Issues arising from Samwaad yatra

Ref No: JSY/006/10/2011

October 7th 2011


Jairam Ramesh Ji,

Minister for Rural Development,

New Delhi.

Subject: Issues arising from Samwaad yatra organized by Ekta Parishad and other matters

Dear Jairam Ramesh Ji,

The Jansatyagraha yatra is progressing well. I am sure you have seen my letter from Koodankulam and I hope you are doing something about it.

Other than visiting some Gandhian organizations in order to deepen my own understanding of the good work they are doing, I am also visiting struggles related to Jal, Jangal and Jameen. Let me repeat that the people at the bottom in rural India are crying for help in Allapad panchayat which is a tsunami affected area. There are many still waiting for financial support to make their own shelter. There may be many reasons why the Kerala government is not willing to do it but the ground reality is that these landless fisher folks are without a house of their own. In the same area, there is a government run sand mining company moving about 100 truckloads of sand every day. I am told that this sand is being processed for various industrial purposes. Local people are organized against this sand mining as they have already lost 1.5 km of their land to the sea during tsunami.

Today I was visiting a place called Chengara where the land struggle is going on for the last seven years. They are truly bitter and angry about anyone who takes the name of Gandhi. They think all those who take the name of Gandhi have cheated them. There are only asking for 1 acre of land. Unfortunately a government that can give thousands of acres of land to rubber and other plantations is not willing to give one acre of land to adivasis and dalits. I thin we need to address this issue urgently before the nation becomes too violent on this issue. This is a historic opportunity available for people like you to undo an historical injustice. We should find ways to give one to five acres of land to all the landless poor who want to produce food for their family and regain their dignity. I do not think we can continue to have this theoretical debates about productivity, viability etc when people are dying for a piece of land. The statement is simple and clear: After sixty four years of freedom those who did not receive right over land and livelihood resources should be given right over land and livelihood resources without any hesitation. Trying to avoid this question is basically inviting trouble not only for the party but also for the nation. I hope you will keep this in mind while preparing for the meeting on the 28th.

With thanks and warm regards,

Rajagopal P.V


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