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Mining To Destruction And Hijacking Their Rights To Submission

By Goldy M. George

28 February, 2004

Mining 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 Rights:

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.

Constitutional Rights:

Fundamental Rights:
Article 19
(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 the people.
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 many ways.

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 Development.

Arising Questions:

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.

Mechanisation & Workers:

Dalli-Rajhara is 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.

Such technology 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 trend.

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.

Another critical 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 engineering, etc.

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.

Sarguja, Raigarh 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 1800.

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
Dolomite 606.00
Limestone 3580.60
Iron ore 2336.00
Coal 35374.90
Bauxite 96.00
Tin ore 38.89

This puts forward an array of questions with respect to the possible quantum of land acquisition in future.

Drawing the Line of Resistance:

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.

Displacement of 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 their claims.

Meanwhile, under 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 projects

Consequently 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 opened fire.

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 its People:

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 protection.

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, often violently.

Organised under 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 in Rajasthan.

Investigation reports 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.

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