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Young India Movement

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Save Jharkhand

Save Jharkhand 

I stand for judicious and balanced economic development in agrarian, industrial, infrastructural and social sectors raising the standard of living of the people: Shashikant Singh


Saturday, 21 February 09, news flows as headline in a reputed Hindi newspaper, ' Today the bribe amount of 150 crores will be shared.' This report was addressing the vast corruption of Prime Minister's Rural Road Development Scheme, conducted in Jharkhand by Jharkhand State Rural Road Development, Authority [JSRRDA]. This was a record and vast corruption matter. Further in this news many details were added that how the above mentioned amount will be shared between the officials of this department………………….the second news in the bottom line of this news paper was ' Governor House is serious against the corruption in the State. In this news, there was a detail of one case in which Governor was taking action seriously, as the state was in president Rule. The next day I saw several articles in several newspapers admiring the Governor's action taken in few corruption matters. However, the matter of 150 crores was out of every newspaper and even a single sentences was not mentioned by the Governor, any newspaper, and political parties and nor there was any reaction at any level against this serious corruption matter.

I thought it is to be a serious mater, if the news paper has highlighted this news as the headline it must be according to any evidence or report or it may be all false!. But it was challenge to our system and if the news was true there should be taken some serious and legal action by the Governor, Political parties and almost I suggest for the High Court who was able to admit this issue as a public plea as the matter concerns public Interest and the huge amount which was to be shared was for the development of a poor state……………………………… the matter was of investigation and legal action against the corrupt officials. And if the news was false it was the matter of misguiding the people and challenging the system without any evidence…!
On the other side, I also thought that it was to justified corruption as the Winning Ideology, which has gained the acceptance in our state and country at every level of our system. Politics, economy and I admit ' in our whole society'

I live in Jharkhand:
Yes, I was born in Jharkhand! I live in the state, which is facing serious political gap. After the formation of Jharkhand as the separate State from Bihar, the people thought that their dreams will be fulfilled now and they will get their right and prosperity. Now, we know that from the last 30 years the Panchayat Election has yet not been conducted in the state people in this state are below poverty line. State is in the debt of 21,423 crores /Rs. The charges of corruptions on various levels and on several ministers of Jharkhand are being heard in the Vigilance department and yet are waiting for justice! Jharkhand has never been witnessed required land Reformation and the laws like CNT Act [1908] and SPT Act [1949], which was the results of great peasant's struggle against the British Rule, is violated by the government and the big corporate houses. Most of the land in Jharkhand is in the grasp of these corporate houses, Industrialists, Estates, Jamindars and land mafia.
It is the fact that out of 79.71 thousand square Kilometers of land in Jharkhand, only less than 48 % land is cultivable and only 26 % land in being cultivated with 5.26 % of irrigation facilities. Still until today, we are depended on rainwater for harvesting. Jharkhand is facing the lack of food grain. The requirement of food grain for the 2.79 crores people of Jharkhand is about 44-lakh metric ton at the ratio of 445 gram per day per people. Still the State production is only 24-lakh metric ton and we face the deficit of 20-lakh metric ton. In this context, Public Distribution System [PDS] is failed in the state due to irregularities, Corruption and the UN human approach of central and state government for the people of Jharkhand who are facing the serious problem of job, hunger and malnutrition. Even the state has witnessed hunger death in the many rural part, the government in spite of being ashamed has cut the numbers of family from 53.75 lakhs to 29.09 lakhs taking advantages of PDS system including the cut of 5.06 lakh people who were living below poverty line [BPL]. This has compelled the Supreme Court to intervene, Central Vigilance Committee has been formed under the Chairmanship of Justice D. P. Badhwa, and the Committee started its investigation in Jharkhand in December 2008. It is the truth that, State is facing serious food security and due to the failure of NREGA in which there was, tall promises to give employment to the needy, the problem has taken the severe shape. Illegally contractors are appointed in NREGA mainly belonging to ruling parties. Rural poor are deprived of their legal right to job and are pushed to die. Lack of job and absence of food security led to massive labour migration from the State, mostly belonging to Scheduled Tribes, Dalits and other weaker sections of the society. One feature of such labour migration is the forced entire family migration in absence of food security and source of earning.
Since the formation of the state on 15 November 2000 till today: Ignoring all other aspects and only giving emphasis on industries 98 mou's were signed by the government in the name of development and the required land for these mou's is more than119797.7 acre [data collected according to the estimate of 66 signed mou's, rest signed mou's data was not available]. It means that these mou's as past will result large number of displacement in the name of development! We know that Jharkhand has already number of big and small industries and few major industries are also of international level but still due to the government policy influenced by imperialistic approach of development it has not change the lives of Jharkhand's people. But what it meant for the government, Industrialists and Corporate houses is not concerned with the people of Jharkhand but only the interest of Imperialistic approach of development where there is only profit in the price of human blood and where the humanity is killed and also no scientific approach matter for them.
Jharkhand Government announced Industrial Policy, 2001 with major changes in both the land tenancy acts of Jharkhand – Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act. Having single perspective for exploitation of rich mineral resources of Jharkhand and after that the State Government announced a Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy in 2008 in total disregard to provisions of Constitution and law.
Jharkhand government has attempted to dilute Constitutional provision: Immediately after formation of Jharkhand, provision of fifth Schedule of the Constitution was diluted by removing urban areas from the Scheduled Areas in 2003 notification. After agitation and persuasion, urban areas were again brought in the Scheduled Areas by district wise re-notification by Presidential order in 2007. Government is Violating the Constitutional Direction in fifth Schedule: The fifth Schedule of the Constitution directed –'Prohibit or restrict the transfer of land by or among members of the Scheduled Tribes in such area". For administering the provisions of fifth Schedule Areas in 13 districts and 3 blocks in other districts of Jharkhand, Tribes Advisory Council is constituted. However, for land acquisition by the Government and in its Rehabilitation and Resettlement policy, these direction of the Constitution is grossly been violated. With the same view government is violating the provisions of PESA: The Section 4 (i) of The Provisions of Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 states," The Gram Sabha or the Panchayats at the appropriate level shall be consulted before making the acquisition of land in the Scheduled Areas for development projects and before re-settling or re-habilitating persons affected by such projects in the Scheduled Areas;"
Today Jharkhand is facing major cases of displacement. Potka development brought out some basic issues in the fore. The Government of Jharkhand took policy decision that private companies should privately acquire 70 % of land of their own for the proposed plants. This policy itself violates the provision of the Constitution and PESA Act in Scheduled areas and CNT and SPT Acts. Entire government's machinery was mobilized to help privately owning land for the industrialists. The companies, in turn, mobilized touts and musclemen to pressurize the peasants to give up their land in violation of the above-mentioned provisions of the Constitution and law.
In another example, of similar nature, of proposed Jindal Steel at Sonahatu in Ranchi district. A private company, the Surveyors and Allied Engineers of Ranchi, conducted the survey of privately owned lands of peasants of Sonahatu without their knowledge and understanding. This was followed by collecting filled and signed printed forms from the villagers, owning land, addressed to the Deputy Commissioner, Ranchi for his approval under Section 49 of CNT Act. Under CNT Act, the Deputy Commissioner acts as the court in land related matters. He is to protect the interests of Scheduled Tribes, as the land is non-transferable without his approval. In this case, as per direction of the Government, the Deputy Commissioner himself acted on behalf of the company and, therefore, cannot act judiciously and independently in judicial capacity as per the provision of Act.
Another case of similar nature is in Balumath block in Latehar district where Abhijeet Group of Companies is proposing to establish a power plant acquiring coal block threatening displacing large number of Schedule Tribes, Dalits and others. The company is privately trying to own land with the help of police and administration terrorizing the villagers. In the process false FIR have been filed against 11 innocent persons.
The other side large numbers of cases of displacement are pending in Jharkhand for justice and settlement since the time of undivided Bihar: 600 sq kms area of Jharia coalfield area and 7 lakhs people are affected due to underground fire. Their lives, livelihood and property are under threat. It is a national disaster economically, socially and of environment. RSP College of Jharia town, where about 6,000 students are studying and adjacent water supply centre are also under serious threat. Irresponsible notice was issued to RSP college of Jharia, to shift as the principal of the college ‘deem fit.’ According to Director General of Mines Safety, ‘the distance of R.S.P. College structure from the probable seat of fire is about 200 miters’. In addition, according to the report of Central Mining Research Institute ‘The rate of progress of fire in zone-1 (towards RSP College) is in the range of 8-3 M/month’. Yet, there is no scheme to save Jharia town and other areas outside the fire zone.
Thousands of land losers are yet to get jobs at Maithon and at other locations of Damodar Valley Corporation despite earlier assurances and list prepared by DVC
About 50% of land losers are yet to get compensation of Subarnarekha Multipurpose Project where villagers of 116 villages were affected.
Despite 1971 agreement Indal aluminum factory at Muri is yet to provide jobs to land losers despite written agreement and government's inspection report.
Thousands of people are affected and deprived of their developmental benefits who are still residing in Coal Company's lease holding areas.

I stand for judicious and balanced economic development in agrarian, industrial, infrastructural and social sectors raising the standard of living of the people. I stand in the support of all revolutionaries who are struggling for their resources of livelihood and the Identity of the language and culture of the tribes, Dalits and Jharkhand's people. However, I want to say that we have to understand Bhagat Singh in large panorama. In Jharkhand, we are facing the vast attack of Imperialism, so we have to see the struggle of Jharkhand in the perspective of war against Imperialism and continue the war with our full effort. The war, which was fought by Tilka Manjhi, Sido-Kanho, Birsa Munda, Nilambar-Pitambar and many more martyrs. These wars were guided by the strong feeling of love for humanity…….and the war is going on.


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