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Thursday, September 13, 2012

South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements
636, Ideal Homes Township,
Raja Rajeswari Nagar, Bangalore -5600098. Karnataka.
Telephone +91 94444089543

13th September, 2012.
Land is Life.
South Indian farmer’s response to the Land acquisition bill( LARR bill 2012)
At this point, people’s movements of SICCFM are not willing to enter into discussions on the details of compensation and rehabilitation packages because we do not agree with the fundamental premise of this bill.  This bill seeks to handover our farmlands to private corporations in the name of “public purpose”. The wording of this bill is so deceptive that almost anything could be construed as a public good and it falsely seems like farmers have become partners in India's corporate development.

But as farmers and poor rural people we ask - what purpose will be served to our communities and our development by a private hospital or university which we cannot afford, a luxury hotel, a golf course or a formula one race track, a multi-lane highway where a company will collect toll tax for 36 years while we have no roads in our villages, or a mine that kills our forests and destroys our health? Most importantly, we ourselves have the right and ability to decide what is good for our development and demand that our own local institutions – gram sabhas give their full consent and decide whether a project constitutes our development and public purpose. We cannot accept some random figure of 80% consent or “consultation” as an excuse for democracy.

Just because corporations are complaining about higher costs to their projects does not in anyway mean that the bill is automatically good for the farmers. In fact the cost of such a bill will be even steeper for India's rural communities and our nation’s ability to feed itself.  At this time our nation is reeling under coalgate scam, 2G spectrum scam, paid media scam and under no circumstances can we be fooled once again to let the government act as our trustee or custodian because history and facts have proven otherwise.

Moreover the government has already acquired thousands of acres of lands that are lying idle all across the country. The government has all kinds of land banks everywhere. These lands were taken from farmers previously and now have not been used or illegally converted to some other use. In many cases farmers are yet to see any compensation. Rehabilitation has not been received by millions of Indians displaced by corporate development. Why then are we making a law to carry out further acquisitions? What about using the land already taken and fulfilling people’s dues from the past first?

Lastly, what is the use of such a bill when it is planning to exempt 13 out of 16 laws that acquire lands such as SEZ act and mining act? This trend of farm land grabbing and diversion of water to industry is legally ongoing all over the country. This is having a direct bearing on our ability to produce food. In the case of just one project, the Yamuna expressway alone we will lose the ability to produce 100,000 tonnes of food grain a year.  Thousands of acres are earmarked to be acquired in all the fertile food producing states of India.  When 50% of our children are malnutritioned and our hunger levels are worse than the poorest countries of Sub Saharan Africa, our government should be acquiring land for food security and not rampant industrialization.

Given this situation we do not agree to give our lands unless it is for real public purpose decided by us. Here are our current demands:-

1.     Suspend all ongoing land acquisitions
2.     Bring out a white paper of all the past land acquisitions nationally and what is being done with that land
3.     We demand a national level debate on “public purpose”
4.     A complete ban on acquisition for private corporations

These demands were formed on 9th Sep in Bangalore where SICCFM has held an open discussion on the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation & Resettlement bill (LA&RR bill) along with many farmers’ organizations and allies.

Signed by:

Karnataka Rajya Ryota Sangh( KRRS) (Karanataka).
Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam( Tamil Nadu),
Uzhavar Ulaippalar Katchi(Tamil Nadu),
Uzhavar Periyakkam(Tamil Nadu),
Katchi Sarpartra Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam(Tamil Nadu),
Kongunadu Vivasayigal Sangam( Tamil Nadu),
Kerala Coconut Farmers Association (KCFA)( Kerala)
Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha(Kerala),

For further details

Monday, September 10, 2012

Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movement
                                    Road No. 2, A – 33, Mahipalpur Extension, New Delhi – 110 037, India                               
Tel: 011 - 26783000, 26784000; Fax: 011-26785001; Email:
Farmers Movements on the Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill (LARR) 2012

The MoRD may have accepted some suggestions from the people and the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) report which we support and contributed to, but we are still fundamentally opposed to the spirit of the LARR bill in its current form. It is using the language of transparency and compensation to allow the government to take people's land in the name of public purpose and then hand it over to private industries. We understand that the PM has referred the LARR bill to a Group of Ministers after opposition from key ministers who want to push for land acquisition for private parties. Also media sources have revealed  the MoRDs intention to make the bill "more investor-friendly". It is shameful that the government is trying to appease the industry and permanently establish itself as the land broker for corporate players. What is needed today is a land law that is pro peoples development, improves food security and prevents climate change.

We cannot accept the falsity that corporate profit is good for the masses of India. Corporate profit is not public purpose. Projects that are geared towards elite consumerism – even if PPP ventures are not “public purpose”. Steel plants, formula one race tracks and elite housing complexes are not public purpose but highly profitable ventures. Multi lane highways are not benefiting us- why are no roads being built in the villages instead?  We stress that local government – gram sabhas and basti sabhas should give full consent to decide if a certain project is public purpose or not- merely consulting them is not enough.

As farmers we ask- who will feed the nation?  Are we planning to kill our farmers or turn them into unemployed or laborers and then import food from corporations abroad? Is it sensible for our country to set up policies that will undercut our own ability to feed ourselves? Why are we still a nation with the most shameful hunger and farmer suicide statistics? It makes no rational sense to allow government acquisition of any kind of agricultural land for industrial purposes. Millions of acres of agricultural land are also acquired and converted to industrial purposes under up to 13 other acts that are exempt from the provisions of LARR. Such type of land acquisition is a threat to our national food security. All such acts such as SEZ's, mining, railways and others should be brought under this one act. It is pitiful that the government is showing such desperation to industrialize and not the same urgency to feed our people and stop farmer suicides. We strongly demand implementation of the recommendation of the parliamentary standing committee to not acquire any type of agricultural land (single or multi cropped).

Although proper compensation is a very important issue for us, so is proper rehabilitation. Waving money at farmers and then destroying their livelihoods is not acceptable. Proper rehabilitation which means an alternate sustainable livelihood and land for land must be provided. This too must be monitored and implemented by the gram and basti panchayat.  Also those who have already suffered due to previous displacements and not yet received rehabilitation must  receive it. The new law should apply to them all. We also demand that all ongoing acquisitions be stopped unless and until the new law that reflects peoples true development needs comes into being.

We cannot accept the violent method in which governments have responded to our genuine protests. We condemn the recent arrests of hundreds of farmers by the MP government in Anantapur who were legitimately trying to protect their livelihoods and lands. Instead of entering into serious dialogues the government just lathi charged and jailed us.

We would like to state that we are not against industrialization as many have tried to portray us as backward and anti development. We are not against a development or industrialization which will provide sustainable livelihoods to our people, which will give us education, health and food in our communities or roads in our villages. But we are definitely against such a development model which prescribes rampant industrialization without considering the well being of the masses and in fact causes inequality, dispossession and climate change. We cannot discuss any land law without discussing its impact on overall development – they both go hand in hand.

We will be organizing a meet of many farmers organizations in Bangalore on 9 September to further analyze this act and discuss our future course of action.

Our demands:
  • We demand a national debate on public purpose.
  • We support a new legislation to replace the colonial land acquisition act. But, we cannot accept a bill which will be an effective tool to grab farmers land for private profit and urbanization. We demand a ban on acquisition for private projects.

Signed by:
Bhartiya Kisan Union
Vijay Jawandhia, Shetkari Sangh, Maharashtra
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) ,
Kerala Coconut Farmers Association( KCFA), Kerela
Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, Tamil Nadu
South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (SICCFM)

For more information please contact:- S Kannaiyan, SICCFM: +91 9444989543 
 Dharmendra, BKU: +91 9219691168 ( ;