By Gladson Dungdung
Rourkela, 9 March, 2008
The deprived people of Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal and Manipur have declared the final struggle for regaining their ownership rights over land, forest, water and mines which are taken away from them in the name of development. The declaration was made in a mass meeting after a massive rally of 10 thousand people at Rourkela
organized by the Nafre Jan Andolan, who is facilitating to unite mass movements, struggles and people’s organizations in a platform to fight against displacement, SEZ policy, dual education system, AFSPA, communal fascism, neo-imperialism and to ensure child rights in India.
The Jan Hakk Rally began from Birsa Chauk, Rourkela at 11 O’clock in the morning and turned into a mass meeting at Parade Ground in the afternoon. “Stop displacement in the name of development”, “Withdraw the SEZ Policy”, “Jindal-Mittal and Tata-Bata, go back”, “Introduce common school system for all” and “Stop killing people in the name of religion” are the main slogans raised by people in the Rally.
The Jan Hakk Yatra witnessed the different kind of people’s participation this time, where tribal women carrying their babies on back, raising slogans and walking through the streets about 4 kilometers in the blazing sun of the beginning summer. Another remarkable thing was that more than 60 percent participants were tribal youths who have understood the agony of displacement which their families have under gone due to Industry, Mining, Dam, Sanctuary and other development projects.
The mass meeting began with an inspiring song and followed by the series of slogans. In his welcome address the convenor of Voice for Child Right Orissa A.K. Azad said that the time has come to say “No” to displacement because it has destroyed our livelihood resources, culture and identity.
While addressing the masses the member of NAFRE Gour Gopal Sardar said that the NAFRE People’s Movement is fighting against displacement, SEZ policy, dual education system, AFSPA, communal fascism and neo-imperialism in the country and it will continue till all the marginalized people get justice.
Faisal Anurag the spokesperson of NAFRE said that we have seen the governance of all the political parties and their economic policies are more or less the same. All the parties have exploited poor and the marginalized. Therefore now the time has come to see the people’s politics. The people have to decide that what they want. How can people of IMF and Americans decide the fate of our country?
Speaking on the occasion the convenor of Manipur State Alliance for Education, Mantu said that Manipur is still under the control of Military even after 50 years of Independence. There are Military camps in the schools, which caused the deprivation of rights to education of children. The human rights violation is rampant and innocence people are being killed in the name of terrorist. The force has been given power to kill anybody at any time therefore we demand for repealing the Arm Forces Special Power Act.
K.C. Mardi the convenor of CREJ Jan Mukti Andolan said that the 60 years of Independence has only given tears to the tribals and local inhabitants. They are betrayed in the name of development therefore we have taken pledge for not giving an inch of land for Industry, Dam and Mining”. He said that the SEZ policy is to cheat people therefore we demand from the governments to withdraw it.
The convenor of Bihar Lok Adhikar Manch Uday said that this is the historical movement because thousands of displaced people have come out of their houses to fight against displacement, SEZ policy and communal fascism. We should take pledge to fight against it and we all will win the battle.
Tribal Youth leader Jerom J. Kujur said that our freedom fighters had a dream for the equitable and just society but it was not realized in last 60 years of independence therefore we must fight for the real freedom for the deprived people. The member of NAFRE Jan Andolam Lakhi Das facilitated the mass meeting and the president of Damin Adhikar Morcha Baburam Kishku gave the vote of thanks.