[WSF-Discuss] Fwd: Recommendations and Observations by the Jury of Independent People's Tribunal in India

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Mon Apr 12 13:38:44 CDT 2010

Monday, 12 April 2010

I am forwarding here the Interim Observations of the Jury on the

Independent People's Tribunal on Land Acquisition, Resource Grab and  
Operation Green Hunt

that was held here in New Delhi, India, over this past weekend.

Please read it.  These are powerful words.  Especially coming as they  
do from the people who made up the Jury – solid middle-class people,  
among the best-known in their respective fields in this very large  
country that has so many outstanding personalities :

Justice P B Sawant, Supreme Court judge (retired)

Justice Hosbet Suresh of the Mumbai High Court (retired)

Mohini Giri, former Chairperson of the National Commission for Women  
(a statutory government body)

Prof P B Bhargava, noted bio-scientist, member of the National  
Security Advisory Board, and deputy chair of the government of  
India’s powerful Knowledge Commission

Professor Yash Pal, eminent scientist and educationalist, and former  
Chairperson of the University Grants Commission

K S Subramanian, former DG (Director General) of Police, scholar, and  

These are words, and considered opinions, and outrage – after  
listening testimonies for three days - that will hopefully therefore  
reach out to the great middle class of this country, including the  
media which has so far bought so completely into the government and  
corporate version of what is happening in the country.  And just  
possibly also to some parts of the state.

Detailed reports on each session’s proceedings are also available; we  
will post the link where they are collectively posted as soon as we  
have that.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Kabir Arora <kabirkhan1989 at gmail.com>
> Date: April 12 2010 3:35:33 pm GMT+05:30
> To: punjabeco-crisis at googlegroups.com,  
> concern4each at googlegroups.com,  indian-youth-climate-network at googlegroups.com 
> ,  nonuclear <nonuclear at lists.movingrepublic.org>, aocgroundsteam at googlegroups.com 
> ,  environmentpress at googlegroups.com, agenda_2008 at googlegroups.com
> Subject: [NoNuclear] Recommendations and Observations by the jury of  
> Independent People's Tribunal
> Independent People's Tribunal on Land Acquisition, Resource Grab and  
> Operation Green Hunt
> Interim Observations of the Jury, 11th April 2010
> The jury heard the testimonies of a large number of witnesses over  
> three days from the States of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal  
> and Orissa as well as some expert witnesses on land acquisition,  
> mining and human rights violations of Operation Green Hunt. The  
> immediate observations of the Jury are as follows:
> Tribal communities represent a substantial and important proportion  
> of Indian population and heritage. Not even ten countries in the  
> world have more people than we have tribals in India. Not only are  
> they crucial components of the country's human biodiversity, which  
> is greater than in the rest of the world put together, but they are  
> also an important source of social, political and economic wisdom  
> that would be currently relevant and can give India an edge. In  
> addition, they understand the language of Nature better than anyone  
> else, and have been the most successful custodian of our  
> environment, including forests. There is also a great deal to learn  
> from them in areas as diverse as art, culture, resource management,  
> waste management, medicine and metallurgy. They have been also far  
> more humane and committed to universally accepted values than our  
> urban society.
> It is clear that the country has been witnessing gross violation of  
> the rights of the poor, particularly tribal rights, which have  
> reached unprecedented levels since the new economic policies of the  
> 90’s. The 5thSchedule rights of the tribals, in particular the  
> Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act and the Forest  
> Rights Act have been grossly violated. These violations have now  
> gone to the extent where fully tribal villages have been declared to  
> be non-tribal. The entire executive and judicial administration  
> appear to have been totally apathetic to their plight.
> The development model which has been adopted and which is sharply  
> embodied in the new economic policies of liberalization,  
> privatization and globalization, have led in recent years to a huge  
> drive by the state to transfer resources, particularly land and  
> forests which are critical for the livelihood and the survival of  
> the tribal people, to corporations for exploitation of mineral  
> resources, SEZs and other industries most of which have been  
> enormously destructive to the environment. These industries have  
> critically polluted water bodies, land, trees, plants, and have had  
> a devastating impact on the health and livelihoods of the people.  
> The consultation with the Gram Sabhas required by the PESA Act has  
> been rendered a farce as has the process of Environment Impact  
> Assessment of these industries. This has resulted in leaving the  
> tribals in a state of acute malnutrition and hunger which has pushed  
> them to the very brink of survival. It could well be the severest  
> indictment of the State in the history of democracy anywhere, on  
> account of the sheer number of people (tribals) affected and the  
> diabolic nature of the atrocities committed on them by the State,  
> especially the police, leave aside the enormous and irreversible  
> damage to the environment. It is also a glaring example of  
> corruption – financial, intellectual and moral – sponsored and/or  
> abetted by the State, that characterizes today's India, cutting  
> across all party lines.
> Peaceful resistance movements of tribal communities against their  
> forced displacement and the corporate grab of their resources is  
> being sought to be violently crushed by the use of police and  
> security forces and State and corporate funded and armed militias.  
> The state violence has been accentuated by Operation Green Hunt in  
> which a huge number of paramilitary forces are being used mostly on  
> the tribals. The militarization of the State has reached a level  
> where schools are occupied by security forces.
> Even peaceful activists opposing these violent actions of the State  
> against the tribals are being targeted by the State and victimized.  
> This has led to a total alienation of the people from the State as  
> well as their loss of faith in the government and the security  
> forces. The Government – both at the Centre and in the States –  
> must realize that it's above-mentioned actions, combined with total  
> apathy, could very well be sowing the seeds of a violent revolution  
> demanding justice and rule of law that would engulf the entire  
> country. We should not forget the French, Russian and American  
> history, leave aside our own.
> Recommendations:
> Stop Operation Green Hunt and start a dialogue with the local people.
> Immediately stop all compulsary acquisition of agricultural or  
> forest land and the forced displacement of the tribal people.
> Declare the details of all MOUs, industrial and infrastructural  
> projects proposed in these areas and freeze all MOUs and leases for  
> non-agricultural use of such land, which the Home Minister has  
> proposed.
> Rehabilitate and reinstate the tribals forcibly displaced back to  
> their land and forests.
> Stop all environmentally destructive industries as well as those on  
> land acquired without the consent of the Gram Sabhas in these areas.
> Withdraw the paramilitary and police forces from schools and health  
> centres which must be effectuated with adequate teachers and  
> infrastructure.
> Stop victimizing dissenters and those who question the actions of  
> the State.
> Replace the model of development which is exploitative,  
> environmentally destructive, iniquitous and not suitable for the  
> country by a completely different model which is participatory,  
> gives importance to agriculture and the rural sector, and respects  
> equity and the environment.
> It must be ensured that all development, especially use of land and  
> natural resources, is with the consent and participation of the  
> Tribal communities as guaranteed by the Constitution. Credible  
> Citizen’s Commissions must be constituted to monitor and ensure  
> this.
> Constitute an Empowered Citizen’s Commission to investigate and  
> recommend action against persons responsible for human rights  
> violations of the tribal communities. This Commission must also be  
> empowered to ensure that tribals actually receive the benefit of  
> whatever government schemes exist for them.
> The Independent People’s Tribunal took place from 9th – 11th  
> April, 2010, at the Constitution Club, New Delhi. This was organized  
> by a collective of civil society groups, social movements,  
> activists, academics and concerned citizens in the country. The  
> people’s jury, comprising of Hon’ble Justice P. B. Sawant,  
> Justice H. Suresh, Professor Yash Pal, Dr. V. Mohini Giri, Dr. P. M.  
> Bhargava, and Dr. K.S. Subramanian heard testimonies from the  
> affected people, social activists and experts from Andhra Pradesh,  
> Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal.
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> With deep regards
> कबीर/کبیر
> Phone:00-91-99-11-879-675
> email: kabir_khan1989 at hotmail.com
> email: kabir at iycn.in
> ==============================
> Breaking Silence
> Words fall
> from here mouth
> as rain
> on deserts.
> After
> storms and cyclones
> in the heart
> Words dropping
> as stones
> Words as frozen ice
> struck in the
> throats
> of lovers.
> Melting in thought
> floating in the mind
> words
> collecting in
> unuttered sentences...
> By Sukrita Paul
> ==============================
> _______________________________________________
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> nonuclear at lists.movingrepublic.org
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Jai Sen
jai.sen at cacim.net
CACIM, A-3 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110 024, India
Ph : +91-11-4155 1521, +91-98189 11325

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Jai Sen, ed, forthcoming (2010a) - Interrogating Empires, Book 2 in  
the Are Other Worlds Possible ? series.  New Delhi : OpenWord and  
Daanish Books

Jai Sen, ed, forthcoming (2010b) - Imagining Alternatives, Book 3 in  
the Are Other Worlds Possible ? series.  New Delhi : OpenWord and  
Daanish Books

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