A large number of people are hopeless across the Indian sub-continent. Along with land-related issues, farmer’s suicides increase. Mostly privileging industries, successive Governments have failed to give the basic means of survival. Our leaders often speak about poverty eradication but do not act. Equality exists more in policies and laws than in practice. Either people accept this with resignation and continue to be submitted, or they challenge the Government’s systems. Making a solidarity action in Delhi from several parts of India, they are taking up the challenge of raising their voices in front of the Government. This action will also aim to unify large groups of people suffering similar problems all over the World.
On October 2nd 2007, 25,000 people came together to walk 350 km to Delhi from Gwalior in order to demand that the Indian Government address land issues and allow people to have full and equal access over the natural resources they depend on for their livelihoods. This led to the government’s decision to set up the National Land Reform Commission.
After many efforts at dialogue and collaboration with the government on the land reform agenda, we have been unable to get them to act in a significant way. Although we are keeping the doors open for a dialogue with the government, we are getting disappointed by the day, because more of the resources are being transferred from rural communities to the corporate house. In response to which the poor and marginalized are planning a larger action beginning on 2nd October 2012.
The Jan Satyagraha 2012 March campaign is a large non-violent walk that will be carried out in India and in many other countries across the globe in October 2012. It begins on UN International Non-Violence Day, October 2nd, for one month. In the main action 100,000 people, representing different rural communities, especially tribal, landless and small farmers, will walk in formation together 350 kilometers from Gwalior to New Delhi. They will raise the issue of land being a key asset in development and poverty reduction, and that high level of landlessness and deprivation need to be reduced for achieving positive national and global development. In effect, land and livelihood rights are instrumental to all people’s freedom.
The Jan Satyagraha 2012 March is based on the Gandhian Salt Satyagraha of 1930, known as the Dandi March. It is an uplifting event with a carnival atmosphere; it is the combined effort of people to stand up for basic rights and speak on the way to build more equity in the governing structure. The 2012 March is a disciplined formation of people acting out non-violence in an effort to bring a large number of people together to show the strength of rural India, the importance of agriculture, of food production –as a base for urban India, and to build a common destiny of all people.