Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Leaves Tribe Behind
To make big bucks businessmen need land. It has become a scarce resource in cities which is why they are eyeing the lands of tribes. Tribal lands are full of minerals and natural resources and remained untouched for so long. As the cost of development somebody has to bear the brunt of destruction of resources. Government too finds taking away land from tribes easier because they will hardly protest. Even if they’ll try to, their plea will remain unheard. This is resulting in atrocities on farmers and tribes. This will become story of many in days to come.
At the location of protest in Godda, females are holding microphones and singing in local dialect. The lyrics are “jaan mora jaitan adani, jaitan mora paranwa, nahiye chodbai he adani gaighat anganma”. Hundreds of people including old and kids are dancing at the location of Satyagrah. Few children are waving black flags and shouting Adani wapas jao. You will be surprised to know, men, women, kids working in fields, literate and illiterate all are aware of Adani’s name. In case if you won’t believe you can ask about the business tycoon from anyone of amongst them. They will let you know that how Adani is coming to snatch their lands and houses. A single voice of protest brings thousands of tribes on street. It seems that females hold the torch of protest against the country’s most influential businesses top dog. Each one of them is holding lathis and sickle in their hands. Even the small kids have come on the street to showcase their anger against the injustice.
Where Will They Go
The greatest fear amongst the tribals is, if the forest is lost they will lose their means of livelihood. Their land is multi-cropped holding and irrigated as well. It not only holds their means to livelihood but is the birth place of their culture and identity. Whereas, industrialist just want to exploit to quench their thirst for natural resources. On the other hand, government is giving peculiar reason: “Tribes have to sacrifice their land in case they want development. This land will be used to setup local industries which in return would employ the natives.” This logic is baseless. For power generation of around 1600 megawatts Adani wants to setup a power plant in more than 1000 acres of land. Jharkhand government signed an MOU in this regard in June 2015. This project was ought to get established under the banner of Make in India. Now comesb twist in the tale. Jharkhand will not get benefitted from the power generated rather this electricity will be exported to Bangladesh. However, due to the protest by locals Adani’s firm has agreed to share 25 percent production with the State. The innocent natives of Godda will bear the brunt of water pollution, decorating forest cover and company will make the big bucks out of it. And the electricity will go to neighboring country. This fishy mathematics is going beyond the brains of innocent farm people. Hundreds of villages will be lost due to the project. Vidya Devi of Balia Kitta village says “if they would have asked us for land with the purpose of constructing school, college, railway and hospital we would have happily sacrificed. But we are not ready to hand it over for Adani’s power plant. We’ll fight till death.
Entry Only From Yellow Card
For the purpose of land acquisition a public hearing was organized. To attend the gathering few tribals were given yellow cards. Now we need to know the reality behind this public meet. Ravinder Mahato of Balia Kitta village performs agricultural activity on rent. He said they were not allowed to attend the hearing. They had voter ID along with Adhaar Card despite that, they were barred to attend the meeting because he was not having the yellow card. Now the reality of yellow card also requires to be understood. On the condition of anonymity a young man revealed that we do not have a single piece of land in villages nearby in spite of that we were offered money to attend the public gathering. After getting the yellow card we went to the meeting and followed the commands of concerned officials. Another villager Anil Mandol says “when they are not considering Adhaar and voter card, who knows if they’ll give us compensation or not? Only those are going to get the compensation who owns land. What about the farm laborers? The MLA of Paudaiya Hatt, Pradeep Yadav asked who gave them the permission to issue yellow cards for public hearing. Is it legal? The card does not bear the signature of any of the official. Neither has it contained any stamp. The gathering organized on December 2016 was completely fraudulent. This needs to be suspended. If public hearing is to be organized, open ground should be selected as the venue. Each one from the village should be called upon. Company’s officials were supposed to go door to door. As per the law, land owners were to be directly contacted for land acquisition. Did any of the representatives from company ever visit the village?
According to Pradeep Yadav, government has been given time till December. Till then we’ll see whether it favors people or corporate. In case of unexpected results we will sit on indefinite strike. Close aid of Pradeep, Anil Arya stated that in case of land acquisition, approval from 80 percent farmers is required. Adani conspired against locals. He issued yellow cards to his own people and fake approval was showcased. Only those are supporting him who have shifted to cities and they are least concerned about their land holding. Whereas 600 land owners sweared that they will not surrender their lands.
An official from Adani’s company Prabhakar Jha disclosed, due to allocation of Jeetpur coal block, this project was relocated to Jharkhand from Kutch’s Mundra. The compensation will be paid on the basis of previous land acquition law of 2013. For instance, farmers will be getting Rs 14 lakh for every acre. Arya says in 2014 the cost of land was around Rs 41 lakh per acre. In order to falicitate Adani the cost of land was drastically reduced to Rs 3.25 Lakh per acre. This means Adani’s company was benefitted to about Rs 1.5 crores per acre. To suspend the hearing a huge demonstration was organised recently. Under the banner of “zameen bachao, kisan bachao sangharsh samiti” a rally was undertaken. Protestors demanded, district collector must follow 2013 law for land acquistion. Pradeep agrees to the fact that few mediators are selling tribal lands to Adanis but affected people are not going to back off. Company wishes to forcefully acquire our land. Till the investigation report comes in, land purchase needs to be suspended. Former legislature Prashant Kumar calls it a rally of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha. He says the MLA of Paudaiya Hatt has misguided the assembly and administration on this issue. He is terrified these days. In Samarua and Sondih villages which falls near Satyagrah venue an administrative team arrived to measure the land for acquisition. The act infuriated villagers and hundreds of them reached the spot to encounter them with traditional weapons. They dragged away the officials along with the police team. The marking on the ground was erased. Slogans like Adani wapas jao were raised by females in the rally which ended up in Motia Buxara.
On March 5, an environment meet was arranged in Mufassil. During the hearing venue turned into a police camp. Administrative officials along with the representatives of Adanis and environment ministry were present at the ocassion. Around eight thousand villagers make it to the hearing. In between, the unrest kicked off. Police started beating the protestors. Pradeep Yadav was arrested on April 22. He was accused of stimulating the violence as was sitting on hunger strike for last few days. His strike was forcefully diluted. However, he got ill and is admitted to Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences for further treatment.
Capitalists are robbing people due to their financial greed. Governments have become puppet in the hands of these so-called business tycoons. They are luring government officials to exploit and relocate tribes. This leads violation of human rights by sarkari babus. The roots of Naxalism lies in the ground of atrocites.Due to this naxalites get chance to provoke innocent people. A question that needs an answer now, why government is plancing tribes and police against each other for its selfish motives? Undoubtedly development is required but not at the cost of destruction and relocation.
Energy Secretary On Leave
When Jharkhand’s Energy Secretary SK Rahate was pressurised to provide undue benfit to Adanis he opted for a long leave rather. Energy Ministry still continues to be with Chief Minister Raghubar Das. Secretary was asked to make changes in the MOU which was signed between the government and the Adani Power. If sources are to be believed Adani Power wished to change few clause of agreement. Rahate was ready for the change upto few extent but he did not agree to remaining. According to the rule if a companies establish power plant anywhere in the country, they are expected to provide 25 percent energy to the concerned State. The law says power company will supply energy to the state on the rate decided by the regulator. Whereas it has rights to set the price for remaining share of its produce. Adani Power wanted State government should be supplied 25 percent electricity from another source as well. Rahate even agreed to that. But he stuck to the point where company wanted to decide the rate of electricity of its own.
Jharkhand In Dark, Lights in Bangladesh
Gautam Adani wants to setup a power plant in Godda with a capacity of 1600 megawatt to be sold to Bangladesh. To serve the purpose, Adani and Bangladesh’s electricity board have entered into an agreement which dates back to June 2015. During that time Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on his visit to Dhaka. Local social worker Ram Prasad said electricity generated in the State will go to neighbouring country. Probably the reason behind this electricity is the cost of produce which will be higher in Bangladesh. They are utilizing our resources for production and making the profits individually. We won’t let this happen. Adani is all set to earn a benefit of not less than Rs 2100 crore annually. As per the opposition, Jharkhand will only recieve relocation and pollution from this plant. Jharkhan Vikas Morcha General Sectretary said this relvolution will spread like jungle fire in the State. Other organizations which are standing against the flawed policies of government will also get associated to us very soon. He said 273 villages and 3.25 lakh population is coming in the perview of this project. This impact is direct as well as indirect which is why government needs to reconsider its decision. Judicial enquiry is anticipitated in this land acquisition matter.
A War Imposed On Tribals
In the nutshell government cannot capture the land of tribals without their consent. Fifth and sixth schedule of constitution gives land ownership rights of the region to tribes. According to Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act this land can neither be sold nor transferred irrespective of its ownership. Unfortunately the other name of development is exploitation of natural resources. It is resulting a tussle between the land owners and corporate. Likewise communalism and Nationalism is also a war for gaing economic prestige. When stronger tries suppress the poor with the government machinery, wars shape up. Bhagat Singh said this fight will continue till powerful continue their atrocities on weak.