JANSATYAGRAHA 2012

After the Janadesh 2007 and the promises of the government, still hundreds of thousands of hectares of agriculture and forest land have been transferred to corporations for non agriculture purposes, like mining, plantation, urbanisation, infrastructure development.

Moreover, despite the 350 Recommendations made by the Rural Development Ministry, the at-the-time Prime Minister did not call any meeting of the National Land Reforms Committee.

Because of this anti-people attitude of the at-the-time government, Ekta Parishad decided to mobilise the marginalised people to undertake another nonviolent action, the Jansatyagraha 2012 Campaign.

This campaign was a victory: the Minister of Rural Development, Mr. Jairam Ramesh, joined the march in Agra and handed over a signed 10-points agreement to initiate appropriate processes to attain the following:

  • Formulation of a National Land Reforms Policy with inputs from the draft prepared by Jansatyagraha and involvement of civil society organisations.

  • Initiate dialogue with states to provide Statutory backing for provision of agricultural land and Homestead Rights to the landless and shelter less poor of rural areas, all over the country.

  • Double the unit cost to enable provision of and guarantee 10 cents of land as homestead to every landless and shelter less rural poor household.

  • Issue detailed advisories to the states for enhanced Land Access and Land Rights for the poor, marginalised and deprived landless: and to take up a time-bound programme for securing their access to land.

  • Establish Fast Track Land Tribunals / Courts for speedy disposal of the cases pending and extend legal aid to all the persons belonging to socially deprived sections in matters of land litigation.

  • Effective Implementation of Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA): by empowering the Gram Sabhas to exercise all the powers given to them.

  • Effective implementation of Forest Rights Act: in the light of the revised rules and directives issued by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on 13th September 2012 and in accordance with suggestions received from civil society organisations.

  • Resolution of Forest and Revenue Boundary Disputes by setting up joint teams of Forest and Revenue Departments to undertake a thorough survey of the forest and revenue boundaries. The Gram Panchayats and Gram Sabhas will be fully involved in the survey and settlement process.

  • Support the States to carry out survey of Common Property Resources (CPRs) with the direct involvement of the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayats concerned and ensure full implementation of recent Supreme Courts’ directions on this matter.

  • Immediately set up a Task Force on Land Reforms headed by the Union Minister for Rural Development to implement the above agenda. Members of the Task Force will include representatives of MoRD, state governments, civil society organisations and all stakeholders concerned.

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Advisory Committee: Yves Berthelot (France),  PV Rajagopal (India), Vandana Shiva (India), Oliver de Schutter (Belgium), Mazide N’Diaye (Senegal), Gabriela Monteiro (Brazil), Irakli Kakabadze (Georgia), Anne Pearson (Canada), Liz Theoharis (USA), Sulak Sivaraksa (Thailand), Jagat Basnet (Nepal), Miloon Kothari (India),  Irene Santiago (Philippines), Arsen Kharatyan (Armenia), Margrit Hugentobler (Switzerland), Jill Carr-Harris (Canada/India), Reva Joshee (Canada), Sonia Deotto (Mexico/Italy),Benjamin Joyeux (Geneva/France), Aneesh Thillenkery, Ramesh Sharma, Ran Singh (India)