Land Grab Bill: Return to Colonial Oppression

Newsclick interviewed Economist Smita Gupta on the issue of Land Acquisition Bill which is scheduled to be tabled in ongoing Parliamentary session. The Land Acquisition Act that the BJP has introduced in Parliament has been opposed not only by anti-NDA parties but also by its allies.  Read more ………

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Press Release: Unanimous rejection of Land Acquisition Bill 2015

Press Release

.Bhumi Adhikar Andolan

Unanimous rejection of Land Acquisition Bill 2015, Joint Forum to Intensify Opposition

Representatives of people’s movements, peasant unions and farmers’ organisations from across country reject the bill as anti-farmer and undemocratic at public hearing. A Strong message to JPC to oppose anti-constitutional Land Bill.

New Delhi, 23rd July 2015: A public hearing was organised by Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, a nationwide movement for land rights, that saw representatives of people’s movements, peasant & agricultural labour unions and farmers organisations from ten states come together to share their struggles against land acquisition. The hearing, following the submission of recommendations to the Joint Parliamentary Committee, was organised in light of the committee’s failure to undertake wider ground-level consultations with mass organisations.

Representatives of various mass movements such as Medha Patkar, Vasavi Karo, Ashok Choudhary, Prafulla Samantara, Ramalingam, Hannan Mollah, Vimal bhai, Hansraj Gheora, KKR Lenin, Alok Shukla, Dr. Rupesh Varma, Com. Satyavan, Ulka Mahajan, Umesh Kumar, NK Shukla, Sriram Bharadwaj, etc. shared past and ongoing struggle experiences against land acquisition and the grave implications of the upcoming bill for majority of the country’s population. JPC member and Rajya Sabha MP Shri Jairam Ramesh (INC), Vaiko (MDMK), Jitendra Choudhary (CPM) and Sankar Prasad Dutta (CPM) participated in the hearing and expressed support.

Terming the Land Ordinance as the biggest attack on farmers, representatives highlighted the fact that promulgation of the Ordinance for the third time despite the JPC looking into the matter reflects disrespect for the committee’s efforts.  The unprecedented scale of land acquisition and the agrarian crisis are two sides of the same coin which is evident from projects such as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor which will impact 31% of the country’s agricultural land.

Multi-crop land and productive rain-fed, semi-arid and dry lands that ensure food security are at risk with no clear reasoning or facts behind the acquisition of vast tracts of land. The lack of a Land Use Policy has also provided unlimited opportunities of misuse where land has been transferred into private hands for real estate and luxury projects.

Representatives shared their frustrations regarding repeated violations in tribal, biodiversity rich and eco-sensitive areas. Despite constitutional provisions tribals have suffered from large scale displacement due to acquisition for mining, dams and industries. Utter disregard for informed consent, consultation and local governance processes have been countered by several successful struggles which are now being repressed with armed forces. A recent example is the illegal acquisition for Kanhar Dam project where police fired indiscriminately on several hundred dalits and tribals and arrested key activists.

Representatives felt that by moving towards greater power to the states in land acquisition processes, the government is shirking its responsibility since land is a concurrent subject where central governments have the final say. Various active state acquisition laws and massive capital development projects such as the AP land pooling scheme are testimony to this trend.

It was unanimously felt that the ordinance represents a corporate driven growth model that is not inclusive and will only impoverish large sections of the population. Recent census data shows that 1 in 3 rural households are landless and this statistic will only rapidly worsen with the proposed Bill.

Participants vowed to intensify opposition to the Bill through this broad struggle that has brought workers and farmers to a common forum and placed the issue of land rights at the centre again. Representatives of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan concluded the hearing with a proposal based on the sharings by the various groups that will be submitted to the JPC.

National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM), All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), All India Kisan Sabha (Ajay Bhawan), All India Kisan Sabha (Canning Lane), Akhil Bhartiya Krishak Khet Mazdoor Sangathan, Lok Sangharsh Morcha, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Jan Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti, Chhatisgarh Bachao Aandolan, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Sanyukt Kisan Sangharsh Samilti, INSAF, Delhi Solidarity Group, Sarvahara Jan Andolan, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, VTMS, Matu Jansangathan

 Contact: 9818905316, 9958797409, 9911528696

Mass Rally – Bhumi Adhikar Andolan (Movement for Land Rights)

Bhumi Adhikar Andolan

(Movement for Land Rights)

 Press Release

 Bhumi Adhikar Andolan to hold mass rally against Land Ordinance on 5th May, 2015 at Sansad Marg

 2nd May, 2015, New Delhi: The collective of people’s movements and organizations who organized the mass rally on 24th February at Parliament Street against the Land Acquisition Ordinance of the NDA government have emerged as the national platform in the name of “Bhumi Adhikar Andolan” working all over the country to advance the struggle of the farmers, workers and the larger public against the draconian Land Acquisition Ordinance 2015.

 In a press conference held on 2nd of May at IWPC Delhi, representatives of people’s movements, farmer organizations, worker’s unions and people’s organisations, among others, associated with the Bhumi Adhkar Andolan appealed to all the pro-people, progressive and secular forces to join hands for “Bhumi Adhikar Sangharsh Rally” on 5th May at Parliament street to protest against the anti-people move of the NDA Government of bringing ordinances on the sensitive issue of land without any consultation or regard to farmers-workers, agriculture and nature of this country. The press conference was addressed by Hannan Mollah from the All India Kisan Sabha (36 Canning Lane), Atul Anjan from the All India Kisan Sabha (Ajoy Bhawan), Satyavan from the All India Krishak Khet Mazdoor Union, Roma from the All India Union for Forest Working People and Bhupinder Singh Rawat from NAPM.

Thousands of representatives from various farmer organizations, trade unions, women organizations, youth organizations, including urban poor, fish workers and tribals will be a part of the rally to be held on 5th of May, 10 am at Sansad Marg, Delhi. The Modi Sarkar, which is favoring the interests of the corporates at the cost of livelihood of thousands and impacting the most marginalized section severely, is leaving no stone unturned to bring the land ordinance. Land acquisition is being carried out at full speed in various parts of the country and in many places the disagreement expressed by people is being brutally suppressed. The tax exemptions offered to corporates in the 2015-16 budget, the land ordinance and a series of amendments which are expected in other crucial acts like those relating to forests and coasts are bound to strike the lives and livelihoods of lakhs of people in this country and leave them with no choice but to become migrants laborers and lead a life of extreme poverty, vulnerability and uncertainty.

National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM), All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), All India Kisan Sabha (Ajay Bhawan), All India Kisan Sabha (Cunning Lane), Akhil Bhartiya Krishak Khet Mazdoor Sangathan, Lok Sangharsh Morcha, Yuva Kranti, Jan Sangharsh Samanvaya Samiti, Chhatisgarh Bachao Aandolan, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Sanyukt Kisan Sangharsh Samilti, INSAF, Delhi Solidarity Group, Kisan Manch, Bhartiya Kisan Union

Contact: 9958797409, 9810423296, 9818905316, 9911955109

===============================================
National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 24374535 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org | napmindia@gmail.com

Facebook : www.facebook.com/NAPMindia

Twitter : @napmindia

News updates on Coal, Energy, IFIs, Land, Water and Forest: 25 February, 2015

A.Coal & Energy

  1. Govt prepares for power, water crises: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Govt-prepares-for-power-water-crises/articleshow/46362534.cms?
  2. AAP’s white paper on power soon: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/AAPs-white-paper-on-power-soon/articleshow/46362558.cms?
  3. Brakes on coal auction: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150225/jsp/business/story_5283.jsp#.VO1lVvmUd1E
  4. Coal Ministry puts off auction of next set of blocks to March 2: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/coal-ministry-puts-off-auction-of-next-set-of-blocks-to-march-2/article6929762.ece
  5. Rajya Sabha passes Bill to ease eviction from public land: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/policy/r-s-passes-bill-to-ease-eviction-from-public-land/article6929638.ece
  6. European carbon market reform set for 2019: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/24/european-carbon-emissions-trading-market-reform-set-for-2019
  7. Renewable energy poised to overtake nuclear in the UK: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27022-renewable-energy-poised-to-overtake-nuclear-in-the-uk.html#.VO1m2vmUd1E
  8. Maharashtra okays central scheme to distribute solar pumps to farmers: http://zeenews.india.com/news/maharashtra/maharashtra-okays-central-scheme-to-distribute-solar-pumps-to-farmers_1551929.html
  9. Auction of nearly operational coal mines from next week: HC: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-auction-of-nearly-operational-coal-mines-from-next-week-hc-2063826
  10. Coal India to invest in Odisha power project: http://www.newkerala.com/news/2015/fullnews-23329.html#
  11. Coal India board directs PSU to withdraw from ICVL: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/coal-india-board-directs-psu-to-withdraw-from-icvl-115022400435_1.html
  12. Second round of coal auction to be held on March 4: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/second-round-of-coal-auction-to-be-held-on-march-4/articleshow/46356459.cms
  13. India should give categorical statements: Ramesh on climate: http://zeenews.india.com/news/eco-news/india-should-give-categorical-statements-ramesh-on-climate_1551816.html
  14. Foundation stone to be laid for 600 MW thermal plant in Telangana: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/states/foundation-stone-to-be-laid-for-600-mw-thermal-plant-in-telangana/article6928980.ece
  15. Don’t auction Mahan coal block: MoEF: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dont-auction-mahan-coal-block-moef/article6929933.ece
  16. Spy cables: Greenpeace head targeted by intelligence agencies before Seoul G20: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/24/spy-cables-greenpeace-kumi-naidoo-targeted-security-threat-g20-seoul
  17. Shades of green: http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/shades-of-green-115022401418_1.html
  18. Still no modelling to show whether Direct Action will meet emissions target: http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/feb/24/still-no-modelling-to-show-whether-direct-action-will-meet-emissions-target
  19.  Work of prominent climate change denier was funded by energy industry: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/21/climate-change-denier-willie-soon-funded-energy-industry
  20. Apple’s £1.25bn Europe data centres will run entirely on renewable energy: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/23/apple-125bn-europe-data-centres-will-run-entirely-on-renewable-energy
  21. EU wants Paris climate deal to cut carbon emissions 60% by 2050: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/23/eu-wants-paris-climate-deal-to-cut-carbon-emissions-60-by-2050
  22. Artificial glacier could help Ladakh villagers adapt to climate change: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/24/artificial-glacier-could-help-ladakh-villagers-adapt-to-climate-change

B.IFIs

  1. World Bank wants more transparency in India’s power subsidy:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46359204.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
  2. Investor confidence still shaky in India: US envoy: http://www.newkerala.com/news/2015/fullnews-23371.html#
  3. Keep politics away from power utilities: World Bank report: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/keep-politics-away-from-power-utilities-world-bank-report/article6929197.ece
  4. Banks can incentivise commercial performance of power sector: World Bank: http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/banks-can-incentivise-commercial-performance-of-power-sector-world-bank-115022400405_1.html
  5. ‘Commercialise power utilities’: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/commercialise-power-utilities/article6926723.ece#
  6. World Bank Wants More Transparency in India’s Power Subsidy: http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/World-Bank-Wants-More-Transparency-in-Indias-Power-Subsidy/2015/02/25/article2685163.ece
  7. ADB signs $400 million loan pacts with India: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/finance/adb-signs-400-million-loan-pacts-with-india/articleshow/46346160.cms#

C.Land, Water & Forest

  1. Government unlikely to yield on major clauses in land bill: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Government-unlikely-to-yield-on-major-clauses-in-land-bill/articleshow/46362463.cms?
  2. Centre tests nerves on land law battle: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150225/jsp/frontpage/story_5376.jsp#.VO1auvmUd1E
  3. Modi may have to do with land law what Vajpayee did with Pota: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Modi-may-have-to-do-with-land-law-what-Vajpayee-did-with-Pota/articleshow/46363892.cms?
  4. No dilution in Land Acquisition Act, say BJP and government: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-dilution-in-Land-Acquisition-Act-say-BJP-and-government/articleshow/46363665.cms?
  5. Land Bill pits Shiv Sena against BJP: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-land-bill-pits-shiv-sena-against-bjp-2063921
  6. Amarinder Singh questions CM Parkash Singh Badal’s ‘silence’ over new land bill: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-amarinder-singh-questions-cm-parkash-singh-badal-s-silence-over-new-land-bill-2063795
  7. Opposition walks out over land bill: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150224/jsp/frontpage/story_5247.jsp#.VO1eEfmUd1E
  8. Helping hand for water scarcity-hit people in Aurangabad: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/aurangabad/Helping-hand-for-water-scarcity-hit-people-in-Aurangabad/articleshow/46355003.cms?
  9. Faces behind the 14th Finance Commission: http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/faces-behind-the-14th-finance-commission-115022400789_1.html
  10. Jairam takes dig at Chidambaram on land law: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/jairam-takes-dig-at-chidambaram-on-land-law/article1-1320319.aspx
  11. Modi Wants to Replace Crowded Slums in India With 20 Million Homes: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-23/modi-seeks-to-replace-crowded-india-slums-with-20-million-homes
  12. Table-and-talk tactic on land bill: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150224/jsp/nation/story_5234.jsp#.VOwMWfmUd1E
  13. Agri minister rules out further extension of LPS: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Agri-minister-rules-out-further-extension-of-LPS/articleshow/46350529.cms?
  14. Government is open to suggestions on land bill: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-government-is-open-to-suggestions-on-land-bill-2063615

Photos of Dharna by Trade Unions, Farmers unions and NGOs against the Land Ordinance Posted on February 25, 2015

Massive Dharna in New Delhi against the unjust Land Ordinance
Massive Dharna in New Delhi against the unjust Land Ordinance

CIMG4932 CIMG4934 CIMG4943 CIMG4952 CIMG4957 CIMG4959 CIMG4961 CIMG4965 CIMG4976 CIMG4977

24 Fenruary, 2015

More than 350 organizations and networks of farmers, workers, tribals from all the states of the Country including National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), All Indian Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), All India Kisan Sabha (36 Canning Lane), All India Kisan Sabha (Ajoy Bhavan), Ekta Parishad, Kisan Sagharsh Samiti, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Yuva Kranti, Campaign for Survival and Dignity, Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, All India Agricultural Workers’ Union, Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union, Sanyukt Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, INSAF, Delhi Solidarity Group, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Agragami Kisan Sabha, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, National Fish workers Forum, Punjab Kisan Union participated in the protest action today.

Massive Dharna in New Delhi: Anger pours out against unconstitutional, anti-farmer Land Ordinance

24 February, 2015

Anger pours out on the streets of the capital against unconstitutional, anti-farmer Land Ordinance

Over 350 organizations, twenty thousand farmers-workers from across country threaten intensified stir

Delegation met President at 6 pm, 24 February, 2015:

No compromise on core demands to repeal Black Ordinance

Delhi: Fury and frustration rocked the capital today, as nearly twenty thousand farmers, adivasis, workers, fisher people and others dependent on land for their livelihood converged from the length and breadth of the country and warned the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government that they shall intensify their stir, if the unconstitutional Ordinance amending the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act, 2013 Act is not dropped in toto. From amidst songs and slogans, flags and banners, representing the diversity of the social movements from across the country, the voice that emerged was clear and united – Drop the Ordinance: Stop Land Acquisition, Ensure Land Rights.

More than 350 organizations and networks of farmers, workers, tribals from all the states of the Country including National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), All Indian Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), All India Kisan Sabha (36 Canning Lane), All India Kisan Sabha (Ajoy Bhavan), Ekta Parishad, Kisan Sagharsh Samiti, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Yuva Kranti, Campaign for Survival and Dignity, Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, All India Agricultural Workers’ Union, Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union, Sanyukt Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, INSAF, Delhi Solidarity Group, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Agragami Kisan Sabha, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, National Fish workers Forum, Punjab Kisan Union participated in the protest action today.

The farmers questioned the Prime Minister as to what kind of “Ache din” does he envisages for the millions of small agriculturalists of the country if lakhs of farmers are displaced by mega projects, thousands of hectares of land is handed over to private companies and corporates and the food-security is threatened by acquisition of multi-cropped farmland. Despite a roaring protest at the Parliament Street by thousands of farmers, the Govt. has introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to legislate this Ordinance. This, the farmers said is condemnable and undemocratic.

Anna Hazare, who sat all day along with the activists of the different movements said that farmers and workers will have to prepare for a long term struggle and be prepared to even go to jail. He called for a nation-wide movement against the corporate loot of the land, which feeds the whole country. Government must withdraw the ordinance is what we all demand and they must do it.

Addressing the massive gathering, Medha Patkar challenged the ‘electoral promises’ of the ruling party, which was part of the parliamentary process leading to enactment of the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act, 2013. Now in ‘power’ it is seeking to sniff away the soul of the Act, by removing the key provisions of “consent” & “social impact assessment” and manipulating the definitions of “private entities” and “public purpose”, purely to promote business interests. Stating that the interests of farmers is supreme in a agricultural economy like India, Anna Hazare gave a clarion call to the farmers that this is nothing less than a Do-or-die’ battle, it is the second war of independence, a war for freedom from repressive government, oppressive laws and corporate control over natural resources.

Hannan Mollah, spoke about the need for united movement and said that the BJP-led NDA Government had brought the draconian Ordinance to suit the interests of the Corporates and Land Mafia. He said the BJP Government’s move will be defeated and struggles will be launched at all sites of unjust land acquisition.

Atul Anjaan, said this Protest Rally is just the beginning and there will be need to launch a prolonged struggle. He said the BJP Government which is a Government of the Corporates, land mafia and builders’ lobby has dared to bring an Ordinance worse than the British Colonial Act of 1894. He said it was a political battle and also emphasized the need to speak to all Political Parties to defeat the Government move in Parliament too.

Representatives of numerous farmers organizations, tribal rights groups, workers movements vented their rage at the Modi Govt’s anti-people agenda and open invitation to profit-makers and looters to plunder the country’s resources- land, coats, rivers, fish, minerals etc. Thousands of farmers also shouted out slogans that they do not need “crumbs of compensation”. The Ordinance nullifies the most significant provisions of the 2013 Act and takes it back to the pre-1994 days. The same is unacceptable, they said. NDA government has only been launching schemes for the corporates and private businesses but nothing of significance for farm sector and farmers, it was felt.

Speakers also said that similar to the British, the present Government is trying to “divide” the farmers and rulers in the interests of the Adanis and Ambanis, who have fuelled the election campaign of the BJP. However, we shall stay united in our demand for a complete revocation of the Ordinance, they said. If Ambani, Adani are your side, Birsa, Munda are on our said, roared an adivasi woman leader. All the protestors expressed a common resolve that “We will not let Modi-Govt. snatch our rights and take India back to pre-independence days”.

Various speakers condemned the unparliamentarily ‘Ordinance Raj’ in every sector, be it land, coal, mining, insurance, motor vehicles and derided the Governance through Ordinance mechanism, by-passing both the Parliament and the People. Leaders and representatives of various political parties and their affiliated organizations also expressed their solidarity with the demands of the farmers and demanded that the Ordinance be revoked. Retd. Jst. Rajinder Sacher, Adv. Sanjay Parikh and many other academicians, advocates, activists visited the dharna site and expressed solidarity.

Protest actions to continue through the Budget Session:

Various Farmers Organizations including Akhil Bhartiya Kisansabha, Agragami Kisan Sabha, All India Agricultural Workers’ Union, Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union etc. and People’s Movements have resolved that the struggle against the Ordinance shall continue, rather intensify in the days to come in every state and every district. While hundreds of Gram Sabhas across the country have already passed resolutions, thousands more shall do so shortly. “We will not allow NDA Govt. to legislate this Black Ordinance by brute force, “they resolved.

Delegation Meets President:

The farmers leaders also said that while President’s statement in his budget speech that his “government attaches paramount importance to safeguard the interest and well-being of farmers and families affected by land acquisition”, is welcome, his ‘approval’ of the Ordinance, which is fundamentally anti-farmer is unacceptable. In the same speech, he has liberally endorsed the “Make in India”, “Single-Window Clearance” and “Ease of Business” and “Smart City Programme” as hallmarks of ‘his Government’. All these approaches will sound the death-knell of the farming and working classes of this country and destroy our natural resources, to the detriment of generations. A delegation including Hannan Mollah, Atul Kumar Anjaan, Medha Patkar, Sunilam, Roma Malik, Rakesh Rafik, Vijoo Krishnan and Harpal Singh met the President today evening and exhorted him to resolve the ongoing impasse in the interests of the toiling peasants of the country and use his “highest constitutional office” to ensure that the Ordinance is not legislated. The President expressed sympathies for the Farmers in distress and said he would send the Memorandum to the Government (Copy of the Memorandum is attached).

The protest also witnessed the participation of a large number of young people and women, small farmers and tribals signaling that this movement shall be led by these people in the coming days Simultaneous protests and demonstrations, burning of the Ordinance etc. were organised across the country in Patna, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Bhubaneshwar and many other places.

For details contact : 9958797409, 9810423296, 9818905316, 9911955109 | email : napmindia@gmail.com

Photos from Dharna https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeathialy/sets/72157651000927802/ Credit Joe Athialy

===============================================
National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 24374535 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : http://www.napm-india.org | napmindia@gmail.com
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/NAPMindia

Land Ordinance, at one stroke, decimates achievements of farmers’ struggle against injustice in land acquisition

Land Ordinance, at one stroke, decimates achievements of farmers’ struggle against injustice in land acquisition.