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Ongoing development results in people's uprooting: Experts

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 19 (UNI) The policy framework and the experiences since Independence of the country clearly shows that governmental developmental schemes have uprooted more people than providing permanent employment to the displaced ones thereby creating a glaring unequality in Indian society with attendent concentration of wealth in a few hands, observed experts.

Supporting the struggle of the Kalinga Nagar tribals, the right of Narmada oustees to adequate rehabilitation and the need to stop the height of the dam being raised,participants in a Convention held here last evening said the displaced people and tribals were absolutely right in resisting the implementation of the present 'development model of the Indian establishment' which was 'anti-people' and robbed the people of their land and livelihood.

Speaking at the Convention on "Displacement: Development or Destruction?"organised by Janhastakshep here, Dr Manoranjan Mohanty, former Professor of Delhi University, said the ongoing Kalinga Nagar movement in Orissa like many other such movements against dominant models of development would force a change in development paradigm.

"People's historic right to their habitat is under attack and they are fighting back. That oppression is of the worst order which take away land and livelihood.... but official 'development' now means nothing to the common people and they have understood the dimensions of it and are opposing it with the slogan of 'no displacement", he added.

The seven-point charter of 'Visthapan Virodhi Jan Manch' at Kalinga Nagar is a clear-cut challenge to the government's development strategy which will never leave Orissa the same again now, he said.

Mr Rajendra Sarangi, representing Lok Pakhya, Orissa, said the killing of 13 tribals at Kalinga Nagar in first week of January this year had given a qualitative shift to the issue of rehabilitation of the 'development projects' oustees. The agitating tribals in Orissa are now openly fighting on a slogan'we will not leave land we are cultivating'. And, the road blocking by the tribals has continued for past 106 days, said Mr Sarangi, who is closely associated with the ongoing Kalinga Nagar struggle, and they have been refusing to file any affidavits before the Commission of Enquiry set up by the Orissa government.

"Now they (tribals of the area) no longer welcome industries as they did in 1992 because their experiences had made it clear that the Government is incapable of doing rehabilitation", he added.

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