Bengaluru: Farmer, Labour, land and shelter struggle, and Dalit organisations have launched a united parallel public session along with the ongoing legislative session in Bangalore. The struggle is against the amendments brought by the Karnataka government. These are the Land Reform Amendment Act, Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act and Electricity Act.
The protest entered the second day at freedom park in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Following a massive protest on the first day of the monsoon session, the protesting farmers staged an overnight protest and have decided to continue their agitation until the completion of the state legislative session and until the government agrees to their demands.
Activist Noor Shridhar of the Committee for the land and shelter struggle slammed the government for its anti-agriculture and anti-farmer policies.
“The proposed amendments being brought to the Karnataka Land Reforms Act were detrimental to the interest of the farmers and poor. Despite strong opposition by farmers, opposition parties, and continued protest and agitation against the draconian law, the ruling government was bent upon bringing in the amendments”- he said while speaking on the struggles faced by the poor and landless in Karnataka.
Shridhar said the struggle for land rights is not new. It is over 100 years old. The All India Congress conference in Lahore passed a resolution that the government should pass land reforms Acts and give land to the tiller. Dr. Ambedkar wanted all the land should be nationalized and distributed among the poor. The same struggle for land distribution continues till today.
Expressing his disappointment, Sridhar said- “Although land distribution has been part of India’s state policy and Indian government should have made the ceiling on land holding its priority,the aspiration of the constitution has been never fulfilled. The government has always conspired against the poor. It was Devraj Urs the champion of land reforms who brought major land reforms. But still a large chunk of Dalits, tribals have not got land ownership rights”.
Kagodu Timmappa who himself was the revenue minister and at the forefront of the campaign for land reforms has not been successful in ensuring land to the landless. Since last 3 years the struggle has been continuing under the leadership of freedom fighter H N Doreswamy. This is not a campaign against any government or party instead it is against the anti-poor policies.
However, the campaign was being given a colour that it favored the Congress party. We are always pro-people and against the ruling class, he clarified. The people session which is going to be held indefinitely has been pressing for four significant demands including land rights for the landless, audit of the land and redistribution of surplus land to the landless, permit to submit applications seeking for land, and withdrawal of cases against the activists.
Labour organisation leader R Manasaiah speaking on the topic of Revenue Land and problems of Bagar hukum land.
He expressed concerns over the government’s move to privatize government land. Almost every sector including airport, rail, industries are being privatized. Now the government is inclined toward handing over the ownership of government land to few individuals.
Devaraj Urs every effort of ensuring land to the landless was being nullified. He called upon the landless people to put a unified fight. Former minister H D Revenna, D R Patil, B Patil assured of fighting against the ordinance route of the ruling dispensation both inside and outside the house.