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Govt. failed the People’s Struggle for Telangana, People of Mehboobnagar and Vemulaghat Revealed Worsening Situations in Telangana

More than 1.5 lakh acres of Land for Development Projects and Corporates, Where as mere 13,500 acres of Land for Landless in the State 

Unprecedented Betrayal by KCR Govt.; Landless, Cultivators, Adivasis, Workers, De-notified Tribes Communities are Worst Affected 

Vemulghat Standing Strong Against Mallanasagar Reservoir, People Declared such Big Developmental Projects Anti-People and Anti-Constitutional

Mehboobnagar / Vemulaghat, Telangana: Samvidhan Samman Yatra is consistently receiving huge support from people and movements across the country. Today, Yatra reached Mehboobnagar in Telangana. Farmers, Adivasis, De-notified tribes, local activists of Telangana Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (TVVU), Telangana Vidhyarthi Vedika and many others joined the yatra and taken out a rally at Mehboobnagar Chowk. Revolutionary tribute was paid to B. R. Ambedkar and Babu Jagjivan Ram.

After the rally, everyone assembled for a public meeting at Revenue Bhawan and discussed the issues of land acquisition, agricultural crisis, workers rights, Palamaru Ranga Reddy lift irrigation project and others.

The Constitution of India gives directions to States to safeguard the rights of people and intervene to achieve equity and justice in the society, but presently, the state in connivance with centre is disrespecting the objectives of freedom struggle of Telangana and its people and the Constitution as well, said Meera Sanghamitra while introducing the yatris of Samvidhan Samman Yatra to the people gathered for the meeting.

Srinivas from Telangana Vidyavanthala Vedika said that the whole village got devastated by Sangam Banda project. Since 2004, the resettlement sites have not been able to make the lives of people any good than before.

I work with NREGA workers in dry area of Mehboobnagar. In spite of working in dry and difficult terrain, the workers are getting low wages. Even the payment of wages gets generally delayed by more than a month”, said Venky from Gadwal.

Recounting experiences from Uttar Pradesh, Mahendra Singh working with MNREGA Mazdoor Union shared the same plight as Venky shared. The Modi Govt. is paying their dues back to Adani, Ambani against their donations during electoral campaigns. People are rendered unemployed and forced to migrate to different states for living. Workers are forced to work overtime at low wages in factories and many a times that too without any contract. Everyone witnessed the violence against migrant workers of UP, Bihar in Gujarat recently and can imagine how many people migrate to other states leaving their families back in the villages for their livelihood.

Kiran Vissa from Rythu Swaraj Vedika raised the issue of farmer suicides and said that since the formation of Telangana State, Tenant farmers are continuously suffering. The much-discussed scheme of Rs. 8000 per acre started by KCR is actually only applicable to landed farmers and not for the cultivators, who actually work day and night to secure nation’s food security.

We have 3 acres of land but since last 3 years, the crops had failed. We were in debt and in February this year my husband committed suicide as bank officers had started harassing and humiliating us consistently. The Govt. also refused to recognize it as suicide due to agri-crisis and termed it a cause of family disputes”, said Laxmi, widow of a farmer.

The Govt promised 3 acres land to all the Dalit families but we never got any benefit despite being eligible. The scheme was only a fake promise as every political party does from General elections to state elections”, said another widow.

Nagayya from TVVU said that we are fighting for land distribution among landless. The state has allotted 1.5 lakh acres through land bank for development projects which are in turn dispossessing people from land again and have distributed only 13,500 acres of land to the landless. People are still waiting to receive their entitlements under Forest Rights Act, 2006. More than 1 lakh 70 thousand applications were filed when the TRC Govt. came into power. After coming to power, people faced biggest betrayal from the govt when the CM ordered not to take up those applications for regularization.

Once Mehboobnagar demanded for the lift irrigation project but now the design is such that the area is not getting benefitted from Ranga Reddy Lift irrigation project. Instead, the people are getting displaced from their land.”, said Raghavacharyulu from Palanaru Adhyayana Vedika.

Iconic Ballad Singer belonging to Arunodaya Cultural Troupe and famous activist Vimalakka raised the issue of Uranium mining in Adivasi area of Nalamalla forest. She said that the scale of repression by the Central and State governments have crossed all limits and it touching almost all sections of people. The basis guarantees provided in the Constitution can be seen nowhere in this region. The soul of our constitution, article 21, right to life and liberty is also struggling for its existence in this region.

The De-notified tribes are not even recognized by any government. When the state announces for two-bedroom houses for poor under different housing schemes, I have to live on the pavement with my one-month old baby like others from my community living in abject state”, said Jyoti from De-notified tribe community.

Venkatanna from TVVU said that legislations prohibiting bonded labour and child labour are not being implemented strictly in the state. Migration rates are very high and violations of various pro-people legislations are wide-spread.

In Mehboobnagar, 18 lakhs out of 40 lakh population migrate to secure their livelihood. We also face the similar pattern in Bihar as people are largely landless and a few holds majority of land in the state. The government says that they don’t have enough land and are themselves contradicting Bandhopadhyay report which mentions that it is possible to give every lakh families at least 1 acre of land. Now that real estate is taking over our land, commons, and forests, we must assert our rights over resources and whatever coming up on those lands”, said Ashish Ranjan from Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan and NAPM, Bihar.

Dalit feminist Anjamma exposed the casteist-patriarchal practice of Jogini, a worst combination of patriarchy and caste oppression. The practice is still continuing ignoring the recommendations given against the practice by judicial commission appointed to investigate into the matter of injustices accrued to the people under the practice. Young girls are now being trafficked under the garb of migration.

Social activist, Lubna Sarawath said that the Telangana Government is falling flat left, right and centre. Govt. says one thing to the people, another to the court and does none. The Waqf land is encroached and despite Govt’s promise in the past, it is not yet freed.

Renowned social activist and academician, Gabriele Dietrich highlighted that how capitalism is destroying our right to life and existence. The struggle for land rights is going on in Tamilnadu as well and everywhere else in the country where the land still resides under the control of people. Agriculture has been destroyed to facilitate factories with cheap labour and abundant land, which are currently under agriculture.

After the meeting, Yatra moved towards Shadnagar where the yatra was welcomed by a large delegation of representatives from Hawkers Union, Street Vendors Union, Painters Union, and members of the De-notified tribes’ community. The Yatra expressed strong solidarity to their struggles.

In the late evening, Samvidhan Samman Yatra reached Vemulaghat village, an epicenter of struggle against the famous Mallanasagar Reservoir, a part of Kaleeshwaram Lift Irrigation project that is being built over River Godavari. The dream project of Chief minister KCR is being proved to cause havoc in lives of people. The constituency is represented by Harish Rao, nephew of the Chief Minister of the state and thus the resistance against Mallanasagar have faced massive repression from the state forces. There have been instances of brutal lathicharge by police forces and activists framed under false cases. The project threatens to submerge 14 villages spread over more than 22000 acres and going to affect directly more than 25000 people.

Meera Sanghamitra introduced the participants of Yatra to the villagers gathered for the meeting in detail. She also highlighted the anti-people move by the state in grabbing the land for irrigation projects in the state. The project to build huge reservoirs to store million gallons of water will only be used for industries and projects under Industrial Corridors and Sagarmala. We are witnessing the utilization of water from the Sardar Sarovar Reservoir in Gujarat for big industries and cities and not for the farmers and irrigation purposes. Farmers of Telangana are being fooled by none other government but who was established after historic Telangana movement. The state brought ‘GO 123’ in place of Central Land Act to grab the land from people for irrigation projects bypassing the consent provisions and social impact provisions. How can a state formed after historic people’s movement can take such measures oppressing their own people, dispossessing them of their land and livelihood?

Arundhati Dhuru from NAPM Uttar Pradesh said that Vemulaghat people have lived here for generations and it is their first right to decide whether to give land or not and State is no one to take it forcibly.

Senior activist Jeevan Kumar from Human Rights Forum, Lubna Sarawath of Socialist Party of India, Usha Seetalakshmi, Kiran Vissa, Kondal, Balu Gadi from Rythu Swaraj Vedika and many others from Hyderabad accompanied the Yatra. Vimalakka, the only female balladeer of Telangana, who played an active role in the Telanagana movement also accompanied Yatra and through her songs extended solidarity urging people to continue fighting for the rights and resources.

Renowned social activists like Gabriele Dietrich, NAPM, Tamilnadu; Arundhati Dhuru, NAPM, Uttar Pradesh; Ashish Ranjan – Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan (Bihar); Meera Sanghamitra – NAPM (Andhra Pradesh – Telangana); Bhupendra Singh Rawat – Jan Sangharsh Vahini; Krishnakant – Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (Gujarat); Madhuresh Kumar – NAPM, Delhi; Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagve – NAPM  Maharashtra; Sanjay Nazre – Vidrohi Sanskritik Andolan; Kamla Yadav and Rohit – Narmada Bachao Andolan; Yogiraj, Mahendra Rathore, Jayesh Lal – MNREGA Mazdoor Union, Purvanchal Kisan Union, Uttar Pradesh; Subhadra tai, Parvati tai, Ghanekar kaka, Sonu, Jameela – Ghar Bachao Ghar banao Andolan, Mumbai; Tilola Haldar, Mrityunjay Haldar – Sundaravan Shramjivi Sangathan; Ramashish Yadav, Premshila Yadav, Manisha Patil; Kalai, Vishnu, Vinod – Organic farmers, Tamilnadu; Fauziya Jammu & Kashmir Soochna Adhikar Abhiyan; Madhusudan – Odisha; Akshit – Guhaar; Aryaman Jain, Aryan – Delhi; Rimpy – Student, Dibrugarh University; Himshi, Uma – NAPM Delhi, are traveling in the second phase as a part of Samvidhan Samman Yatra.

For further details, contact 9971058735 / 9867348307 / napmindia@gmail.com

Discussion on Samvidhan Samman Yatra

1.      On VNM News –  https://www.facebook.com/VNMNEWS/videos/851565491900666/

2.      महाराष्ट्रात होणाऱ्या संविधान यात्रेत सामील होण्याचे आवाहनhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfOlQqNTgCw&feature=youtu.be

3.      संविधान सन्मान यात्रा, Satara 24 taas –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aLMITeoKCI&feature=youtu.be

For details about Samvidhan Samman Yatra, check our website www.samvidhanyatra.wordpress.com

Call for Solidarity – https://samvidhanyatra.wordpress.com/call-for-solidarity/

Samvidhan Samman Yatra

We are standing at crossroads and passing through a critical juncture in India’s history and have a historical responsibility to save and salvage the ethos of this country, to fulfill the dreams of social, economic and political justice that Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar envisioned. There is an overwhelming urgency to come together, beyond diversity of perspectives, to safeguard the constitutional values and principles of humanity, based on social justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, scientific and rational thinking in the social psyche to deal with all these political, economic, social, cultural challenges. The need of the hour is to create understanding and tolerance in society, by peaceful, democratic and constitutional means. It is equally vital to aim for economic equity, social parity, environmental protection, sustainable development, establishment of people’s rights over access of resources and annihilation of caste and patriarchy.

 

It is with this urgency and spirit that National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has, after numerous discussions,  planned to embark on a Samvidhan Samman Yatra – a nationwide tour to restore and protect the core values of our Constitution and democracy, at a time when there is an all-out attack on the Constitution, people’s rights, livelihoods, environment and the spirit of diversity in the country, even as massive scams, resource loot and dilution of laws are taking place and farmers, workers, students, employees, women, dalits, adivasis, muslims all are on the streets asserting their rights, spaces and freedoms.

Yatra shall travel more than 25000 Kms through 26 states in 65 days holding meetings, discussions, public events, supporting struggles, sharing grief of victims of the violence and hate and spreading message of plurality, love, peace and social justice. The Yatra shall culminate in a Manvadhikar Rally and Jan Sansad in Delhi on 10th December, 2018, the International Human Rights Day.

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