Oct 29: Redistribution of the land and providing employment opportunities to the rural poor has always been a great challenge before the government. Now this time the landless poor realising their rights have come out to struggle for their rights to land. Janadesh rally started from Gwalior on foot after the Jyoti was taken from Rajghat on October 02.
Organised by the Ekta Parishad, almost 27,000 landless labourers, tribals and others have gathered in the capital to make the government pay attention to their demands and address their grievances.
After covering a distance of more than 350 km through MP, UP and Haryana demonstrators reached Delhi on Saturday. Resolved not to return until their grievances are addressed demonstrators have been joined by the people from all over the country, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, UP and Bihar.
Raj Gopal, Ekta Parishad president complained that thousands of acres of land is being acquired and transferred to the big industrialists. He also said that government does not want people to become self-reliant and making us dependent on outsiders for everything.
The first and foremost demand of demonstrators is to set up a National Land Authority, which could identify the available land for redistribution, supervise the land reform all over the country, regularise the holdings of the small farmers and clearly lay down the statement on the utilisation of the land.
Other grievance is setting up the fast track courts which could decide the land related disputes in no time thus avoiding long delays in such cases.
‘Janadesh rally’ has received support from people from different walks of life. CPI leader, A. B. Bardhan has extended his support to the demonstrators promising to lead this struggle further. Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande, social activist Swami Agnivesh, Sunderlal Bahuguna and Rajendra Singh have come out in support of the landless laborers fighting for their land rights.
On Monday when demonstrators marched to parliament, were prevented by the police from going ahead. Demonstrators’ spokesperson said that they have the information of being under arrest while the senior police officials have denied any arrest or detention. They just accepted their confinement in the Ramlila Ground.
A day earlier, Rural Development Minister Raghuvanshi Prasad after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has decided to set up an expert committee to look into the matter of the demonstrators.
Meanwhile government has also announced setting up of national land reform council.
manoj singh rawatOctober 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM