Two days ago, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sought to make a special mention of “poor, dalits, tribals, backwards, those who are landless.” The occasion was the the Land Acquisition Bill, which,
“we are bringing, as per that the industrial corridors which would be set up in the country, those backward people, the 300 million landless people would get employment opportunities,”
First, Mr Jaitley, what exactly is the mechanism your government proposes by which the “backwards” released from the land will be absorbed into industry? Is there a guarantee by the industry owners? Is there a provision for skill training in the same industrial corridors? Are there ITI institutes being set up? Forget these, is even primary or secondary education going to be expanded so that farmers’ children, at some point in the distant future can take advantage of the supposed industrial boom? Continue reading “Those Backward People” – Arun Jaitley and a Long Ugly History
Statement from National Alliance of People’s Movements
The Real Battle is between Farmers and Land Grabbing Corporates and BJP, not between Bharat and Pakistan!
Protest Against Land Ordinance, February 2015 Delhi
Image courtesy Joe Athialy
Forcible land acquisition has always been an issue of life and death for millions of people in India, not only farmers but also agricultural laborers and fish workers. With the Land Ordinance it has become a political hot potato. More than 350 people’s organizations gathered at Parliament Street on February 24th, with 25,000 people from Gujarat to Orissa to Assam, and from Himachal Pradesh to Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This show of strength has forced the political parties to take a stand on the issue, leading to heated debates and discussion on the floor of the Parliament. The Ordinance, now Bill, reflects the anti-farmer and anti-poor move of un-democratically amending the 2013 Act on Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation, killing its very spirit and purpose.
The Ordinance brought in by the NDA government just after the Winter session of the Parliament came to an end was an obvious imposition on the country’s common people, of the colonial legacy of a perverted vision of development through an unjust and undemocratic modus operandi. The Ordinance is an attempt to open up the land that is the life support, source of livelihood and shelter for India’s toiling masses, to wealthy investors, including big corporations and builders. Its intention is to forcibly divert India’s agricultural land at the cost of food security, giving a free hand with no ceiling to the private companies as well as private entities i.e. private trusts and expensive profit-making educational and health institutions. The intention is to benefit private interests in the name of public interest.
Continue reading The Land Ordinance (now Bill) is Bringing Back the Colonial Legacy: NAPM