Ref No: JSY/044/10/2011
Date: October 27th, 2011
Smt. Sonia Gandhi,
Member of the Parliament,
President, Congress Party
10, Janpath Road
New Delhi 110 011
Subject: Seeking you support for Land-reforms
Dear Sonia ji,
Most probably you are informed that I am on a Jansatyagraha Samwaad Yatra that began on 2nd October from Kanyakyumari. Large number of social workers and school students came to flag-off the yatra. The school students wanted me to carry their message of a caste-free, hunger-free, corruption-free India agenda across the country.
With your intervention a land-reforms council was formed in 2007 when 25000 poop people walked all the way from Gwalior to New Delhi. Though there are about 300 recommendations on the table of the Prime Minister not over a single meeting of the council was called till date.
The Jansatyagraha Samwaad yatra has crossed Kerala and we are now in Tamil Nadu. According to the plan, we will travel through the country for one year and arrive at Gwalior on 2nd of October next year. 1 Lac people from different parts of the country will assemble at Gwalior and will start walking to Delhi on 2nd of October. As I have repeatedly said, I have no intention of confront the government and at the same time, as a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, I cannot compromise on his talsiman. You will have difficulty to believe how deprived large numbers of people are in our country. I have travelled through dalit villages, fisherfolks villages, adivasi villages as well as through urban slums in the last 1-month. I was ashamed when old women touched my feet or people cried while explaining their suffering. As you know there is a line between poverty and misery. Unfortunately many of them whom I met during the yatra are in miserable condition. They need immediate help. People at the bottom are left to the mercy of low-ranking officials and the micro-governance in this country is very anti-poor and is controlled by powerful lobbies.
I am repeatedly speaking about land-distribution. Land has become so expensive that ordinary people cannot buy it anymore. People with money and power are investing in land and it has become an important area for people to change their colour of their money. I know there are strong lobbies opposed to the agenda of land-distribution. Not even existing pro-poor laws related to land are implemented because of pressure from this group of lobbies. I hope that as the leader of the ruling party, you will understand and appreciate why many organizations in this country are so strongly arguing for a comprehensive land-reforms policy/legislation. We believe that much of poverty, migration and violence are all rooted in this problem of unequal distribution of land and livelihood resources. I wish you can assert your authority in the interest of poor and marginalized and come out with a comprehensive land-reforms agenda to fight poverty and discrimination. I assure you that the entire community of social workers regardless of whether they follow Marx, Gandhi and Ambedkar will stand behind you.
With thanks and warm regards,