Sez Hatao, Desh Bachao
Scrap all MOUs signed for large scale mining and big industrial plants.
No to Displacement, Development for People
The call to observe bandh was given by the first ever All India Conference on 22 & 23 March, 2007 against displacement, where about a hundred of people’s organizations and a similar number of democratic individuals came together at Ranchi to raise their collective voices against all kinds of displacement including that caused by SEZs.
The people of Nandigram, Kalinganagar, Polavaram, Jagatsinghpur (where POSCO is grabbing the land for its SEZ and captive port), Raigada, Dadri and elsewhere have put up valiant resistance even risking their lives against this day-light robbery of the poor, of making people destitute through the so-called policies of development. In hundreds of places, millions of people in the country have been fighting tooth and nail to stop the SEZs, big mining, big dams, tourist projects, national parks, highways and big industrial projects that have been rendering several millions of people homeless and destitute. The misery of the people is fast developing into a surging storm, the very thought of the spectre of which has sent shudders through the ruling classes. The ruling class elite have become restive to the resisting voices of the people.
The present displacement is an outcome of Second Generation Reform phase under the cliché of development which is nothing but an all-round attack on the toiling masses. Earlier our rulers had mortgaged the country to the imperialists. Sixty years of so-called independence and the ‘democracy’ that supposedly has come of age meant all this penury to the vast majority of people. Today, the entire country, irrespective of the urban and the rural, has been transformed into a firing range where the mercenary police and paramilitary and the goondas of the ruling parties are brutally trying to crush the agitating people who want to protect their Jal, Jungal and Jameen—their sources of livelihood. On the other hand we have a Prime Minister and his smooth talking policy pundits taking their lessons from the World Bank and Washington, laying the road map for a so-called 10 percent growth rate, turning a blind eye to the burning problems of the people.
The Prime Minister of this country gives the impression that he cannot but falter when he gets vacuous about the super power that India is going to become. In these new clothes of the emperor what is being cleverly hidden is the total naked, shameless subservience to the rapacious needs of foreign capital. Beneath the smokescreen of an India Inc.—projected by a sensation driven, sycophant media—is the blood soaked face of a beastly state that satiates on the toil of the adivasis, dalits, landless agricultural labourer, the small and middle peasant, the small entrepreneur... the list is getting longer. There is no way the real anguish of the people that erupts in a Nandigram, Kashipur, Kalinganagar, Jagatsinghpur, Singur or Polavaram can be heard as a dignified, real, response of the people. The Market driven media and the policy pundits who receive their dollops from Multinational consultancy agencies such as Mckinsey or the British run DFID or their senior patrons the World Bank and the IMF are crying hoarse depicting these protests as primitive, anti-development, against civilization itself.
People are being taken into custody under the laws of sedition! As if they are an obstruction to the forward march of development of this country! Lakhs of crores of rupees worth MoUs have been signed by various state governments with various Multi National Corporations for mining of valuable resources of the people such as bauxite, coal, iron ore, diamonds, uranium, precious stones, etc. Several MoUs have been signed with monopolies to develop urban centres that will suit the needs of big capital in the process pushing out all small and medium entrepreneurs from the urban spaces as these ventures have been identified as hazardous to a clean urban environment. Wal-Mart and Reliance are aggressively displacing the local retail and small business. Huge malls have been swallowing the rest of the business. Supreme Court orders are decimating the local retail business prospects making way for MNCs and TNCs. Jawahar Rozgar Vikas Yojana has been wiping out the poor people in the urban slums. Big mining and industrial projects along with about 500 SEZs are driving the people out of their habitats.
Today, every nook and corner of the country is thrown open to the foreign capital in close collaboration with big capital at home to tear open the veins of the rich resources of this country.
Any form of resistance is met with brutal force by the state. Paramilitary and police armed to the teeth hound villagers and adivasis who are fighting for their very survival; when they refuse to let their land and livelihood being sold to the foreign capital and the local big capital for a pittance. And there is deafening silence against these unlawful, criminal acts of the state, on the part of the judiciary not to say the civil society.
The call to OBSERVE BANDH hence as become a wake up call for all those who believe in democracy, the well being of the vast sections of the masses as they too have their rightful place in our society to lead a dignified, secure life free of domination and exploitation. The people have been resisting, fighting their struggles of survival. The people of this country have to give a resounding rebuff to these anti-people policies brought in by this blood thirsty monster of the Indian state. This BANDH CALL is also a wake up call to the powers that be to look at the issues pertaining to development and displacement from the point of view of the people. And not from the diktats of the World Bank, IMF or the US.
Hence we appeal; we urge the people of this country to come forward, to surge ahead with the bandh call as these issues have become the bane of the vast sections of the people, their livelihood, their dreams and memories. These issues are no more the vested or narrow concern of this or that organisation. They have become the life and death issues of the wretched, the poor, the worker, the toiling masses, the tribals, dalits, the small entrepreneur, the small and middle peasant and the patriotic farmer. Yes this is the burning issue of the people of this country.
We once again call upon all political parties, democratic organisations, trade unions, employees’ organisations, workers and peasant organisations, youth and student organisations, adivasi and dalit organisations and the people—the masses of people to come out on to the streets, on 30th October, 2007, to say in no uncertain terms that we will not take all this blood sucking exploitative policies of the rulers and their pay masters lying low.
Let the dead be buried. But death should not be allowed to live!
Repeal SEZ Act, 2005 along with all approved SEZs.
Scrap all MOUs signed for large scale mining and big industrial plants.
Repeal Land Acquisition Act 1894 along with all later amendments to it till date.
Rehabilitate all families so far displaced in the last sixty years.
Abrogate 123 Nuclear Agreement with US!
Stop displacement, stop imperialist sponsored development; protect and advance peoples livelihood.