29 February 2012, Dumka
On 29 February the first halt of the journey was at village Majdiha in Dumka district where a meeting with villagers was organised by ‘Sajha Manch’. Smt Saloni MUrmu said that the Britishers were responsible for many underhanded deals in the entire Santhal Pargana whereby large tracts of land were transferred from tribal to non-tribal control. All revenue rights of the village leaders were taken away and after independence the process of elected village leaders was put in place through the Panchayati Raj Act. Today the traditional village leaders and the elected village leaders are standing opposite each other especially on the sensitive issues of protection of local resources and transfer of these resources. She said that despite being a scheduled area the traditional system of governance and rights was held in contempt by the administration. Implementation of the basic tenets of Santhal Pargana Kastkari Act is the only way in which this part of the region could be protected, she concluded.
The last halt of the journey was at Ramraj Ashram in Devgarh district where a conference was organnised
by the ‘Gandhi Vichar Manch’. Addressing the meeting Shri Kumar Ranjan of Ramraj Ashram said that in the current climate of violence the most harassed entity is the social worker. He is faces immense repression both from the dissatisfied Gram Sabhas and corruption ridden administrative system because he is doing the service of bringing the voices of the marginalized into the forefront. Senior Social Worker Shri Bhavanand Ji said that post 1990 the basic character of liberalization is that of violence therefore in order to reduce violence in the society one should start using the mediation services offered by the social organisations and groups. Centralisation of resources is leading to reduced rights of the people dependent on these resources and this loss of rights is emerging in violent reactions by the people. He stressed the point that unless the government pays attention to the issues raised by non-violent movements such as the Jansatyagrah violence will continue to be the last resort against injustice. had been organised by the people. He stressed the point that unless the government pays attention to the issues raised by non-violent movements such as the Jansatyagrah violence will continue to be the last resort against injustice.