The All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) has constituted teams to strengthen the organization and solidify the local issues that need to be debated before the upcoming elections.
The All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) has constituted teams to strengthen the organization and solidify the local issues that need to be debated before the upcoming elections. These teams will visit the areas of Palia, Dudhwa, Bahraich, Manikpur, Chandauli, Sonbhadra, Badora and Rohtas. Many forest dwelling and Adivasi communities are fearing the loss of livelihood and survival after the Supreme Court ordered the eviction of millions of their community from their ancestral land by diluting the Forest Rights Act. The AIUFWP teams will visit various places from April 12 to May 15 to make the local people aware of issues that concern them.
The AIUFWP issued a press release in this regard, read the translation below:
Modi government came to power in the centre in 2014. Since then, attacks on minorities, Muslims, Dalits, tribals and women have increased across the country. Violence and organized killings in the name of protecting cows in the country, the oppression of BJP and RSS on Dalits and tribals, and the atrocities committed by supporting organizations are weakening havoc on the social and civic fabric of this country. The way in which four Dalit workers in Una, Gujarat were flogged and killed near the general police station in Gujarat and the way in which the whole incident was shared with the public on open social media was horrifying. So far, the criminals of Gujarat have not been punished by the BJP government. Those killers and criminals are roaming free. All this cannot be done without power. After this incident, the way in which attacks on Dalits continued in Mahasana Patan and Ahmedabad, show how the syncretic culture of our country has come under threat and how these powerful figures are undermining and attacking the very character of the constitution.
In the last five years, the way the attacks on the constitutional institutions of the country have increased, the democratic system has collapsed. The country is facing a severe financial crisis. Demonetisation and GST have broken the backs of poor and middle-class businessmen. Unemployment is the highest since 45 years and on the other hand, there is an atmosphere of fear from communalism across the country.
Atrocities on common citizens are increasing due to the oppressive policies of the government. Human rights and social workers are being put in jail every now and then. The tribals and Adivasi communities are being displaced and evicted from their ancestral lands and forests. The natural resources that they are dependent on for survival are being sold to corporates.
Recently, the unconstitutional decision of the Supreme Court is the calling for forced eviction of nearly 19 lakh native residents. The present government is not taking this threat seriously. The implementation of FRA 2006 passed by the Parliament is being stopped. Personal and community claims are not being heard and they are being deprived of their basic constitutional rights. Millions of citizens of the country are continuing to bear historic injustice. Millions of bogus litigations are being imposed by the forest department on the forest dwelling communities. The need of the hour is for the harassed communities to join together and voice their demands and claims before the wider public.
As a conscious citizen of the country, our duty is to protect the constitution, the freedom of expression, the right to live with dignity, to pursue a syncretic culture and to establish a just society, and seriously consider these disruptive, feudal, communal forces, to oust the fascist government from the seat of power and use our voting power to elect candidates who represent our values.
Demands of AIUFWP:
1. Effective implementation of FRA 2006.
2. Settle pending community and personal claims with immediate effect.
3. Review the cancelled community and personal claims and reapply under the new application.
4. The government and the petitioner should be expedited immediately and pass an ordinance against the Supreme Court’s eviction order.
5. Implement PESO Law and cancel all orders that weaken it.
6. Give Gram Sabhas the right to use and organize forest produce.
7. All false cases on the workers of the All India Forests Workers Union and other human rights and social workers should be withdrawn.
8. Make social welfare schemes like MNREGA and Public Distribution System strong and accessible.
9. The compulsion of Aadhaar card in the public distribution system should be removed.