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Posts Tagged ‘Adivasi’

Kerala: Chengara stir will be spread if not solved, landless tribals’ stir enters third year

Posted by Admin on August 4, 2009


chengara12A protest by nearly 5,000 tribals demanding land at a rubber estate near here completes two years Tuesday. The group heading the strike has slammed the Left-led Kerala government for not resolving the issue.

The landless tribals have been staying in tents pitched in the Kumbazha rubber estate of Harrisons Malayalam Ltd (HML) in Chengara, about 120 km from Thiruvananthapuram, since Aug 4, 2007 to mark their protest.

Led by the Sadhu Jana Vimocha Samyukta Vedi (SJVSV) headed by Laha Gopalan, the protesters have been demanding land from the government. Gopalan lashed out at the Left government, especially the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which he termed as a party that had no regard for the poor.

‘The CPI-M has proved beyond doubt that they have no concern for the downtrodden. Otherwise, would they have allowed this genuine strike to enter the third year. They have let us down very badly,’ said Gopalan. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chengara, Kerala | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Whose land is it anyway?: An article on Koraput land struggle

Posted by Admin on August 3, 2009


After decades of condemnation, tribals in western Orissa have liberated their land. Interestingly, in this Maoist stronghold, this unique movement is non-violent

Bibhuti Pati Narayanpatna, Koraput (Orissa)

The undivided Koraput district in western Orissa has acquired notoriety because of the Maoists literally taking over the dense hilly and forest areas, inhabited by tribal communities, still trapped in the vicious trap of infinite poverty, injustice and underdevelopment. The Maoists’ presence stretch across the landscape and beyond to Ganjam, Malkangiri, Rayagada, and across the tense border zones of Jharkhand, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

Strangely, even as the national media focuses on Maoists, it has ignored a unique, militant and non-violent mass movement of the tribals which is as big a story as the land struggle in Nandigram, or the people’s resistance in Lalgarh. Indeed, there have been isolated incidents of violence, but largely, the movement has been peaceful. And the truth is, it has been a big success. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gravest displacement, Bravest resistance: The struggle of adivasis of Bastar, Chhattisgarh against imperialist corporate landgrab

Posted by Admin on July 26, 2009


By Sudha Bharadwaj. Columnist, Sanhati

gandhi_ashram_demolish_illus_20090608The rule of law does not do away with the unequal distribution of wealth and power but reinforces that inequality with the authority of law. It allocates wealth and poverty in such complicated and indirect ways as to leave the victim bewildered.

– Howard Zinn

Dedicated to the memory of Tapasi Malik,, Dula Mandal, Lakhiram Tuddu, Satyabhama
Whose names we know,
And the hundreds of adivasis of Bastar
Whose names will remain unknown till we claim them.

Why this essay?

I don’t live in Bastar, and I am not an adivasi.

But I have been active in the working class movement of Chhattisgarh for the past 22 years, a movement which became legendary under the charismatic leadership of Comrade Shankar Guha Niyogi. And I strongly feel that understanding what is happening in Bastar today is of the greatest significance not only to us in Chhattisgarh, but to all those who want to understand imperialist onslaught and corporate land grab, particularly in the resource-rich adivasi areas; for all of us involved nationwide in the anti-displacement movement which is day on day becoming a fierce life-and-death struggle against all odds; and in fact for all of us in the peoples’ movements who are faced with the abysmally criminal failure of democratic institutions and shrinking democratic spaces on the one hand, and growing repression on the other.

Salwa Judum CampJustice Krishna Iyer, in a speech delivered in the memory of Com. Niyogi said that “he tried boldly and bravely to bring the Constitution to life for lakhs of miners and contract labourers”. Com Niyogi was murdered on 28th September 1991 within a fortnight of his petitioning the highest authority of this land – the President of India. The industrialists convicted for his murder by the Sessions Court of Durg were acquitted by the High Court and Supreme Court. The thousands of workers of Bhilai, for whose cause he laid down his life, are still out of work, their cases pending in the High Court. The last essay he wrote, with an uncharacteristic urgency, was “Rajeev Gandhi Ki Hatya Kyon?” (”Why was Rajiv Gandhi murdered?”) in which he forcefully argued that Rajiv Gandhi, though himself of the “liberalization” paradigm, was considered to be moving too slowly and was eliminated to allow “those who wanted the dollar to move in fast” to have their way. Com. Niyogi predicted that unless there was a widespread debate and churning among the patriotic and democratic sections of the people, our country would become the “grazing ground of the multinationals”, for now “only those persons will occupy the seats of power, whom the multinationals favour”. At that time, in May 1991, his article seemed to many, to be exaggerated or the usual leftist conspiracy theory. Now we know, it was prophetic.

This essay is part of that debate.

Salwa judam atrocities The ravaged remains of Gothi Koya lives, after forest rangers burnt down their houses.

Salwa judam atrocities The ravaged remains of Gothi Koya lives, after forest rangers burnt down their houses.

In the numerous industrial areas across Chhattisgarh today, the very blood of young contract labourers is being sucked as they labour for 12-14 hours, for far less than minimum wages, without weekly holidays, and without safety or medical facility to generate the enormous wealth of “Chhattisgarh Shining!” Unionizing them today doesn’t only mean facing the goondas of the industrialists, risking the loss of precarious jobs, sustaining an uncompromising struggle against great odds, and developing a mature and bold leadership that can withstand both carrot and stick – though this is a tall enough order. It also means struggling against the serious imperialist onslaught against the people of Chhattisgarh.

An onslaught where gigantic corporations like Holcim and Lafarge are gobbling up the cement sector, they have already acquired ACC, Ambuja, and Raymond Cements. Taking advantage of rich limestone deposits, they are manufacturing the cheapest cement in the world, earning superprofits and planning to set up new capacities. Between them and the big cement manufacturers like Aditya Birla they have formed the “Chhattisgarh Cement Manufacturers Association” a cartel that has its office at a stones throw from Chief Minister Raman Singh’s residence – a proximity symbolic of their stranglehold influence over the state administration. Read the rest of this entry »

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Adivasis’ struggle against displacement in Jharkhand

Posted by Admin on July 26, 2009


By Gladson Dungdung

Jharkhand is known as the abode of Adivasis (the indigenous people, constitutionally they are called as scheduled tribe), the land of struggle and mineral rich state in India. “Jharkhand” literally means ‘the land of forests’ came into existence as 28th state of the Indian union on 15th of November, 2000 after a long mass struggle, which took place in the 20th century for the realization of a beautiful dream of the Adivasi heroes – Tilka Manjhi, Sidhu-Kanhu and Birsa Munda. The dream was to form exploitation free, humane and just Jharkhand, where the Adivasis can practice their ownership rights over the natural resources, enjoy autonomy and rule themselves as earlier they used to. The outsiders perceive Jharkhand as the abode of uncivilized, uneducated and the most backward people i.e. Adivasis therefore the region was mostly neglected in terms of the development but its natural resources were highly exploited. The Adivasis were alienated from their resources, exploited and injustices were done to them in the name of development, civilization and nationalism.

Jharkhand is an important state from the viewpoint of Adivasi population. As per the Census 2001, their total population in the state is 70,87,068 including 35,65,960 male and 35,21,108 female, which consists 26.3% of the total population (26,945,829) of the state though they were more than 50 percent before the independence of India. The growth of the Adivasi population is steadily declining. It was 17.3 per cent in 2001, which is lower by 6 per cent if compared with the growth (23.3 per cent) in 1991. The state has a total of thirty two (32) sub-communities of the Adivasis. Among them Santal, Oraon, Munda, Ho and Kharia are the major Adivasi groups in the state. The major Adivasi populations (91.7 percent) reside in villages and merely 8.3 percent have shifted to the urban areas. The rapid industrialization is one of the major reasons for population declination of the Adivasis. Read the rest of this entry »

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We fight for the people, and our only partners are the oppressed: Maoist Leader Koteshwar Rao

Posted by Admin on July 26, 2009


Date: June 21
Kolkata: A Maoist leader says the rebels are ready for “a protracted war” in Lalgarh, the area in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district that security forces are trying to free from the control of tribals and Maoists.

Defiant stance, A May picture of Koteshwar Rao, who says the stand-off between the Maoists and the government won’t end until police atrocities stop and the administration builds infrastructure at Lalgarh. Indranil Bhoumik

Defiant stance, A May picture of Koteshwar Rao, who says the stand-off between the Maoists and the government won’t end until police atrocities stop and the administration builds infrastructure at Lalgarh. Indranil Bhoumik

“Tell Buddhababu, his forces should fight us—the guerrillas—and not the tribals,” said Koteshwar Rao, who heads guerrilla operations of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in West Bengal. Buddhababu is a reference to West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

Seven months ago, tribals of Lalgarh, backed by Maoist guerrillas, seized control of the area in protest against alleged police atrocities. The administration last week deployed state and central forces to flush out the guerrillas, and has since regained control of the Lalgarh police station.

Rao, who claims to have amassed a huge cache of arms and ammunition, wants a dialogue with the state government, but the administration has ruled out any negotiations with the radical group or the tribals.

“Our aim is to free the locals of Lalgarh, who are living under the terror of the Maoists,” said Raj Kanojia, inspector general of police (law and order).
‘Let them send another 500 companies (of police)… This protracted war is not going to end soon.’

“The tribals are a pawn in the game…they are being used by the Maoists as a human shield. We are trying to flush out the Maoists, who have come from other states such as Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.”
In a telephone interview from Lalgarh, Rao denied that the Maoists were shooting from tribal shoulders. “They support us, and the support is entirely voluntary,” he said. Edited excerpts: Read the rest of this entry »

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Karnataka: Maoists call on tribals to fight against govt

Posted by Admin on July 25, 2009


naxal67CHIKMAGALUR: Naxalites have urged tribals who are living in Kudremukh National Park area to take up their traditional weapons to fight the state government and to protect themselves from eviction.

In a letter sent to newspaper offices, Maoist Area Committee member Kamala has said until now the BJP was spreading just religious communalism to oppress minorities but now it has assumed a fascist face and started training guns on farmers, tribals and workers.

The letter has accused the government of taking statements from tribals by force that they will never cooperate with the Naxals in their fight against the fascist forces. Claiming that Maoists are fighting for the rights of tribals, the letter said it is working to get them right to their dwelling places.

They termed the recent visit of the rural development and panchayat raj minister Shobha Karandlaje to the area as a farce and said the distribution of land rights and other facilities is a drama to make people believe that they will be allowed to live in the place. On the other hand, it is apprehending tribals under the guise of Naxal supporters and putting them behind the bars.

The letter cautioned people that the government is hatching a conspiracy to evict them and they should not give in to the statements. It has also said increase of anti-people programmes will further strengthen the movement.

TOI

Posted in Karnataka | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Lalgarh: Where Have All the Young Men Gone?

Posted by Admin on July 22, 2009


Tribal marchIt is an intriguing mystery, one that is preventing the police, the joint forces, and the West Bengal state government from having a peaceful night’s sleep, despite the fact that many of the trouble-torn areas of the political volcano called Lalgarh in West Midnapore are already free from the Maoist siege which started in Mid-June. Successfully captured the occupied areas they have, but the forces have noticed a large number of young tribal men of the area to be missing, (most of them supporting the Maoists) as they seemed to have left the villages and retreated into the jungles to strike back soon.

According to local estimates, about 10,000 youths have left the villages in the Lalgarh area. The remaining populations, mostly tribal women, have shown remarkable grit and have consistently refused to provide any information regarding the men. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lalgarh: PCPA Seeks support from LF allies

Posted by Admin on July 21, 2009


lalgarh7474Chattradhar Mahato, leader of Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), is now knocking at the doors of the Left Front — minus the CPM — to garner support for their agitation.

He recently spoke to and got a favourable response from the Forward Bloc and RSP. This, despite the fact that the CPM has branded him as a Maoist and he is on the list of “most wanted” by the security forces who are carrying on operations in Lalgarh.

“Our main enemy is the CPM and police. It is not necessary that other Left Front parties are against us. I called up and had talk with senior leaders of the RSP and Forward Bloc. I sought their support in our agitation and to stop the ongoing police operation in Lalgarh. They gave a favourable reply,” Chattradhar Mahato told The Indian Express over phone.

Mahato spoke to RSP central committee member Manoj Bhattacharjee and state secretary of Forward Bloc Ashok Ghosh over phone. Interestingly, both Forward Bloc and RSP have publicly stated that the Lalgarh problem cannot be
solved through police operation. Both parties were also against
banning the Maoists and have said they should be fought out politically.

“We had a talk with Mahato regarding Lalgarh. We still maintain that police operation is not a solution to the problems there. We will deliberate on this issue within our party and also highlight it in the Left Front meeting,” Bhattacharjee said.

The PCAPA, which was set up two years ago following police atrocities in Lalgarh, initially had the support of Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had even visited Lalgarh. Recently, however, she distanced herself from the movement after police operations started and denounced Mahato as Maoist.

lalgarh564Meanwhile, violence continued in Lalgarh on the second day of three-day bandh called by the PCAPA.

On Monday, over 3,000 villagers protested in front of the Gohumi High School in Dharampur against the retaining police camp inside the school. The villagers alleged that for the last one month, students in the area have been at the receiving end after security forces set up camp in the school.

The police lathicharged the villagers leaving 12 people injured. They were taken to Jhargram and Lalgarh police stations. Mediapersons covering the protest were also injured. Following the incident villagers blocked the Lalgarh-Katapahari road by felling trees.

A landmine also exploded in Bankisol forest, Ramgarh, following which gunfire was exchanged between security forces and Maoists. Owing to the bandh call, Lalgarh and adjoining areas were shutdown.

Aajkaal-1_2nd.pmdState Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen, meanwhile, expressed regret over the lathicharge on school children at Lalgarh but accused vested interests of making the most of the situation there. “Unfortunately there was a lathicharge at Lalgarh on school children and we are really sorry for that. But I believe there are some people who are using such occasions to serve their purpose,” Sen said on Monday.

At present as many as eight schools have been occupied by security forces at Lalgarh and classes have been put on hold.

Sen also said the police forces would vacate the schools very soon so that classes can be resumed. “We are looking for alternative accommodations and at some places we are making arrangements in which the forces can use the schools as just night shelters,” he added.

The Home Secretary said the central forces would remain in Lalgarh even after July. “The operation can go on for more than two-three months,” he said.

Indian Express

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Lalgarh: Cops lathicharge agitating students & Villagers

Posted by Admin on July 21, 2009


A protester being chased at GohomidangaHundreds of PCPA supporters and students were lathi-charged at Gohumidanga High School near Dharampur when they held a demonstration to protest the institute being used as a camp by the security forces.

Around 16 people were injured in the lathicharge, the sources said.

The PCPA has called the shutdown in tribal areas of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts to protest the alleged atrocities by security forces during their anti-Maoist operation since June 19 in West Midnapore.

The bandh was peaceful, but transport services were
hit in many areas. Many have quit the CPI-M in areas like Lalgarh, Ramgarh, Manikpara, Belpharai and Goaltore allegedly under the Maoists’ pressure.

lalgarh-demonstration-313In Kolkata, Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said no student was injured in the lathicharge. However, he apologised for the incident, saying, “We are sorry.”

Admitting that demonstrations were taking place against the continued occupation of school buildings by the security forces, he said these would be vacated next month.

The Public Health Engineering (PHE) had set up four accommodations for the Central force, while eight alternative ones were being built for them, Sen said.
He said an encounter had taken place in a forest area in Lalgarh, but none could be arrested.

Some documents and tent-making equipment
were seized. To a question, Sen said, “The
state government can arrest PCPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato, but it is not urgent at the moment. If required he will be arrested.”

Police try to push children back from the school gates.The influence of Maoists on the PCPA has also declined, he said.

To another question, Sen said the Central force would remain in West Midnapore even after July. The state government, however, was yet to request the Centre on how many companies it wanted to retain, he said.

“The operation by the joint forces will continue. This cannot be completed in a month or two. It takes time.”

IBN Live

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Lalgarh Revolt and the Hoax of Development & Democracy

Posted by Admin on July 17, 2009


By Ayesha published on Peoples Truth

How the Mass Anger Exploded

lalgarhBIndian history is now a witness to a heroic mass upsurge that has been going on as a basically adivasi mass uprising in the Lalgarh area in West Midnapur district of West Bengal. Ever since the landmine explosion conducted on November 2 reportedly as a protest against the SEZ bid of West Bengal’s ruling party, on the entourage of Bengal’s Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and the Union Minister steel, chemical & fertilizer Mr. Ramvilas Paswan while returning from the highly state publicized inauguration ceremony of the Jindal Steel Works (A Special Economic Zone) at Salboni in West Midnapore.Police went on rampaging the tribal villages, torturing the tribals and other exploited in the dead of nights in the name of search for Maoists Read the rest of this entry »

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Orissa tribals seek Freedom from Forced Isolation

Posted by Admin on July 17, 2009


In Maoist Fortress of Orissa tribals seek Freedom from Forced IsolationReport by Deba Prasad Dash; Malkangiri: More than twenty one thousand tribal people residing in the cut-off region ,just on the other side of the Chitrakonda Reservoir have sought freedom from the forced isolation.After remaining cut-off from the rest of the world for near about five decades,now the people of 151 revenue villages seems no more to find themselves in an absurd situation.In fact,they are planning for a major revolution against the state machinery under the banner of the newly formed “Cut-off Area Poor Tribals Association”.

The protest made at Chitrakonda by more than 300 tribals from the cut-off region on Wednesday gives a clear indication that a Lalgarh like situation is going to arise there with the tribals supporting the Maoists to get their problems redressed. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Orissa | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Narayanpatna:Chashi Mulia Adivasi Sangha Seized 2000 acres of land from the land lords

Posted by Admin on July 14, 2009


Narayanpatna is no longer under Orissa GovernmentReport by K. Sudhakar Patnaik, Narayanpatna: The tribals of Narayanpatna Seized 2000 acres of cultivatable land from the land lords under the banner of Chashi Mulia Adivasi Sangha known as SANGAM (C.M.A.S) are distributing the land by its Secretary Nachika Linga to the landless.
The sized cultivatable lands covered with Red Flags, Members of the observation committee led by the Koraput Bar Association President Nihar ranjan Pattnaik its Vice- President Krushna Sawn, Advocate Bibek Ranjan Sethi, Social Activist Manoranjan Routray, and senior Journalist K. Sudhakar Pattnaik met Nachika Linga who gave an exclusive interview to the members of the team on Saturday last. It appears the cultivatable land is distributing under the slogan “land to the tiller” Nachika Linga Explained. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chasi Mulia Mahasangh, Orissa | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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