People's Movements oppose Modi Govt. move for amendment to land acquisition act
Narendra Ch | 28 Dec 2014

The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) and other people's movements have strongly opposed the Narendra Modi government's move to bring an amendment amendment to the "Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Transparency in Land Acquisition Act, 2013".

They said that the new Act has been framed after consulting all the stake holders and over a period of seven years after going through two Parliamentary Standing committees (2007 & 2009), both headed by senior BJP leaders, Shri Kalyan Singh and Smt. Sumitra Mahajan. They lamented now attempting to bring this ordinance blaming the Opposition for on-functioning of the Parliament.

Social activists like Medha Patkar, Yogini Khanolkar, Meera, Prafulla Samantara and others lamented Modi's government "a Ambani-Adani Sarkaar – a Company Sarkaar, which is out to sell the democratic rights of the people and democratic traditions of law making in the Parliament in the name of business". They demanded taht Narendra Modi must prove that his government is not a Company Sarkaar, but Janta Sarkaar by implementing the 2013 Act and making no amendments to the ACT.

They deplored that  Modi has displayed least patience for the parliamentary traditions and often remained silent on the key issues concerning the nation and blamed opposition for non-functioing of the Parliament.  They cautioned that matters concerning the lives of millions of the farmers in this country can't and shouldn't be decided by mere Ordinance. These are matters of grave importance and need thorough debate and discussion in this democracy.

They alleged that the move is completely undemoratic. The new Act was a response to the Colonial Land Acquisition Act, 1894 which resulted in massive forcible land acquisition without any resettlement and rehabilitation, drastically affecting not only people who lose their land, but also those who lose their livelihood.

These forced land acquisitions led to massive protests in places like Nandigram, Singur, Kalinganagar, Kakrapalli, Bhatta Parsaul, where many people died. For years, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Niyamgiri Suraksha Parishad, Anti SEZ protests in Raigarh, Jhajhar had been demanding a repeal of the colonial act and enactment of a new development planning act marking people's participation and provisions for livelihood based R&R. Finally, we have an Act, passed by last Parliament and rules for which have been notified by NDA government in August 2014.

The new Act has not even been fully implemented in earnest by either State or Central government, but a climate has been created by corporate houses and Modi Sarkaar that the new land act is an impediment to the developmental needs of the country, they added.

They made it clear that any move to amend the new Act will be opposed by the people's movements. 20,000 people gathered on December 2nd on the streets of Delhi and we will mobilise against any forcible land acquisitions and attempts at making changes to the new act all over the country.

They urged all the members of the opposition parties to intervene not let Modi Sarkaar get away with this anti people move.