To Destruction And Hijacking Their Rights To Submission
By Goldy M. George
28 February, 2004
industry is an industry where large scale environmental degradation
and humanrights violation takes place in full view of the public eye.
But the persons involved in these crimes get away quite easily. Here
is an enquiry into the whos and whys of this problem.
Refutation of the
rights is characteristically multidimensional - one is the denial of
the eligible rights of the people in mining zones, another is the flouting
of law by the State machinery and third is the rights of the mineworkers.
Looking at the aspect of denial of rights, certain constitutional provisions
are also not taken care while executing the project. Apart from this,
there are some other laws with specific provisions in terms of land
acquisition, right on common property like water, forests, etc. provisions
preventing any sort of mining activity within the Scheduled Area and
so on. In most of the places such violations have become a common routine.
Labour laws are never practices for the mineworkers. In almost all the
places these mines are recruiting contract labourers.
Some of the commonly
violated norms of the Constitution of India such as fundamental rights
and Directive Principles of State Policy are noted below.
(i), (e) - Right to settle in any part of the country.
(o), (g) - Right to practice any profession.
(i), (f) - Right to acquire, preserve and transfer the property.
Article 21 - Right to live and livelihood.
Directive Principles of State Policy:
Article 38 - Assures the protection of the social order and promotion
of welfare of the people.
Article 39 (a) - Right to earn a dignified livelihood.
Article 39 (b) - The State shall in particular direct its policy towards
securing - that the ownership and control of the material resource of
the community are so distributed as best to sub-serve the common good;
that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration
of the wealth and means of production to the common detriment.
Article 46 - The State shall promote
.the Scheduled Caste and the
Schedule Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all
forms of exploitation.
Article 47 - Duty of the state to develop the standard of living of
Article 48 - To protect agriculture and animal resource.
Article 51 A (g), (i) - It is the fundamental duty of every citizen
of India - to protect the natural environment including forest, lakes,
river and wild life.
Mining in forest
areas grossly violates major provisions under the National Forest Policy
1988 such as Sections 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 3.5, 4.3, 4.4, 4.6, and
4.9. Similarly in Scheduled Areas all provisions with regards to the
Scheduled Area Act as well as the provisions under the Panchayat Raj
Act are clearly violated. In Section 4 (a) it clearly states, "a
state legislation on the panchayats that may be made shall be in consonance
with the customary law, social, and religious practices and traditional
management practices of community resource". Further Section 4
(b) says, "every gram sahbha shall be competent to safeguard and
preserve the traditions and customs of the people, their cultural identity,
community resources and the customary mode of dispute resolution"
. The Scheduled Area Act or the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Area
Act (PESA) is one powerful weapon in fighting unjust mining. The whole
of Samatha judgement is based on this Act itself. However it will depend
upon the fact whether it is a forest area or an Adivasi belt to make
use of such provisions. Gross irregularity and corruption in granting
the mining lease are involved. Displacement and migration, socio-cultural
and environmental impact of mining, have increased the gap between the
rich and poor even in rural areas.
Though the inception
of planned economic development in India brought in a lot of infrastructure
projects, they have displaced a number of people yet there is absence
of a national displacement and rehabilitation policy. Neither in the
national level nor in the State level there exist any specific legislation
for rehabilitation of the project oustees. Hence there is difficulty
in claiming rehabilitation as a matter of constitutional right of the
citizens once they are displaced. Although in some states like Orissa
there are certain policies, it stands against people's aspiration. In
fact this very policy undermines the possibility of Adivais rights in
In certain states
there are specific provisions holding back transfer of Adivasi land
to non-Adivasis. For example 170-B of the M.P. Land Revenue Code in
Madhya Pradesh. But again this is not a national policy barring transfer
of Adivasi land to non-Adivasis. In addition to this land could be taken
away from people as a part of land acquisition in the name of National
First is the exploitation
of non-renewable resources. Mining and production is basically opposite
to the man-production relationship. It is not only extracting the huge
deposits of rich minerals, but also further widens the gap of any possibility
of restoration of it. This at large disturbs eco-system and erupts major
ecological problems, which threatens the life of the mother earth to
unpredictable magnitude. In other words life on earth will be at stake
if the present trends of mining continues.
Second is the development-induced
displacement. Large number of communities and village are being displaced
due to intensive mining. In Bhilai itself more than 50000 people were
ousted, whose whereabouts are still unknown. Rest of Chhattisgarh has
displaced nearly a million for industrial purpose. Displacement is not
just discarding them from their land and livelihood, but at large pushing
them into abject poverty and socio political problems like bonded labourers,
child labours, prostitution, etc. This is the kind of development for
which we cast our kudos and eulogy.
Third is mining
and labour. Retrenchment of labours is highly escalating. With the loss
of livelihood, the local people are reduced increasingly or compelled
to work as labourers, Another reason for this is the immigration of
employees, who are appointed on high posts with perks. This further
reduces the job opportunity of the local populace. Moreover paucity
of adequate education and advanced technical knowledge they are prevented
from job opportunities. Mechanisation of industries is increasingly
expanding and cut-down the possibility of employment. Labourers are
not even paid the minimum wages affixed by the Government, nor they
are provided with any of the facilities.
In 1984, in Bhilai
Steel Plant, 96,000 workers were employed. By 1992 it was reduced to
55000 workers. Current there are only 38000 workers. The production
has tripled but the number of workers has fallen. One of the retired
Managing Directors had once said that BSP could go full swing with just
6000 workers. They have such a plan, which includes massive mechanisation
and automation. There is a cement factory run by Ambuja (formerly is
was Modi), which has the largest production capacity in Asia. Its total
capacity is 10.46 lakh tonnes. But to produce that, they have engaged
only 300 workers. Twenty-six years ago Tata had put up a cement factory
in Jamul. In 1992 it had the production capacity of 4 lakh tonnes and
the number of workers were 1800. The mechanisation goes to such an extent
that in future it may need only two or three workers to run the plan.
The prophets of industrialisation talks about prosperity and creation
of jobs, but what is actually happening is shocking.
an iron ore-mining town. It meets the total iron ore requirements of
the Bhilai Steel Plant. In Dalli-Rajhara, the Rajhara mechanised mine
has been running since 1958. The preparations for mechanising the Dalli
mine began in 1977. By 1978 the situation of mechanisation became even
more clear and lucid, when at deposit no. 5 in Bailadila mines, 10000
labourers were rendered jobless at one stroke. All resistance was crushed.
10000 huts were burnt down, numerous women raped, and labourers fired
upon. The orgy of mechanisation forced 10000 labourers to face the desperation
of hunger. The fact that the machinery in question was produced in Russia
and was therefore socialistic, progressive machinery - however it did
not mitigate the grim fate of these labourers.
In the 1980's, the
government sought imports of technology in the coal sector to encourage
foreign collaborators to implement the projects on a turnkey basis.
With guarantees against time and cost over-runs, the government entered
into a long-term agreement for Soviet "technical assistance"
in the coal sector until the year 2000. The USSR was to collaborate
in the development of fifteen coal-mining projects, five open cast mines
and ten underground mines from the stage of preparation of the feasibility
report till the mining stage. The foreign exchange component to cover
the cost of equipment and services would be covered with Soviet soft
loans and long-term credit.
The Government also
sought collaboration with Poland, U.K., France, West Germany, East Germany,
Canada and Australia for projects till the mining stage. These collaborations
were strictly technical and only up till the mining stages. The ownership
of the mines and their running would still be with the PSU.
imports were criticised by sections of the press in India as 'importing
obsolete' and 'creating a relationship of dependent exploitation'. The
aim of these changes was to increase output per worker shift. Coal India
Ltd. (CIL) a PSU accumulated losses at the end of 1986-87 to the tune
of Rs. 1,800 crores. It was hoped that these steps would reverse the
Up till the 80s
whatever mechanisation has taken place was primarily due to some special
binding agreement with another country. The countries selling the machinery
first develop the respective machinery and when they are unable to sell
it through ordinary channels, they cast their eyes on the developing
nations under the guise of technology up-gradation or some other pretext.
However today it is carried out as a part of the Structural Adjustment
so that less input may provide more output. Even retrenchment of workers
is a part of this larger agenda.
The dumping of obsolete
machinery and technology in the third world, especially in India, is
destabilising the very economy. Only an economic policy based on self-reliance
can strengthen our economy. The deployment of machinery should be undertaken
only when it is keeping with the economic, social and cultural needs
of the specific locality and country.
issue related with mechanisation is that of contract labour. Industrial
development and contract labour system co-exist in the country like
twin brothers. Contract labour system is diametrically opposite to any
intension of scientific mining.
Mining and the Question
of Land - The Case Study of Chhattisgarh:
Chhattisgarh is the richest State in terms of mineral wealth, with 28
varieties of major minerals. Chhattisgarh, along with two other Indian
States has almost all the coal deposits in India, and with this the
state is moving towards the 'power hub' strategy. All the tin ore in
India is in Chhattisgarh. A fifth of iron ore in the country is here,
and one of the best quality iron ore deposits in the world is found
in the Bailadila mines in south Chhattisgarh, from where it is exported
to Japan. Rich deposits of Bauxite, Limestone, Dolomite and Corundum
are found in the State. The State is lucky to have large deposits of
coal, iron ore and limestone in close proximity, making it the ideal
location for the lowest cost of production.
All doors for private
participation in the mining sector are widely open in Chhattisgarh.
The State's Mineral Policy, 2001 has created a conducive business environment
to attract private investment in the State, both domestic and international.
Procedures have been simplified. At the same time the state is willing
to provide resources and manpower having trained in tailor-made programs
in geology, geophysics, geochemistry, mineral beneficiation, mining
The State is ensuring
a minimum lease area with secured land rights so that investors can
safely commit large resources to mining projects. For surmounting the
long-drawn out process of getting mineral-related leases, at the State
level, quick processing of applications is given top priority. For major
minerals under the Mines & Minerals (Development & Regulation)
Act, where approvals are required from Government of India, the State
Government is helping in strong advocacy to get such approvals quickly.
and Bilaspur districts are the coal zones in Chhattisgarh. It is estimated
that more than 72 thousand acres of land have leased out to SECL for
coal mining, by which hundreds of villages have already been affected.
Bastar and Durg districts have some of the rare quality of steel in
the world. Nearly 20 thousand acres of land have been occupied for mining
steel in Bailadeela and Dalli Rajhara area of these districts.
Heavy deposits of
limestone are also found in Chhattisgarh region. In an area of three
districts itself, i.e. Raipur, Durg and Bilaspur, there are 10 big factories
of all big industrial houses and with many more small ones and its auxiliary
units. Most of these have been established in the last 15-18 years.
Huge diamond deposits in Devbhog (Raipur) and Bastar are also in the
eyes of the MNCs.
In all for cement
industry 2990 acres, 14530 acres for rice mills, 7665 acres for steel
industry, for ferry alloys 940 acres and 285 acres for re-rolling mills
have been already acquired in the area. Apart from these 18652.377 acres
of lands has been rendered on lease for other mining purpose. Therefore
land acquisition followed by the adverse impact on the people is a major
issue in Chhattisgarh.
There is a cement
factory run by Ambuja group (formerly by Modi group), which has the
largest production capacity in Asia. Its total capacity was 10.46 lakhs
in 1992. But to produce that they have engaged only 300 workers. 24
years ago Tata had put up a cement factory in Jamul near Bhilai. It
had a production capacity of 4 lakh tons and the number of workers are
So far the people
are concerned the situation is grim. They are pushed beyond the margins
and the space is further withering. Hence it is the right time to go
ahead with a wider campaign program with a long-term agenda. Although
some groups have been fighting against this issue, a wider and consolidated
effort is what is lacking. Therefore there is the urgency of building
common agenda of all mining groups in this area. Further if such efforts
are brought together the potential of a systematic and strategic anti-Mining
struggle is immense.
This is essential
since most of the people who are affected are Adivasis, Dalits and other
marginalized communities. Usurpation of thousands of acres of land is
a usual phenomenon of all mining and industrialisation process. Women
are the most pretentious in this process, as they bear triple burden.
They remain as the unobserved recipient of all these misfortunes. These
communities, to greater extent it consisted of egalitarian values, have
built is further shrinking. Due to automation and mechanisation even
the employment opportunity provided by these mining companies have disappeared.
Health is another area of severe concern. Education for the children
of the already battered strata has become a distant dream.
Ground Realities about mineral situation in Chhattisgarh
Iron ore 2336.00
Tin ore 38.89
This puts forward
an array of questions with respect to the possible quantum of land acquisition
Drawing the Line
Resistance in mining
area were of two types. One was totally against any sort of mining or
activities related with mining. Second was the struggle of the mineworkers.
People have waged large number of struggles across the country in which
diverse methods, strategies and tactics were applied ranging from direct
action to legal battles. Some of the resistance against exploration
of mines such as the proposed BALCO exploration in Gandhamardan hills
of Western Orissa, steel plant of Tata in Gopalpur, the proposed Bauxite
mining by Bauxite India Limited in Markatola, Bastar are some of the
instances where people could overt the State's efforts. Orissa had turned
out to be the underbelly of mining struggles in India.
Many other struggles
continues like the fight against Utkal Alumina International Ltd. (UAIL)
in Kashipur, the struggles in Nagarnar, against the Jindals in Chattisgarh
and Goa, against Coal mining in different parts of Jaharkhand and Uttar
Pradesh or with small local mining companies as in Rajasthan and in
thousands of other places in the country. The experience has been far
from a fruitful.
One crucial case
study is that of Kashipur. Orissa is known for its rich mineral deposits.
The assessed reserves of chromium and nickel ores and bauxite in the
State constitute a substantial proportion of the total deposits of them
in the country. Taking advantage of the process of liberalisation and
the opening up of the economy, private companies set their sights on
the Kashipur region, which has considerable concentration of bauxite.
In the region, the Baphilimali hill is estimated to have a deposit of
1,957.3 lakh tonnes of bauxite, Kadingamali 914 lakh tonnes, and the
Sasubo-humali hill 860 lakh tonnes. The Katuramali hill in nearby Thuamulrampur
block has a deposit of 400 lakh tonnes.
Utkal Alumina, a
consortium of Indian Aluminium Company (INDAL) (now owned by HINDALCO,
part of the Aditya Birla group), the Tatas (they pulled out in 1998),
Hydro Aluminium of Norway (or Norsk Hydro) and ALCAN (Aluminium Canada),
are in the forefront of the mining-related activities. The Orissa Mining
Corporation, the State government organisation, has been sidelined in
the process. In the case of Utkal Alumina, it is estimated that 1,750
hectares of land will be required for mining, the plant site, a township
and dumping spots. Apart from this, a stretch of land approximately
20 km long and 50 metres wide will be required for conveyer and corridor
maintenance. The entire project is 100 per cent export-oriented.
populations, loss of livelihood and damage to the environment and ecology
of the region, which have been the consequences of mining and industrial
activities, were kept hidden from the outside world or presented in
a misleading manner.
Concerned over the
prospect of having to leave their hearth and home, people started organising
themselves. Road blockades, demonstrations and dharnas were organised
in front of government offices at Kashipur and Rayagada. Survey teams
of the companies were denied access to the area. Day and night vigil
was maintained to prevent the entry of the government and company officials.
The responses of
the Adivasi people were coordinated by organisations such as the Prakrutik
Sampada Surakhya Parishad, the Baphilimali Surakhya Samiti and the Anchalik
Surakhya Samiti. Every village now had a resistance body.
The State government,
instead of winning the cooperation of the Adivasi people by accepting
the community's customary rights over the land and water and of access
to forest resources, alienated them. The government and the companies
appear to prefer the path of confrontation.
This is against
the constitution of India and the "Samatha judgement" which
came as an order from the Supreme Court in 1997. The affected villages
have been resisting this project since they first learnt about the possible
ill effects in 1993. The government and UAIL have sought to suppress
the direct patronisation of the companies, a pro-project group has also
been formed. Those who fight for the rights of livelihood and against
displacement are branded as people who oppose industrialisation and
development. The pro-project group propagated the idea that the mining
of bauxite was the only means for the area to cross the boundaries of
backwardness. The Adivasi people are advised to sacrifice their "petty"
rights in the "interest of the nation".
The pro-mining group,
which includes professionals, traders, contractors and others, feel
that the Adivasi people would have gained enormously with the implementation
of the projects. The government machinery, which is supposed to protect
the interests of the people, are not perceived as such but are identified
with the strident moves of these groups, which are not affected by the
conflict between the people and the pro-company forces escalated. On
December 15, under the leadership of N. Bhaskar Rao, Rayagada district
president of the BJD, and Krishna Mohapatro, a former block chairman
of Kashipur, a group of people reached Maikanch and allegedly tried
to disrupt a gathering of Adivasi people who were to discuss a "road
blockade" (Chakajam) program at Rafkana junction, 30 km away from
Kashipur, scheduled for December 20. The companies and the State administration
obviously wanted to foil it.
The people resisted
the efforts to disrupt the meeting. On December 16, armed with a first
information report (FIR) filed at the Kashipur police station, two platoons
of armed policemen led by Circle Inspector Subash Swain and Kashipur
Block Development Officer (BDO) Golak Mohanty reached Maikanch. The
policemen beat up the women and asked for the whereabouts of the men,
who were hiding in the nearby hills. Hearing the commotion, the men
returned from the hills. As soon as the policemen noticed the men, they
Since 1993, the
police have registered 80 criminal cases against the Adivasi people
and activists. On several occasions, the police resorted to lathi charge.
Activists were attacked and offices of the resistance movement were
destroyed. Even media persons entering the area were not spared.
On a number of occasions
the Adivasi people filed cases against anti-social elements involved
in the attacks. But the police took no action. Even when media persons
were attacked, the police did not react, for years.
In the firing the
local police killed three unarmed innocent Adivasis and wounded several
more. The killing of Abhilas Jhodia, Raghu Jhodia and Jamudhar Jhodia
has further antagonized the locals who see the use of force as a violation
of their basic human rights. The local resistance to the UAIL project
has only increased after the violence. Similar incidents have occurred
in other areas nearby. There has been a clear and persistent bias of
the state towards corporate entities at the cost of its own people.
Orissa continues this despite the protests of its people; a protest
that has been peaceful and led by some of its most marginalized communities.
Another mode of
action is the legal way like what happened in the Samatha case. However
it is as risky as the direct battle since any sort of a disruption from
the court's part will batter the whole spirit of the battle and further
doors of any fight will also be closed. In the Narmada judgement and
the Forest case of Godavarman as well as the recent verdict opposing
strike by the employees give clear signals of judiciary being biased
towards the globalised-liberalised development. Such resistance could
gain some grounds only when there is a section of sensitive individual
within the judiciary.
Third is that the
workers struggles for job security, against contract labour system and
the making of an El Dorado. The workers have waged several strikes.
One major agenda of the struggle is the opposition towards privatisation
of the coal industry through the back door. National trade unions have
flagged a joint struggle against this process and express the unions'
determination to organise a countrywide struggle to defeat the anti-public
sector policies of the government of India. In fact the centre has been
thinking of bringing in a Coal Mines Nationalisation (Bill) for the
last many years, by which not only the privatisation of coal will become
smoother but also the transfer of PSUs into private corporate houses
will also be easily facilitated.
A State Against
State has turned
into a repressive tool in the hands of the corporate sector, particularly
the mining companies. It has not only imposed anti-people laws and polices
on the people but also wherever people opposed it, people were subjected
to bullets and lathis. De facto this is a part of pressure tactics of
the State. With the rise of globalisation and its ancillary agencies,
state has become characteristically powerless. It is the clear withdrawal
of the state from its welfare responsibilities and acting as a string-puppet
with the corporate sector holding its strings. This is the background
of unleashing ferocious violence on people.
In the last one
decade several incidence of firing and lathi charges have taken place
in mining areas. Three people were killed on 16th December 2000 at Maikanch
in police firing. In Nagarnar police lath charged and fired wounding
3 persons due to bullets and scores due to the lathi charge. In Raigarh,
Satyabhama a tribal woman dies during the indefinite hunger strike against
Jindal. Hence organised violence is a part of the larger violence. Some
more incidences taken place during the course of time, however here
the emphasis is on specific cases where there had been firing and the
State came out with investigation of such police action.
The recently submitted
Justice P K Mishra Commission report on the Maikanch firing incident
in Orissa's Rayagada district has managed a careful balancing act. The
commission was set up by the Orissa government to probe the deaths of
three Adivasis (tribals) killed in police firing in Maikanch on December
16, 2000. For over a decade, Adivasis in the area have opposed UAIL's
bauxite mining project in the region, aware of the displacement of population
and ecological devastation that could follow. The commission has agreed
that while there should not be senseless destruction of the environment,
the state cannot afford to remain backward as a result of environmental
The report gives
a shot in the arm to UAIL and the state government who have been trying
to kick-start the export-oriented alumina project, halted since 2001.
In 2000, when the police fired 19 rounds (not necessary as the commission
puts it) on a crowd of unarmed Adivasis, it formed part of a series
of similar confrontations between Adivasi groups and the authorities.
In 1993, when the project proposal was presented to the people of the
most-affected villages, Kucheipadar and Maikanch, the Adivasis resolutely
opposed it. Since then they have contended with harassment, police brutality
and state coercion. By 1995 land acquisition was already under way,
the banner of Prakrutik Sampada Surakhya Parishad, and other surakhya
(protection) samitis, the Adivasis' struggle has spread to more than
200 villages. They are aware of what is at stake - barely 100 km from
Baphlimali Hill, the proposed mining site, is Nalco's bauxite mine/alumina
smelter, which in just 10 years reduced the area's Adivasis to landless
ecological refugees. Also close by is the Hirakud dam which in the 1950s
uprooted a large number of Adivasis, many of whom were displaced a second
time when their compensated lands were found to be coal-rich. In Orissa
alone, already 14 lakh people, mostly Adivasis, have been displaced
by development projects. The Baphlimali hills are the source of 350
perennial streams. Deforestation caused by the mines and smelter will
be aggravated because of the hilly terrain, resulting in frequent flash
floods and landslides.
The company and
the government, however, maintain that the bauxite-alumina complex would
help the Adivasis. And the P K Mishra Commission feels that bauxite
extraction would not have an adverse impact on the environment. As early
as last April, the Indian Aluminium Company (Indal), UAIL's sole owner,
had announced its decision to recommence work at the site; it hopes
to produce 15 lakh tonnes annually by 2007, the project's first phase.
In the last few years, the state government has continued with the formalities
of licenses, permits and land acquisition - a process made easier because
most Adivasis, unaware of regulations, do not register their land rights.
The 2,800 hectares thus acquired would be handed over to UAIL soon.
Among its recommendations,
the P K Mishra Commission has advised the government to consider the
possibility of giving land in lieu of land taken from Adivasis. But
while the Baphlimali area is to be given over to mining, assessments
by various groups reveal that the requirements of 2,610 hectares of
land, including 1,000 hectares of cultivable land for the factory/wastage
dump alone, will cripple the livelihoods of most settlements in the
area. In fact, many villages stand to lose 75% of cultivable land and
will not even be considered displaced, rendering the people virtually
landless. Even after the project's completion, Adivasis can expect to
see very few benefits since few can hope to gain employment, except
as construction labour or menial help.
So many issues leading
to police firing such as - land acquisition, company sponsored violence,
role of local politicians, tribals' apprehension of losing livelihood,
probable water scarcity due to proposed mining at Baphilimali hills,
were not taken into consideration.
While the Commission
did fault the police for excessive use of force, it did not recommend
any action against them. But then the Maikanch incident is in line with
similar recent incidents when the state has unleashed its machinery
to brutally repress protests by marginalised sections. Two months after
Maikanch, protests against the Koel Karo Dam in Jharkhand led to the
shooting of several Adivasis resisting displacement. Madhya Pradesh
has enacted the MP Special Areas Security Act to ban public protests
and people's groups the state considers a threat; and early this year,
the police fired on Adivasis in Kerala's Muthanga reserve while they
were agitating for land promised them by successive judicial orders.
More compelling is the conclusion reached by former judge D S Tewatia
in his investigation report on the Maikanch incident - the state's administrative
machinery, the police in particular, appeared to have worked at the
behest of the powerful aluminium consortium.
Despite all the
rhetoric of participatory development, Rayagada's Adivasis are denied
even limited constitutional rights. The process of limited 'consultation'
on land acquisition that the Panchayat Act for Scheduled Areas provides
to Adivasis was avoided. The government and UAIL are also in contempt
of the Supreme Court's 1997 decision in the Samatha case, which prohibits
mining by private companies in Adivasi areas.
According to the
Justice Dave commission Report 50 percent of women working in mines
were sexually exploited and not a single case was reported to the police
of cases of firing in mine areas have not yet come out into the limelight
in many cases. Even if the government constitutes an investigation,
it remains void so far the people are considered since the people are
depicted as unwanted and anti development agents. Ironically the judiciary
has also become the bearer of this same. What is lacking, rather missing
is the consciousness of just mining. So thus continues the misery of
Adivasis, Dalits and already battered communities.
The Final Word:
The picture is lucid
at the national level that how the concept of industrialisation under
planned development and now under globalisation liberalisation policies
have adversely affected the masses. In this situation, where are the
people going to be listed. Surely it is the people who have to decide,
but the choice and space is limited. They have to generate more power
from within to fight out the global politics. No state or political
part will come to rescue. People need to speak out.
It is felt that
the land acquisition process and free market economy do not go together.
Even in a market friendly economy the people are not allowed to exercise
their free will in the matter of disposing their land at the market
price. The mechanism of compensation of compensation and rehabilitation
is too much supportive to the corporate sector; this only pauperises
the poor than a change in their destiny. The principles of compensation
never estimates or often forgets that on the very first day of reaching
a rehabilitation colony, a poor family has to buy firewood, which they
procured free from the Common Property Rights (CPR).
Land is a productive
asset but people are more emotionally attached with the land in many
ways. For many it is the symbol of their freedom. To some it is the
image of their fight against the upper caste. It also represents the
mark of reiterating the lost identity. To many it is the icon of self-determination,
co-existence and community feeling. But to the corporate sector and
agents of development it is a commodity to be consumed. The state also
takes side with these so-called think tanks. Land can be purchased and
sold for commercial purpose. Or even it could be acquired forcefully.
The common man of the country sacrifices himself for the relish and
enjoyment of the elite. No mining company could compensate the loss
that people have to suffer.
The trust of the
disinherited was further shattered and disowned by the disingenuous
attitude of the state. In many cases even the highest offices of the
President and the Governor closed eyes and remained disabled to use
their prerogative powers. All attempts were only to sugar-coat and water-down
the efforts of democratic protests and opposition, which give an impetus
to the mining companies to capitalise the situation and overthrow the
people's aspirations. Questions pertaining to human rights violation
went unheard into oblivion.
The abominable and
abhorrent attitude, the odious and repulsive demeanour, the atrocious
and heinous actions of a capitalist is putting forward a large range
of questions before us. The hire and fire formula of the capital-fascist
brigade, the coherence of world capital with global fascism is permeating
glaringly and has pervaded all over. It is under this context questions
such as mining for whom, displacement in whose interest, the meaning
of planned development; the parlance of rehabilitation and resettlement
etc. needs serious rethinking. With such a drastic situation it is not
wise to laud kudos of development; it is the digging of graveyard of
thousands of masses.
The state should
become more responsible and accountable to the masses. In a globalised
era, the sweeping changes in political structures, coupled with the
disempowerment of state, it won't be so easy for the people to survive.
All measure of a 'welfare state' has disappeared in the whirlwind of
planned development and further outgrown with the globalisation liberalisation
policies. Only the people's rise with acute political clarity of taking
up power, the state power can save them from this trauma.
Email the author firstname.lastname@example.org