Jan Samvad Yatra Day 1, 2nd Oct Kanyakumari–Koodankulam

Ekta Parishad began a yearlong tour called Jansatyagraha-Jan Samwaad Yatra to visit struggles for land and livelihood resources throughout the country. The day began with senior Gandhian leaders expressing their good wishes to Ekta Parishad and PV Rajagopal for the success of the Yatra. Shr. Radha Bhatt, Shri S N Subha Rao, Swami Sacchidanada, Shri Arif Mohammed Kahn and Shri Balvijay were present on the dais. Afterward, the entire group of 500 people marched 3 kilometres through Kanyakumari to Gandhi Madapam. There an interreligious prayer service was held and then the jeep yatra left for its first stop in Koodankulam in the Thriruneveli district of Tamil Nadu. On the first day the yatra visited the Koodankulam Nuclear Plant Struggle. The Koodankulam struggle is a struggle against displacement from land and so it is related to the Yatra’s concern for the land and livelihood resources of the poor. During the visit, the local group expressed their commitment to a long-term non-violent struggle to stop the nuclear project in order to save their livelihoods and environment.

The Kanyakumari Declaration: In the globalizing world the focus of every initiative is seen in its economic value. Land is being commoditized in the name of economic growth, bypassing the identity of land as a symbol of life, justice, livelihood, social status, culture and dignity of the poor and marginalized communities. This politics of systematic displacement and alienation from land is affecting the lives of people at large, especially the Dalit, Adivasis, Nomadic Tribes and Women. In this patriarchal system women’s access to land rights remains as a major challenge. Around 500 intellectuals, social workers and activists from various streams of peoples struggles such as Gandhians, Ambedakarites, and Marxists, met on the 30th of September 2011 at Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari and identified land as the common issue of survival.  The group expressed its solidarity in the peoples struggle for restoration of land rights through – Jan Satyagraha 2012 (A non violent people’s movement for land rights).  The group also declared that all ideologies join hand and identify land as a common issue and the urgent need to support and work together towards peoples’ control over natural resources. The group is also giving a call to various groups around the globe to synchronize differences in order to synergize various social movements to address the issues related to the lives of the people at the survival level. They feel that there is an urgent need for consolidating various struggles and create a united voice for restoration of land rights and control over natural resources for the marginalized communities.

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