Govt’s tribal instinct to deny rights

Adivasis have been losing forestlands, and the govt now appears to be going after activists and lawyers who fight for their rights.

After I covered the Kisan Long March earlier this year, travelling with the huge farmers’ group of mostly tribals from Nashik to Mumbai for a week, the so-called experts on my Twitter timeline presented a baffling argument: you can either be a farmer or an adivasi. I think the readers of this column know better.

Farmers have been perennially at the wrong end of land acquisition in India. Do Bigha Zameen, directed by Bimal Roy in 1953, is sadly still relevant. Adivasis are more vulnerable because most of them don’t even hold titles for the land they have tilled for decades. Under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, they are the rightful owners, but the law has hardly materialised on the ground. Read more

Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror