Bangalore July 28: Decrying the conspiratory moves by forces with vested interests to thwart the rendering of constitutional benefits to the Adivasis across the country, the National Adivasi Alliance (NAA), a national level NGOs network has, in unison declared to intensify its efforts to lobby for the effective implementation of the Forests Rights Act. The resolution to this effect was taken at the three-day national workshop on “Adivasi World View and Adivasi Dialogue organized by NAA in association with Coorg Organisation for Rural Development (CORD) that concluded here on Sunday.
Briefing reporters here on the deliberations, NAA spokesperson, V S Roy David informed that the discussions which were actively participated by Adivasi representatives from eight states across the country including Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Orissa, strongly felt that it was high time that the Governments and the other powers that may be, accorded serious weightage to the Adivasi ways of sustainability, ecology governance and justice system so as to enable progress in the true sense.
Speakers at the forum unanimously articulated that unless those living on the fringes of society including Adivasis, dalits, women and artisans were heard and taken seriously, the modern discourse and its processes could only be self destructive.
On the issue of implementation of the much talked about Forests Rights Act, he mentioned that though a brave step by the Indian state to promulgate such a law, the ground reality suggested that the Act had failed to deliver even in its infancy. It is pertinent to mention that it needs no bright minds to understand that the modes of indulgence with nature and its constituents, which started on the fringes of Western Europe in 18th century has failed miserably.
The deliberations, which focused on the plight of Adivasis in the remote and undescript parts of the country, who otherwise lived in harmony with nature, threw light on the ill-conceived policies, ill-motives lobby by the affluent corporates and individuals, lack of political will among other aspects, which had left the original inhabitants of forests and it fringes, in lurch. Sharing of thoughts, experiences and practices of different tribal communities resulted in understanding of the fact that unless alternative dialogue and discourses comprising of Adivasis are heard and practiced, earth’s shrinking life span could shrink further, he professed.
The meeting brought to fore the inhuman conditions that the Adivasis are living in some parts of Orissa, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand, thanks to the lopsided policies of the respective state governments which had visibly crushed under the obligation of corporates who are eyeing on the resourceful forest lands of the Chotanagpur region, he said. It is also unfortunate that Adivasis in the state of Chattisgarh are bearing the brunt of a violent struggle, sandwiched between the crossfire of Maoist rebels and state sponsored civilian army of Salwa Judum. Lands are being grabbed, Adivasis camped in temporary shelters for years, brutally attacked, killed, houses gutted and all in the name of rehabilitation, resettlement and security. However, the fact remains that the resourceful lands are being safely handed over to the mining Czars and industrialists at the cost of the small hamlets of these poor Adivasis, which can no longer be tolerated, he said.
Pointing at the Orissa and Tamil Nadu high court orders staying the implementation of the Forests Rights Act, he lamented that it was unfortunate that the legitimate rights and constitutional provisions are not allowed to reach the Adivasis.
While expressing solidarity with activists of the likes of Dr Binayak Sen and others who are languishing in prisons for supporting the tribal cause, the National Adivasi Alliance has also appealed to all non-party political organizations and individuals to stand firm in solidarity with the Adivasi cause.