Right place, wrong arrangement

The targeted attack by Maoists in Chhattisgarh against the State Congress leadership in which V.C. Shukla, Mahendra Karma and the party’s other top leaders were killed has rekindled a familiar debate on the military aspects of counterinsurgency. However, the continuing cycle of violence in the State underscores the need for a closer examination of the social and political impact of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution through which the tribal areas of peninsular India are governed. Read more

Courtesy: The Hindu

Of mines, minerals and tribal rights

Tribal and indigenous communities across the world have been asserting their rights to the mineral wealth often found under the land they own or possess or have traditional rights to. They have been historically denied even a share of that huge wealth, leave alone legal rights of ownership. Read more

Courtesy: The Hindu

Andhra’s Samatha verdict model in new law for landless

RANCHI: The state government is framing an anti-displacement law that would be based on some features of the Samatha judgment of 1997. The judgment was passed by the Supreme Court in 1997 on a petition filed by an Andhra Pradesh-based social organization of the tribal people, Samatha, against the state government for restricting transfer of government land to non-tribal people for mining and industrial purposes in the areas under Schedule V of the Constitution. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India

India, largely a country of immigrants

If North America is predominantly made up of new immigrants, India is largely a country of old immigrants, which explains its tremendous diversity. It follows that tolerance and equal respect for all communities and sects are an absolute imperative if we wish to keep India united. If it was believed at one time that Dravidians were the original inhabitants of India, that view has since been considerably modified. Now the generally accepted belief is that the pre-Dravidian aborigines, that is, the ancestors of the present tribals or Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes), were the original inhabitants. This is the thesis put forward in a judgment delivered on January 5, 2011 by a Supreme Court of India Bench comprising Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra . This historical disquisition came in Criminal Appeal No. 11 of 2011, arising out of Special Leave Petition No. 10367 of 2010 in Kailas & Others versus State of Maharashtra TR. Taluka P.S. Read more

Courtesy: The Hindu

Samata verdict is weapon of the weak

When the Supreme Court of India delivered the Samata judgment in 1997 protecting the land of tribal people under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, it was met with dismay and anger from industrial interests. At the time, I did not realize how strong these interests would react to this decision. But in the 13 years since the Samata judgment, I have seen how the state and industry have conspired to see that it is not implemented. A careful look will show it is not an anti-mining judgment but talked of primary stakes for tribal people and responsibility of the state and industry. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India

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