ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Singur and the Displacement Scenario

The controversy over the acquisition of land in Singur in West Bengal for an automobile project raises larger issues. The plight of displaced and project-affected persons across the country shows that it is the development pattern, nature of rehabilitation packages and the "public purpose" declared by the state while acquiring land that need to be debated and redefined.

IMDT Act and Immigration in North-Eastern India

The Supreme Court's verdict on the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, 1983 as unconstitutional has closed one chapter of a long saga, but it will not bring to an end the issue of 'illegal immigrants'. The court judgment has actually polarised Assam as much as the act had done for two decades.

Limits of Law and Order Approach to the North-East

Treating the problems in the north-east simply as an issue of law and order is not the solution; economic and other causes of insurgency have to be dealt with. Generation of employment is essential and the issues of land and forests cannot be ignored for they are central to the economy of the region and the culture, religion and identity of the tribals. A possible solution is for the centre to tread the difficult path of negotiating with all the groups simultaneously and go beyond treating the problem as a question of the centre versus the rest.

Rehabilitation Policy for the Displaced

The policy draft appears to be more concerned with protecting the interests of big business rather than the livelihood security of the displaced.

State Formation and Subalterns

Walter Fernandes Subalterns and Sovereigns: An Anthropological History of Bastar 1854-1996 by Nandini Sundar; Oxford University Press, 1997; pp xxiv+296, price Rs 495.

Attacks on Minorities and a National Debate on Conversions

There is a pattern in the recent attacks on minorities and the use of religion in a political and economic power struggle. But the situations are different. In Gujarat it is an attack on tribal efforts to protect their identity or free themselves from poverty. In Karnataka it is competition between powerful groups. And in Orissa it is division among the subalterns exploited by vested interests. Conversion functions as a convenient tool to divert attention.

Jharkhand or Vananchal-Where Are the Tribals

become Vananchal What's in a name? Plenty, if one understands the ideology behind it, and the effort of the dominant classes to co-opt the tribals into the caste system. From the formation of the Chhota- nagpur Unnati Samaj in 1920 and the demand for a Jharkhand state by the Adivasi Mahasabha in 1939, Jharkhand has been a search for a tribal identity on one side and the dominant class efforts to co-opt them on the other. The BJP has succeeded to some extent in dividing and co-opting them, at least in part because the tribal leaders have not gone beyond the single demand of a state, to develop a political and economic ideology.

Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 1998-Rights of Project-Affected People Ignored

Rights of Project-Affected People Ignored Walter Fernandes THE ministry of rural area and employment, government of India, is finalising two legal measures on development- induced displacement, The National Policy for Resettlement and Rehabilitation for Displaced Persons (NPRR1998) has many positive aspects as well as shortcomings. But the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 1998 (LAB 1998) ignores the draft policy and is anti-people. As such it should be rejected and a new law enacted, based on a revised version of the policy that upholds some basic principles.

Paranoia Masquerading as a Review

for empowering women, along with a well- defined gender development index to monitor the impact of its implementation in raising the status of women from time to time. The plan document, time and again, speaks of capacity building. However, at the operational part, it speaks only of invigorating some of the traditional programmes like 'Rashtriya Mahila Kosh'.

Displacement and Rehabilitation

that (even with the demand curve unmoved) contrary to MS expansion in exports may accompany a reduction in tariffs. In their exercise total output remains the same even after the fall in tariff, so that the expansion of domestic sales is necessarily at the cost of (residual) exports. Under efficiency improvement total production expands and the conflict disappears.

The Forest Question

The Forest 'Question' Walter Fernandes I HAVE gone through Ramchandra Guha's review of "Towards a New Forest Policy: People's Rights and Environmental Needs" edited by Shared Kulkami and myself (EPW, April 28, pp 711-712). I was surprised "to see the distortion of its contents by the reviewer who has either not understood what it says even after reading the book or has deliberately quoted phrases out of context to distort their meaning. For instance, the reviewer says "The book starts with the naive statement that the intentions of those who framed the Indian Forest Bill were 'laudable'. " It is obvious from the context and the reference of Chakravarti that the book speaks of the intentions of safeguarding the country's vanishing forests. But the fact of the draft Forest Bill being a follow up of the National Commission on Agriculture which accused the forest dwellers of destroying forests, made those working among the tribals and forest dwellers feel that "both the context of the bill and the language in which the proposed legislation was couched, gave greater importance to protecting forests from the tribals and other forest dwellers than from the commercial- industrial interests that have been at the root of the malaise" (p 1). When did the intention of protecting the country's vanishing forests become naive? The only question is not whether forests should be protected but whether they should be protected from the forest dwellers or from the commercial-industrial interests.

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