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Tribals urge Odisha CM to pass resolution against CAA-NPR-NRC

Jharkhand gov’t passes resolution against NPR-NRC

Sabrangindia 24 Mar 2020

odisha

Under the aegis of social organizations like Campaign for Survival with Dignity (CSD), Odisha Nari Samaj and Jan Jagran Abhiyan, many tribals held around 402 gram sabhas and passed resolutions urging the state government to halt the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NRC) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Odisha, reported the The Daily Pioneer. Out of these 402, at least 65 gram sabhas were held in Ganjam, CM Naveen Patnaik’s home turf, followed by 56 in Sundargarh and 53 in Malkangiri district.

The gram sabhas were held in 15 districts - Ganjam, Gajapati, Sundargarh, Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Balangir, Bargarh, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj, Jharsuguda and Jajpur. This was the first time such resolutions were passed by Gram Sabhas in Odisha. CSD convening body member Narendra Mohanty said that post the passing of the resolutions in the villages, a memorandum was sent to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the district Collectors of 15 districts.

Calling the CAA, NPR and NRC as “anti-tribal and anti-people”, senior member of the CSD, Pradeep Sahoo demanded that the Odisha government pass a resolution in the Assembly against the “regressive decisions of the Central Government.”

Jan Jagran Abhiyan’s President, Madhusudan Sethi said, “STs and SCs constitute 40 per cent of Odisha’s population. The Dalit and tribal communities have faced a long-lost battle with displacement for the sake of development, landless problems and natural disasters like Cyclones Phailin and Titli. So, providing birth certificate and land documents is a major issue to prove citizenship.”

The publication reported that Karmi Besra of Odisha Nari Samaj; Anna Kujur of Athakosia Sangathan of Sundargarh; and Bhisma Pangi of Malkangiri and Bijay Swain of Ganjam Zilla Gramsabha Samiti played a significant role in convincing and getting the gram sabhas to pass these resolutions.

Jharkhand passed resolution against NPR and NRC

After the Pathalgadi tribals wrote to Jharkand CM Hemant Soren last week, asking his government to stop the implementation of the CAA, NPR and NRC in the state, the Jharkhand government has now passed a resolution against the NPR and NRC, reported The Hindu.

 

 

“In the present format having 15 points, people will be asked about date and place of birth of parents. Most of people in Jharkhand will not be able to answer these questions. In Jharkhand, most people even don’t know their own date of birth,” Alamgir Alam, Jharkhand Rural Development Minister and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, told The Hindu.

The move was also the result of the heavy criticism against Soren by the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM) which came down heavily on him for his silence on the matter. In a letter to the Jharkhand CM, activists had said, “The main purpose of the NPR is to lay the ground for NRC. The NRC is a wasteful exercise that is bound to lead to exclusion and harassment of a large number of people especially poor as has already happened in Assam. It will wreak havoc on the poor of Jharkhand especially tribals, Dalit, Muslims and women. The combination of CAA and NRC could easily become a weapon to reduce many Muslims to second-class citizens.”

How the CAA, NPR, NRC will affect tribals

In the letter to the CM, the Pathalgadi tribals outlined four reasons how the NRC would affect the lives of Adivasis and Moolvasis, National Herald repoted.

 

 

The tribals and Adivasis area community which strive hard to make ends meet and depend on nature for their lives and livelihoods. Most of them do not have documents by birth and the implementation of the NRC will only compel people to run from pillar to post to gather documents leading to a loss of time and money.

With land being their major asset, Adivasis have to unfairly suffer the arm-wringing of corporates and the government who illegally acquire their land. Land documents are a must to be shown in the NRC. For tribals who have lost their lands to the government, how will they prove their citizenship?

The Ghaghra Gram Sabha which wrote on behalf of the Pathalgadi tribals also alleged that the implementation of the CAA-NPR-NRC would make the exploitation of Adivasis much easier and asked it to focus on the implementation of the Fifth Schedule and Panchayat (Extension of Scheduled Area) Act.

Ramji Munda, a member of the Ghaghra Gram Sabha said, “In most of our villages, people do not have birth certificates, so how are we going to produce them now. In our Adivasi villages, we know all of our neighbours, but how will we be able to prove to the government that we are residents if we don’t have documents. We have never had any documents. The land we live on is ours and it falls under the fifth schedule.”

He also added how the implementation of the NRC would pose a problem for most women in India. Saying that most women changes villages after marriage, he asked, “How will they prove their residency. They never had documents either in their own village or here. The NPR and NRC will cause immense displacement and pain to Adivasis, in addition to targeting Muslims, Christians and Dalits in the villages.”

Forest-dwelling communities, apart from women and minorities, will be the worst-affected by the CAA-NPR-NRC. They have a history of having lost their land and forests for the sake of development projects which has led them to migrate to remote settlements. Entire villages have disappeared in such displacements and these will not come up in the system even if they manage to name it.

Most people from the earlier generations don’t have birth certificates. Most forest dwellers do not have Aadhaar cards.

Speaking to The Citizen, Aloka Kujur, a Jharkhand-based Adivasi rights activist explained that the 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) do not have any documentation as they reside in isolated and remote areas. Furthermore, she explained that most of the Adivasi population had become Christian. But groups like the Sarna Dharmik group and the Bhisai Dharma practiced by the Munda community have not been recognized by law.

How then will the government’s decision of implementing the CAA and granting citizenship by religion not affect these indigenous Adivasis and tribals who devoid of documents will not even be able to fathom the legal implications of the Act?


Related:

NRC to hit India’s informal labour force

Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019: The Fire that consumes India

Tribals urge Odisha CM to pass resolution against CAA-NPR-NRC

Jharkhand gov’t passes resolution against NPR-NRC

odisha

Under the aegis of social organizations like Campaign for Survival with Dignity (CSD), Odisha Nari Samaj and Jan Jagran Abhiyan, many tribals held around 402 gram sabhas and passed resolutions urging the state government to halt the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NRC) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Odisha, reported the The Daily Pioneer. Out of these 402, at least 65 gram sabhas were held in Ganjam, CM Naveen Patnaik’s home turf, followed by 56 in Sundargarh and 53 in Malkangiri district.

The gram sabhas were held in 15 districts - Ganjam, Gajapati, Sundargarh, Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Balangir, Bargarh, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj, Jharsuguda and Jajpur. This was the first time such resolutions were passed by Gram Sabhas in Odisha. CSD convening body member Narendra Mohanty said that post the passing of the resolutions in the villages, a memorandum was sent to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the district Collectors of 15 districts.

Calling the CAA, NPR and NRC as “anti-tribal and anti-people”, senior member of the CSD, Pradeep Sahoo demanded that the Odisha government pass a resolution in the Assembly against the “regressive decisions of the Central Government.”

Jan Jagran Abhiyan’s President, Madhusudan Sethi said, “STs and SCs constitute 40 per cent of Odisha’s population. The Dalit and tribal communities have faced a long-lost battle with displacement for the sake of development, landless problems and natural disasters like Cyclones Phailin and Titli. So, providing birth certificate and land documents is a major issue to prove citizenship.”

The publication reported that Karmi Besra of Odisha Nari Samaj; Anna Kujur of Athakosia Sangathan of Sundargarh; and Bhisma Pangi of Malkangiri and Bijay Swain of Ganjam Zilla Gramsabha Samiti played a significant role in convincing and getting the gram sabhas to pass these resolutions.

Jharkhand passed resolution against NPR and NRC

After the Pathalgadi tribals wrote to Jharkand CM Hemant Soren last week, asking his government to stop the implementation of the CAA, NPR and NRC in the state, the Jharkhand government has now passed a resolution against the NPR and NRC, reported The Hindu.

 

 

“In the present format having 15 points, people will be asked about date and place of birth of parents. Most of people in Jharkhand will not be able to answer these questions. In Jharkhand, most people even don’t know their own date of birth,” Alamgir Alam, Jharkhand Rural Development Minister and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, told The Hindu.

The move was also the result of the heavy criticism against Soren by the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM) which came down heavily on him for his silence on the matter. In a letter to the Jharkhand CM, activists had said, “The main purpose of the NPR is to lay the ground for NRC. The NRC is a wasteful exercise that is bound to lead to exclusion and harassment of a large number of people especially poor as has already happened in Assam. It will wreak havoc on the poor of Jharkhand especially tribals, Dalit, Muslims and women. The combination of CAA and NRC could easily become a weapon to reduce many Muslims to second-class citizens.”

How the CAA, NPR, NRC will affect tribals

In the letter to the CM, the Pathalgadi tribals outlined four reasons how the NRC would affect the lives of Adivasis and Moolvasis, National Herald repoted.

 

 

The tribals and Adivasis area community which strive hard to make ends meet and depend on nature for their lives and livelihoods. Most of them do not have documents by birth and the implementation of the NRC will only compel people to run from pillar to post to gather documents leading to a loss of time and money.

With land being their major asset, Adivasis have to unfairly suffer the arm-wringing of corporates and the government who illegally acquire their land. Land documents are a must to be shown in the NRC. For tribals who have lost their lands to the government, how will they prove their citizenship?

The Ghaghra Gram Sabha which wrote on behalf of the Pathalgadi tribals also alleged that the implementation of the CAA-NPR-NRC would make the exploitation of Adivasis much easier and asked it to focus on the implementation of the Fifth Schedule and Panchayat (Extension of Scheduled Area) Act.

Ramji Munda, a member of the Ghaghra Gram Sabha said, “In most of our villages, people do not have birth certificates, so how are we going to produce them now. In our Adivasi villages, we know all of our neighbours, but how will we be able to prove to the government that we are residents if we don’t have documents. We have never had any documents. The land we live on is ours and it falls under the fifth schedule.”

He also added how the implementation of the NRC would pose a problem for most women in India. Saying that most women changes villages after marriage, he asked, “How will they prove their residency. They never had documents either in their own village or here. The NPR and NRC will cause immense displacement and pain to Adivasis, in addition to targeting Muslims, Christians and Dalits in the villages.”

Forest-dwelling communities, apart from women and minorities, will be the worst-affected by the CAA-NPR-NRC. They have a history of having lost their land and forests for the sake of development projects which has led them to migrate to remote settlements. Entire villages have disappeared in such displacements and these will not come up in the system even if they manage to name it.

Most people from the earlier generations don’t have birth certificates. Most forest dwellers do not have Aadhaar cards.

Speaking to The Citizen, Aloka Kujur, a Jharkhand-based Adivasi rights activist explained that the 75 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) do not have any documentation as they reside in isolated and remote areas. Furthermore, she explained that most of the Adivasi population had become Christian. But groups like the Sarna Dharmik group and the Bhisai Dharma practiced by the Munda community have not been recognized by law.

How then will the government’s decision of implementing the CAA and granting citizenship by religion not affect these indigenous Adivasis and tribals who devoid of documents will not even be able to fathom the legal implications of the Act?


Related:

NRC to hit India’s informal labour force

Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019: The Fire that consumes India

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