Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Massive Tribal Rally in Kolkata

Thousands of tribals rallied Sunday in Kolkata in a massive demonstration in support of 22 point charter of demands. The colourful, militant rally was organized by Paschimbanga Adivasi Adhikar Mancha. Tribals from all parts of the state, from tea gardens to Junglemahal, participated in the rally. Apart from the tribal leaders CPI(M) leaders Biman Basu and Surjya Kanta Mishra addressed the rally. They stressed on the need for united movement for successful achievement of demand.
Biman Basu said the ruling party is desperately trying to fragment the people’s unity to distract their attention. Chief Minister is claiming, 99% of the works as promised by them, have been accomplished. It is now the people to judge from their experience. The tribal’s are peace loving calm people in general but one should not forget that they too had taken a leading role in the Independence struggle. If they are subjected to continuous deprivation, they will not the once to withstand it.
Surjya Kanta Mishra expressed his aspersions as to how sympathetic the Chief Minister is towards the tribal’s as she is some one who is not aware of the meaning of 'dahor'. In order to prove herself as tribal friendly she acclaimed as 'Dahorbabu' in an official programme, which clearly indicates what sort of feeling she, reserves for the tribal’s. When the UPA Government in the centre was running with the support of the left, the Act on ‘Tribal right in forest area’ was passed. After that the Left Front took steps towards its implementation but under the new Government work has practically stopped. Forest Minister is accusing the Land and Land Revenue department for the delay. The fact is, this Department is under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directly. So is it that her department is only not acting to expedite the process of distributing 'patta' amongst the tribal’s. The cooperative formed by the Left Front Government for the welfare of the tribal’s in acquiring 'Kendu leaves' and to offer them the right price for their produce, is not being paid any heed by the present TMC Government. It is being said that calm has been restored in Junglemahal area but the fact is the TMC’s has brought the Maoist and now they are their leaders well protected by the police.
Some of the salient points in the demand raised by PBAAM:
· The tribals cannot be removed from their land.
· The Forest Protection Right 2006 for the tribals has to be implemented.
· The Social-Economic development for the tribals has to be incorporated according to demographic proportion. Special package has to be announced. For the affected tea garden workers of North Bengal along with special package compensation has to be accorded to the families of workers who have died.

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