres of their land has been alienated from them at minimal compensation. Of the displaced, only 25% have been resettled. The remaining 75% have been neatly forgotten. This whole process of dispossession took place without any rehabilitation policy in place. Is this not a deliberate dispossession of a people ? Continue reading