India–“Peals of Spring Thunder”: Oppressive System cannot control the struggle against oppression

The Naxalite Attacks at Sukma
by BINOY KAMPMARK, writing in CounterPunch

naxal_attackThey have been considered one of India’s most pressing threats, and the recent attack by the Naxalites that ambushed a convoy of the Congress Party went that much further.  The ambush took place over the weekend in Sukma on the Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh border. Reports suggest that there were as many as 200 Maoist rebels who inflicted heavy losses – 28 killed and 24 others wounded – before fleeing.

The attacks have shaken the establishment.  Among the dead were four state party leaders including Mahendra Karma of Chhattisgarh, and five police officers.  For BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, “This new aggressive strategy of the Naxalities is a real threat to the Constitution and the rule of law. It is a challenge to sovereignty” (Times of India, May 26).  Former police chief of Punjab state KPS Gill is pessimistic about the new surge – the government of the day did not “have the political will and bureaucratic and police set-up to prevent such attacks” (Dhaka Tribune, May 26).

How the Naxalites have been treated has varied.  In 1967, when the movement first made its presence felt in the West Bengal village of Naxalbari, the Home Minister Y. B. Chavan treated the matter as a case of “lawlessness” in action.  The mistake was classic but fatal.  During the 1970s, the state authorities moved in on the movement hoping to crush it with repressive enthusiasm.  As usual with such measures, the quotient of extra-judicial killings and corrupt practices accompanied the operations.  Legislation was passed to enable various state authorities to take measures – the attempt, for example, by the N.T. Rama Rao government to free up arms licensing in Andra Pradesh in 1983 for individuals to protect themselves against the Naxals. Continue reading

Where Ants Drove Out Elephants

The Story of People’s Resistance to Displacement in Jharkhand

January 6, 2012

By Stan Swamy, Sanhati

This article is an introduction to the trajectory of peoples’ movements against displacement in Jharkhand in the last few years. As the author writes, the resistance in Jharkhand has resulted in the fact that “[o]ut of the about one hundred MOUs signed by Jharkhand government with industrialists, hardly three or four companies have succeeded in acquiring some land, set up their industries and start partial production.” – Ed.

2010: A rally against Operation Green Hunt, in Ranchi, Jharkhand

Displacement is painful for anybody – to leave the place where one was born and brought up, the house that one built with one’s own labour. It is most painful when no alternate resettlement has been worked out and one has nowhere to go. And when it comes to the indigenous Adivasi People for whom their land is not just an economic commodity but a source of spiritual sustenance, it can be heart-rending.

A very conservative estimate indicates that during the last 50 years approximately 2 crore 13 lakh people have been displaced in the country owing to big projects such as mines, dams, industries, wild-life sanctuaries, field firing range etc. Of this, at least 40%, approximating 85 lakhs, are Indigenous Adivasi People. Of all the displaced, only one-fourth have been resettled. The remaining were given some cash compensation arbitrarily fixed by local administration and then neatly forgotten.

Independent studies done during the mid-1990s reveal that in Jharkhand about 15 lakh persons have been displaced and about 15 lakh acres of land alienated from mainly Adivasi people. Needless to say, during the last 15 years a lot more displacement of people and alienation of land have taken place. Strange but true, rehabilitation of the displaced was never taken seriously by any govt during all these six decades when the process of industrialization for ‘national development’ has been in vogue. In fact there was no rehabilitation policy at all!MOU-signing spree after the creation of Jharkhand

The real reason for the creation of Jharkhand as a separate state in November 2000 was not so much to respect and honour the long cherished wish and struggle of the indigenous people to govern themselves as per their culture & traditions, but in view of opening up the vast mineral resources to national & international mining companies whose pressure was increasingly brought to bear on the government. Quite understandably, one MOU after another was signed between the state government and various companies without any reference or consultation or consent of the mainly Adivasi people in whose land all this natural wealth is stored. Continue reading

Displacement: The Indian State’s War on its Own People

By Asit Das, Sanhati.com

A mass rally in Nandigram against forced displacement (file photo)

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……….

Development

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
On which
There is yet another T.V
……………………..

 

1. Introduction

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. Continue reading

Orissa, India: Odisha Police arrest 17 people for opposing land acquisition for Posco Project

OrissaDiary.com, Friday, June 03, 2011

Report by Orissa Diary correspondent; Jagatsinghpur: At least 17 persons including PS member, Female arrested for obstructing land acquisition for proposed Posco Project and they have been released from Kujanga Police Station. On the other hand 41 bittlevine farm has been demolished and compensation paid Rs 66 lakh .

As per the information the Police arrested PS member Basudev Behera, Jagu Behera,Fagu Behera, Rangadhar Behera, Sachikanta Mohapatra, Gyan Mohapatra, Sarat Mohapatra, Laxmi Mohapatra, Charu Mohapatra, Beena Mohapatra, Sabita Mohapatra, Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, Harihar Behera, nakula Behera, Manoranjan Mohapatra, Meera Behera etc 17 persons were arrested for obstructing land acquisition. Latter they have been released from Kujanga Police Station.

On the other hand POSCO Pratirodha Sangram Samiti in a statement alleges that on 3rd June 2011 (today), at around 9 am, the Odisha police and administration have brutally beaten villagers of Nuagoan who opposed the forceful acquision of their land to be handed over to the POSCO Company. Basu Behera, the Panchayat Samiti member of Gadkujang Panchayat and vice President of PPSS (POSCO Pratirodha Sangram Samiti) bled owing to the attack. The police destroyed their betel vines.

17 people including women and 6 children (5-12 years old) have been arrested. Police platoons, numbering about 20, are creating an atmosphere of fear to terrorise and force us to obey their dictates. Now the police is threatening, by using loud speakers, that if the villagers do not leave their betel vines voluntarily, then force will be used indiscriminately to destroy them. The administration incited pro-POSCO people to burn down the betel vines of Natha Samal, PPSS member from Nuagaon village.

India: Women’s social and economic conditions, struggles for land and women’s resistance

Armed with traditional weapons, adivasi (tribal) women march in Lalgarh, West Bengal

 

From International Campaign against the War on People in India  www.icawpi.org

Contemporary Anti-Displacement Struggles and Women’s Resistance

By Shoma Sen, Associate Professor, RTM Nagpur University

Women’s exclusion in the present model of development needs to be understood as inherent to a system that benefits from patriarchy. Seen as a reserve force of labour, women, excluded from economic activity are valued for their unrecognized role in social reproduction. The capitalist, patriarchal system that keeps the majority of women confined to domestic work and child rearing uses this as a way of keeping the wage rates low.

The limited participation of women in economic activity is also an extension of their traditional gender roles (nursing, teaching,or labour intensive jobs requiring patience and delicate skills) with wages based on gender discrimination. Largely part of the unorganized sector, deprived of the benefits of labour legislation, insecurity leads to sexual exploitation at the workplace. In the paradigm of globalization, these forms of exploitation, in export oriented industries, SEZs and service sector have greatly increased.

In spite of 63 years of so-called independence, women’s presence is negligible in political bodies and reservations for the same have been strongly resisted in a patriarchal political system. Though at the lower levels, reservations have made a limited entry possible, the success stories are more exceptions than the rule. Social institutions, thriving on feudal patriarchal notions are disapproving of women’s participation in production and laud her reproductive roles; violence against women at the familial and societal level is given social sanction and women are confined to a dependent life within the domestic space.

Therefore, women’s access to economic and political activity itself is a first step to their participation in decision making processes rather than the symbolic steps towards their “empowerment” that are seen in this system. Women’s resistance to this imperialist backed model of development, therefore, must be seen as their attempt to find space and voice in a system which has not only neglected their communities but even their gender within it. Continue reading

Delhi, India: Call for Week of National Action against Land Acquisition Act and Forced Displacement

Demonstration against proposed Tata Steel plant in the Kalinganagar industrial area. In 2006, Orissa police killed 12 adivasis protesting the beginning of construction of the Tata plant. Since then, they have stopped any further construction.

Sansad Gherao ! Delhi Chalo !

A Week of National Action (Sangharsh) Against Land Acquisition (Act) & Displacement For Right to Life & Livelihood

November 22 – 26, 2010, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Dear Friends/Comrades,

Many of you participated in the National Consultation on the proposed Land Acquisition (Amendment) and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill that was held on 23rd September 2010 at the Indian Social Institute in New Delhi. The consultation was attended by several peoples’ movements, mass organisations, Trade unions, advocacy groups and members from research and academic community.

The consultation was unanimous in its demand:

– for the repeal of the current colonial Land Acquisition Act and complete rejection of the proposed Land Acquisition (Amendment) and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bills in their current form

– to enact a comprehensive National Development, No Enforced Displacement and Rehabilitation Bill instead of two separate legislations

– for a moratorium on all acquisitions until the process for a new comprehensive legislation is complete

– that a white paper on all the Land acquired since independence and its current status and the situation of the displaced be presented before the people of India Continue reading

Rondonia, Brazil: Construction of big dams and transport corridors displace indigenous people and destroy environment

Cattle Ranching Areas in the Amazon Industrialize

By Mario Osava

PORTO VELHO, Brazil, Nov 18, 2010 (IPS) – The agricultural frontier state of Rondonia in Brazil is a byword for deforestation in the Amazon jungle, much of which has been cleared in the northwestern state for cash crops and a cattle herd that has grown to 12 million head.

But industrialisation is arriving by the hand of the construction of two big hydropower dams and transport corridors — including roads, railways and waterways — that will provide an overland link connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The Indústria Metalúrgica e Mecânica da Amazônia factory, a joint venture between French engineering company Alstom and Bardella, a Brazilian capital goods company, marks that transition.

The plant, inaugurated in March in Porto Velho, the capital of Rondonia, will produce equipment for hydropower projects on Amazon jungle rivers in the state and the rest of Brazil, as well as neighbouring Bolivia and Peru, despite protests by environmentalists, indigenous groups and riverbank communities. Continue reading