Article by Arun Kumar

Friends,

Here is a piece of mine in the Hindu today. It is on higher education in the country set in the backdrop of JNU’s acceptance of the UGC 2010 regulations which will result in a permanent damage to the University.

In case you have not seen it and are interested in the topic, please take a look at it.

If you are not interested in the topic, please ignore the mail and I am sorry for intruding on your time.

With best wishes.

Arun Kumar

18, Dakshinapuram
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi 110067, India.
Tele Nos (R) 91-11- 26741587, 26742029
(O) 91-11-26704452, 26704421
(Fax) 91-11-26717586, 26197603
Other e-mail ID arunkumar1000@hotmail.com, arunkumar@mail.jnu.ac.in

 

1 Standards not standardization Hindu

ACTION ALERT!

 ACTION ALERT!

Dear Freinds,
This is to inform you all that the police in Chandrapur has illegally arrested Sarang Davekar, a member of the national committee and steeting committee of NFFPFW from Maharashtra last night. He has been actively involved in opposing displacement of forest dwellers from Tadoba National Park in Chandrapur district for past many years. Early information from the field suggests that the Forest Department had been coercing people to take Rs.10 lakh as compensation and leave the forest to which people had been opposing. Of late, the forest department officials were coming to the village in the night and threatening people in many ways. Sarang Davekar alongwith people in the area were protesting this coercion and threats by the forest department. The Forest Department in turn got the police to take action and the police went to the area and arrested Sarang. There is no information where he has been taken and what are the charges put against him.
This is to call upon you all to call up the District Collector and the SP of Chandrapur district and demand his immediate release.
The contact details of the officials are as follows:
1- District Collector- Vijay Waghmare
07172- 255300/ 255200
2- Superintendent of Police – Suvej Huq
07172- 255100/ 255202
We will send you further details as soon as we receive more details fromthe field.
In solidarity,
Manohar Kothekar & Alistar Bodra
Conveners
“Protect Livelihoods – Protect Resources”
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW)
Secretariat:
A-B / 1, Abhilasha Apartment, 11, Purulia Road
Ranchi, Jharkhand – 834001, India
Phone – 91 – 651 – 2532067

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Direct Action at Coca Cola Factory in Plachimada by Activits

NAPM Hails Direct Action at Coca Cola Factory in Plachimada by Activists Demands Immediate Action from State Government and Central Government in Passing the Pending Tribunal Bill

New Delhi, December 17 : About twenty two members of Plachimada Coca-Cola Virudha Samara Samithi and Plachimada solidarity forum including Vilayodi Venugopal, Sri N. P. Johnson, N Subramanyan, Fr. Augustine, M N Giri, Sahadevan and ors, walked in to the premises of the Coca Cola Factory and courted arrest. When produced the Magistrate ordered their release on furnishing personal bond but activists refused to take bail in protest against apathy on the part of state government and the delaying and subverting tactics in favour of Coca Cola. NAPM hails the action of these activists and salutes their courage for choosing to do this to bring home the dire need for quick passage of the ‘Plachimada Coca-Cola Victims’ Relief and Compensation Claims Special Tribunal Bill, 2011.

It needs to be noted that based on the report submitted by Plachimada High Power Committee appointed by Goverment of Kerala‘Plachimada Coca-Cola Victims’ Relief and Compensation Claims Special Tribunal Bill, 2011’ was passed by the Assembly on 24 February 2011. The Bill sent by the Governor of Kerala to the President via the central Ministry of Home Affairs on 30 March, and the Home Ministry in turn has sent it to various related ministries for their comments on 17 April. They were then supposed to forward the Bill to the President with the consolidated comments.

The decision to send the Bill to the President was taken by the State Law Department, although there was no issue of repugnance and hence there was no need for Presidential assent. There is no question of repugnance as the law deals, in its operative part, with entirely state subjects, namely, losses in agriculture, health care, animal husbandry, job loss and groundwater contamination.

Very recently, the Union government has referred the Bill back to State government but till date State Law Ministry has not done anything on this. We fail to understand this delay, when in the State as well as at the Centre Indian National Congress Party is in power in coalition. Is this delay part of a larger design ? Is the government trying to serve the interests of  the Coca Cola Corporation ? It is extremely shameful that the governments at the State and Centre are neglecting the demands of the suffering communities and the elected Gram Sabha. We all know that continuous Satyagraha has been going on since earth day in 2002, which has now completed almost a decade. How long are they expected to wait ?

Amidst all this Kerala government is planning to give distribution rights to Coco – Cola for providing drinking water to government hospitals in Kerala. Union Minister of State for Food Sri K.V. Thomas declared that months back. It was after sustained people’s movements and pressure from the groups across the country which forced the government to enact this special tribunal Bill. It is high time government brought this enactment to force and justice is done to the suffering communities and Coke is held responsible for their Corporate Crimes and made to pay for this. Our struggle to hold the corporations accountable will continue until justice is done to the people.

Medha Patkar, Sandeep Pandey, Gabriele Dietrich, Prafulla Samantara,  Geo Josh, Hussain master, Gabriele Dietrich, Suniti S R, Rajendra Ravi, Ramakrishna Raju, Anand Mazgaonkar, Vimal Bhai, Madhuresh Kumar 

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National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;
Ph: 022-24150529
6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

Facebook : www.facebook.com/NAPMindia

Twitter : @napmindia

People’s Forest Rights Rally Demands Community Rights over Natural Resources and effective implementation of FRA

People’s Forest Rights Rally Demands Community Rights over Natural Resources and effective implementation of FRA

 

Organised by National Forum for Forest Peoples and Forest Workers (NFFPFW) & National Forest Rights Campaign (NFRC)

PRESS RELEASE: 15th December 2011                 Jantar mantar, New Delhi

Far too young to understand the importance of this day, on a rather cold and breezy winter morning of December, little Urmila, a bright eyed 6 year old from the deep forests of Tamil Nadu, walked beside her mother on the streets of the capital city of her country. Urmila and her mother came to Delhi along with thousands of other Adivasis, Dalits and forest dwellers from 18 different states of the country. At a time when the Parliament is in session, the 5000 odd mobilization of forest people, with 80 percent women, who gathered at Delhi, have travelled through trains, buses and on foot to ask one question to the governmentWhy even after 5 long years of the Forest Rights Act 2006, the government has lacked to effectively implement this historic legislation???”

To raise this simple question, the traditional working people of the forest communities, to whom belongs the Jal, Jangal, Jameen, began their march from Mandi House to the Parliament Street chanting slogans to claim what is rightfully theirs and to demand the effective implementation of FRA. The long march to Parliament, which effectively converted Central Delhi to a sea of red and green had slogans like ‘Jo Jameen Sarkari Hei, Who Jameen Hamari Hei’, and Jungle Jameen Jamare Aaapka, Nahi kisi ke baap ka’. The rally concluded in a public meeting on the Parliament Street. The meeting was addressed by many community leaders, activists and concerned eminent citizens.

Mr. Munnilal of the NFFPFW, addressing the rally and meeting stated that the forest people are not in Delhi to beg for their rights from any government or disturb the lives of urban fellow citizens. He asserted that the people are forced to come to the national capital only since the central government, the state governments and the administration are not interested in giving the communities what belongs to them legitimately. Guman Singh of the Himalaya Niti Abhiyan accused the government of playing double standards, on the one hand legislating the forest rights act while on the other not implementing the same. Ashok Choudhary, national convener of NFFPFW stated that the governments are no more interested in implementing the legislation and are caught in the politics of the wildlife lobby and forest department. The well known truth is that this legislation can lead to the toppling of the supremacy of the ruling elites and bureaucrats in Indian forests. In the last five years, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs [MoTA], has taken only an apathetic view regarding in the implementation of this important legislation, he added. Speaking at the rally, Dr. K Krishnan of the National Adivasi Alliance Tamil Nadu stated that the adivasis and forest people should no more expect the vested interest governments to implement this historic legislation. Roma added that the communities should take what is legitimately ours.

Speaking on the occasion, Subhash Ghayali of Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination Committee dared the central and state governments, their corporate lobbies to try to take any more land from Adivasis or Dalits in Jharkhand for so called ‘development projects’. Gautam Bandyopadhyay of Nadi Ghatti Morcha, Chattisgarh added that anyone closely observing the implementation of this important legislation, can clearly see the the political, administrative and structural hindrances in the implementation of FRA. Other speakers at the rally included: Soni (Karnataka), Yasmin (AP), Renuka Ekka (Chhattisgarh), Anil Mahaptra (Odisha), Roy David (Karnataka), Anuradha Talwar (Paschim Bangal Khet Mazdoor Samity), Ram Chandra Rana (Birsa Munda Bhu Adhikar Manch), Rajkumar (Madhya Pradesh), etc.

Solidarity messages in the rally were given by: Jst. Rajendra Sachar (for Chief Justice of Delhi High Court), Jarjum Ete (Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Commission), T Peter of National Fishworkers’ Forum, Ashim Roy of New Trade Union Initiative, Sunita Rani (National Domestic Workers Union), Anita Kapoor of Shahri Mahila Kamgar Union, Tapa nose (South Asia Forum for Human Rights), Anil Choudhary (PEACE, Delhi), and other well wishers of the forest people’s movement.

Many political parties extended their support reiterating the need for government to undertake serious measures towards effective implementation of the FRA 2006. Present and former Members of Parliament including Com. Abani Roy, Com. D Raja, Shri. Ali Anvar etc were on their way to participate in the rally, as this release was being prepared.

The leaders announced that as a specific follow-up programme from the communities, a national conference of traditional livelihood and natural resources based communities is being organized at Mavalankar Hall on the 16th December 2011. The aim is to bring together the diverse groups dependent on natural resources to build a National Federation of Natural Resource Based Traditional Communities and Organizations, at the National Level. The umbrella will specifically target the vacuum between the social movement space and the negotiating space of trade unions.

Background to the rally: Those who marched today are only the delegates, who represent the hopes and aspirations of their people spread across the country. Behind this rally was a mass mobilization which began in September 2011 and has seen the involvement of the following organizations/traditional community movements:

Birsa Munda Bhu Adhikar Manch, Dakshin Banga Matsya Jeebi Forum, Grameen Mazdoor Union, Himalaya Forest Villagers’ Union, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination Committee, Kaimur Kshetra Mahila Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Kaimur Mukti Morcha, Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Union, Kisan Mukti Sangram Samiti, Lok Sangharsh Morcha, Mahila Vanadhikar Action Committee, Nadi Ghati Morcha, National Adivasi Alliance, National Federation of Dalit Land Rights Movements, National Federation of Handloom Weavers’ Organisations, National Fishworkers’ Forum, National Forest Rights Campaign, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Sabha, Sunderban Vanadhikar Sangram Samiti, Tharu Adivasi Mahila Kisan Manch, Van Panchayat Sangharsh Samiti, Vangram Evum Bhoo Adhikar Morcha, Vangujjar Kalyan Samiti

The fraternal solidarity groups/movements/ trade unions include:

Adivasi Solidarity Council, BIRSA-MMC, Delhi Solidarity Group, Intercultural Resources, Dynamic Action, INSAF, Matu Jan Sangathan, National Alliance of People’s Movements, India, National Domestic Workers’ Union, National Hawkers Federation, New Trade Union Initiative, Partners in Justice Concerns, Programme for Social Action, Vikalp Social Organisation and others.

Press Contacts: Roma: 9868217276, Vijayan 98681765471, Office: 011-26680883, 26687724

Email: romasnb@gmail.com, vijayanmj@delhiforum.net

People’s Struggles in India By Intercultural Resources (15 Case studies)

People’s Struggles in India

Intercultural Ressources

07 / 2011

The following set of articles, entitled “People’s Struggles in India,” documents a variety of facets of social movements in India. The movements are set in different regional contexts – the militarized Northeast of India, urban spaces, forests and coastal areas – and document several kinds of processes – a trade union movement, radical street theatre, working class people’s organisations and middle class environmentalism amongst others. They are meant as a reflection of the plurality of struggles in India.

To continue to read the case studies, Please go online:

http://base.d-p-h.info/en/dossiers/dossier-2961.html

OUNDTABLE TO BE ORGANISED ON WORLD BANK AND PARLIAMENTARY ACCOUNTABILITY

Press Statement | December 6, 2011

ROUNDTABLE TO BE ORGANISED ON WORLD BANK AND PARLIAMENTARY ACCOUNTABILITY

Thiruvanathapuram: Coinciding the National Conference being held here in the city from 6-9 December 2011, the National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) co-organised a roundtable discussion on 6 December on the need for more parliamentary accountability and scrutiny of International Financial Institutions such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The meeting was held in a context where the World Bank and ADB are increasing their loan portfolio in the coastal regions with projects such as the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP -990 crore rupees) and Sustainable Coastal Protection and Management Investment Programme (SCPMIP -1125 crore rupees). Both projects have been criticised by NFF and environmental groups as being anti people and anti environment and pushing false options such as artificial reefs.

Adv. Anni Sweeti (Janata Dal), P. Prasad (CPI) and Magline Peter (NFF) were among the ones who spoke on the occasion. Speakers said that despite rising external debt (on 31 March 2011 it was at a staggering 3.5 lakh crore rupees) of which over 67% is due to International Financial Institutions such as the World Bank and ADB, it is of deep concern that the Indian Parliament and state legislatures have little scrutiny over the content and implementation of WB and ADB projects.

“We are talking about Legislative oversight in the context of our Parliament having the highest number of millionaires as members of Parliament today, who are there not by chance but by design, to influence the law making. Hence it is all the more important to have legislations to strengthen democracy and promote transparency and accountability”, P. Prasad said. “We need to weave a network of all political forces to make this effective”, he said.

The meeting also addressed the new challenge of National Financial Institutions (NFIs). Public Institutions such as LIC, State Bank of India (SBI) are now handing out low interest loans to Indian companies such as Tatas, Reliance, Jindals and Essar to implement risky and environmentally destructive projects. From January 2010 to June 2010 SBI arranged project funding aggregating 55,000 crore rupees for just 21 projects in India.

NFF jointly organised this meeting with groups such as National Alliance of People’s Movements, Delhi Forum, Programme for Social Action, Bank Information Center, Focus on the Global South, Intercultural Resource Centre, Kerala Swatantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation, Kabani, NGO Forum on ADB and National Hawkers Federation.

~~
Joe Athialy
South Asia Coordinator | Bank Information Center

Post Box No 4659, New Delhi – 110016
+91.9871153775 | jathialy [@] bicusa.org | www.bicusa.org

World Dignity Day – International Day of Socially Excluded 5th December,

On the Occasion of World Dignity Day – International Day of Socially Excluded

On 5th December, 2011

In the Leadership of NACDOR – the National Confederation of Dalit Organisations

Thousands of Dalits March to Parliament for Dignity and Historical Change

and

National Dalit Assembly at Parliament Street between 11.30 AM – 3 PM

New Delhi, 3rd December.  Tens of thousands of Dalits coming from all over India will march from Delhi’s Ambedkar Bhawan to the country’s Parliament on 5th December at 10 AM for their sustained campaign for the Dalit Dignity. After the march, thousands of Dalits arriving from different remote areas of the country and participating in the March to Parliament will convene into the Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha (National Dalit Assembly) at the Parliament Street , New Delhi. This Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha (National Dalit Assembly)  being organised outside the Parliament will assess the  extent of participation of the historically marginalized social sections in the social, economic, political and cultural  processes and life of the  country. It is likely to suggest ways and means to  increase the level of  participation of Dalits, Socially and Educationally Backward Classes and Minorities i.e. the Bahujans, in the political power structures, army, judiciary, administration and organisations and institutions deciding  the policies and trends for the nation.  More than 10,000 Dalits, Adivasis, Workers, Minorities, Women and other  social activists are expected to participate in this Dignity March and National Dalit Assembly.

( 5th December is the eve of the death anniversary of Dr B. R. Ambedkar – the father of the India’s Constitution. This day reminds us  of  the struggles launched by Dr Ambedkar for the Dignity of  the Dalits  and other socially marginalized sections.  5th December is now observed as the World Dignity Day – International Day of Socially Excluded. As the fundamentalists in the country demolished the Babri Mosque on 6th December in 1992, this day also reminds us the struggle for secularism and communal harmony.)

Associated with this main programme, a National Convention of Dalit Women is also being organized in the convention hall of Ambedkar Bhawan on 4th December, 2 PM  — 5 PM. More than 1000 women coming from different corners of the country will be participating in this convention.

On the evening of 4th December, ‘1000 Lights of Dignity’ will be lighted at Ambedkar Bhawan. On the same evening, there would be a cultural programme as well on the grounds of Ambedkar Bhawan.

On 6th December, there would be a programme as ‘Musahar Rights Day’ and Consultation on Peoples’ Dignity. Issues related to the most backward and marginalized communities within the Dalit fraternity will be discussed. Short term and Long term strategies for the development of these social sections will also be suggested.

Hundreds of Dalits will also participate in the Rozi Roti Satyagraha at Jantar Mantar on 6th December to demand for the universal Food Security for Dalits under the proposed Food Security Legislation.

After all these programmes, a Charter of Demands/Suggestions from the people will be submitted to the Prime Minister and other ministers/planning commission.

NACDOR campaigns for Dignity and against casteism, racism and all other forms of discrimination to establish an inclusive and enlightened society. Though, this platform is primarily a Dalit Initiative, but it has always been on the forefront for supporting other progressive, secular movements and communities struggling for justice through peaceful means. At international level, NACDOR has been in active solidarity with the religious minorities, adivasis and indigenous populations and their organisations from African, Latin American, Afro-American, Palestinian communities.

Major organisations supporting NACDOR’s initiative are Tehreek-e Pasmanda Muslim Samaj, Bundelkhand Dalit Mahasabha, NACDOR MNREGA Mazdoor Union, Village Dalit Education Committees, Rashtriya Dalit Mahila Andolan, SC/ST Employees Associations etc.  Among other constituents of NACDOR, there are more than 1500 social, cultural, and voluntary Dalit organisations of non-government origin. Dalit Dignity March and National Dalit Assembly are getting overwhelming support from these organisations.

This Dignity March and National Dalit Assembly is being held in support of various demands of the marginalised sections, notable among them are:

  1. Reservation for SC/ST/OBCs in private sector, army and judiciary
  2. Control on price-rise
  3. Constitutional provision for food security guarantee to all
  4. National Urban Employment Guarantee Act
  5. Time bound promotions for employees of the reserved categories
  6. Control on escalating prices of land in cities and dignified housing guarantee (act) for the urban families
  7. Broad constitutional provisions for corruption free administration
  8. Strong action against hoarders, corrupt and individuals/agencies engaged in black money
  9. Total agricultural reforms in favour of poor peasants and allotment/control of land to the landless families
  10. Allocation of resources to various marginalised communities in the proposed 12th five year plan, at least  in accordance with the their proportionate share in the total population.
  11. Total implementation of the   Sachar Commitee recommendations without any delay
  12.  50% Reservation for women in the parliament and state assemblies with proportionate representation of women from SC/STs, OBCs and minorities
  13.  Equal allocation for women and men in all the resources and plans.
  14. Additional reservation for the Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims
  15.  Transfer of forest land to STs and other communities dependent on forests
  16.  Cut in the direct and indirect subsidies provided to the corporate sector and provision of strong labour laws in favour of workers

 

Informing the press about these programmes, Chairman of NACDOR, Mr Ashok Bharti said, “ Dalit movement has been successful to some extent in raising the concerns and needs of the Dalit community. But it has strangled itself in the same power and social structures, to which it was expected to challenge right from its beginning. Unfortunately, the post-Ambedkar Dalit leadership indulged excessively itself on achieving political power. They (the Dalit leadership) thought that they would be able to improve the situation of Dalits through political power. But the current situation has proved that, unless the social, economic, cultural and other alternative institutions of the oppressed and the marginalised are established and strengthened, mere political power may not yield concrete results. NACDOR aims to broaden the agenda of the Dalit Movement. NACDOR is fully committed to the unity of all progressive and democratic movements and understands that the people’s unity can be ensured for the success of their rights-based struggles.”

 

National Confederation of Dalit Organisations ( NACDOR) is the national platform of more than 1500 grass root level Dalit organisations. This organisation is committed to struggle against the caste based injustice, communalism and neo-liberal globalisation in the light of Ambedkarian-thought. NACDOR is a strong supporter of democracy and seeks fundamental transformation in the thought process and in the lives of the Dalits. Maintaining an equal level of dialogue with all political parties, NACDOR strengthen the voice of Dalits in the democratic process. NACDOR Leadership comes from grass root level SC/ST/Muslims/SEBCs activists and it is the expression of their voice and strength in real sense. It played the pivotal role in establishing the World Dignity Forum and its launch in World Social Forum in 2004. Since its inception, NACDOR has been working as the ‘Dalit Voice’ in the civil society sector. It  coordinates the Global Task Force on Social Exclusion of the global platform called ‘Global Call for Action Against Poverty’.

 

NACDOR Secretariat

For any communication, pleased do not hesitate to contacts us either at mashkoor@nacdor.org.in or nacdor@gmail.com .

Chairman, National Confederation of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR)

International Commission for Dalit Rights, Washington DC.

Global Council Member, Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP);

Convener, Task Force on Social Exclusion (GCAP)

Member, Steering Committee on the Empowerment of SC, OBCs, and NT-DNT for the formulation of 12th Five Year Plan, Planning Commission, Government of India,

Member, Steering Committee on Voluntary Sector for the formulation of 12th Five Year Plan, Planning Commission, Government of India, _______________________________________________

M-3/22, Model Town-III, Delhi 110009 Telephone: +91-1127442744 and 27419002