Injustice done to the Adivasi in terms of land alienation inspite of the Bhudan / Gram Dan movement: A consultation report
Odisha Shanti O Sadbhabana Abhiyan (OSSA) organized a consultation at CYSD Bhubaneswar on 2nd June 2009 to discuss in detail the growing unrest at Narayanpatana (Koraput). Prominent social activist from the affected area and the OSSA fraternity gathered to take stock of the situation and plan for the future action strategy. The issue was discussed at length and the following major opinions were generated in the process.
That the present situation has mainly emerged out of the years of injustice done to the tribals in terms of land alienation in spite of the Bhudan/Gram Dan movement which was an intense one in the district of Koraput. All kind of land settlement act has failed to ensure the entitlements of the tribal people in the area and therefore land is the main issue and central to the solution of the present crisis.
Tribals have been victim of the misinformation campaign by local politicians, Mahajans,money lender etc not to legally posses land to have respite from land rent payment. Community and mass ownership of land by tribals have converted to mass transfer of land to non tribals opportunist.
Tribals do not have any other means of sustainability except land vis a vis the non tribals and also some better off tribals. Therefore there is no other means but the restoration of tribal land rights that will decide the prospect of long term peace and harmony in the affected areas.
Apart from the problem of Land, the problem of liquor and daily wage disparity and discrimination, indebtness etc had added to the intensity of the present unrest. However violence of any kind can't be justified for all kinds of past exploitation and atrocities on tribals and all efforts should be made to resolve the issue through peaceful dialogue and negotiation among the rival groups.
There is commonly shared mutual apprehension and threat perception among the rival groups like SANGAM and ANSAGAM does not have any rational base but being propagated by vested interest in the media and else where. The perception that the CHASI MULIA ADIVASI SANGHA Is all for violence killings and destruction is also not totally true. However there is confusion among leadership and there is also apprehension that it could result in castist polarization and large scale violence if not contained at present.
Government can't remain just a mute spectator to this present violence and shed its responsibility by merely providing relief and security to the affected people which is also not being properly done. It must ensure that the land right of the tribal people is reinforced at the earliest and people must be reassured regarding this through all possible means.
In order to restore confidence among the tribals govt. must work in tandem with civil society groups already active in the area and working on this issue and must broaden the sphere peace committee by including all the stake holder of the present crisis.
The relief and rehabilitation measures must be augmented in the view of arrival of the monsoon and proper security measure must be taken to check further violence in the area.
CIVIL SOCIETY RESPONSE
Civil society groups are already active in the area on this issue and have started the dialogue process among different groups. The steps already taken or planned are as follows.
1. Making independent assessment of the damage of house and property.
2. Analyzing historically the root cause of the problem including preparing a data base of total land ownership, share of tribal and non tribal and the free land available.
3. Facilitating community dialogue among the affected population and the CMAS.
4. Encouraging the involvement of local lawyers and journalists to in the dialogue process and also to bring out the truth of the matter and discouraging exaggeration.
OSSA in this concern decide to send a five member team consisting some senior members like Sri Aditya Pattanaik, Md. Ziauddin Ahmed, Sri Hansharaj Mishra, Manoj Jena and Askhya Kumar to visit Narayanpatana and make an independent assessment of the whole issue before deciding any future couse of action on the issue.The team shall come back around 10th of june and a further consultation shall be organized to develop clarity and take a position on the issue. The consultation ended with Dr. Bhagbanprakash thanking the all the following members present in the consultation who made the meeting a success.
Members in the Consultation
1.Sri Ratan Das 2. Hansraj Mishra 3.Basanti Jena 4.Rajeswari Dalai 5.Manoj Jena 6. Md. Ziaudin Ahmed 7.Madhumita Ray 8.Askhya Kumar 9.Bijay Kumar Baboo 10.Badal Kumar Tha 11.Lalit Mohan Mishra 12.Bidu lata Hunak 13.Ramakanta Jena 14. Sri Prafulla Sahoo 15.Dr. Bhagbanprakash 16. Prof. Radhamohan 17.Aditya Pattanaik 18. Sri Kailash Acharya 19.Sri Subhranshu Panda 20.Pradeepta Sundaray
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