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Friday, August 27, 2010

Rahul Gandhi - Tribal and farmers issues

Rahul Gandhi

Mr. Rahul Gandhi one of the most eligible bachelors in India, the most liked candidate for Prime minister visited Niyamgiri, Orissa and announced that mining will not be allowed in Niyamgiri hills and that he is with the locals and tribal community. He said that people of Niyamgiri should take him as their own voice in Delhi and that he will try his best to do everything to for the tribal and other local communities.

Rahul Gandhi met the Prime Minister in Delhi and asked to expedite the new land acquisition act which is believed to be much better and beneficial for the farmers. This was done just ahead of farmer rally at Delhi which was to be attended by small and petty farmers from all over the country. He told farmers and farm workers that he is with them and will see to it that new land acquisition act is tabled in parliament in next session.

These announcements will have a very long term implication politically and environmentally. I believe these are more of political announcements but when we look at the advantage and benefit the local people, tribal and farming communities will get and its direct or indirect implication on environment I believe it will be positive for all.

Both the announcements show that Mr. Gandhi has come long way and has become a much matured politician as well. We have seen him living at poor people houses, visiting tribal areas, trying to understand their problems and also opposition and many others criticizing all this as political stunts. But with these announcements I believe he has started understanding the real problems our people are facing and all his visits and eating with poor and under privileged class has actually helped him a lot.

But, what are the advantages here, if we look deep into both the announcements it comes out that these are the demands of people who were being effected by new mega projects. Be it forest land or private land in most of the acquisitions displacement of local people and petite compensation had always been criticized by all effected. Better compensation and say of local people in any project has always been heard and demanded but till now no step was taken and now it is being done. At places like Niyamgiri where mining is being proposed environmental implication has always been raised by concerned NGO’s and displacement and health problems by local people and now they will be happy that environmental degradation will not happen. At places where land is being acquired for new multi million projects or roads, farmers and local communities has opposed it by asking for better compensation and now they will get it.

Rahul Gandhi's announcement also shows that we have started looking into those issues which have always been raised but went to deaf ears. Be it change in age old laws, right of local people, rights of tribal community or other like issues. If these issues are given proper hearing I am sure this will be good and benificial for all. Today our environment and forest minister now knows that he has support from one of the strongest politician in the country and this will certainly give him strength to work better.

With this Rahul Gandhi has also tried to give a solution to Naxal problem our country is facing. If tribal communities are given better rights and importance in governance this will certainly benefit all and people will start leaving naxal movement. If the tribal communities start feeling that they have a voice at the centre and someone is ready to fight for their cause they may leave the violence path and join the development way. By telling the tribal people that he is with them and their voice and that he will oppose the new mining project he has certainly raised confidence within the community and I am sure we will see some positive developments soon.

Garibo ke Sipahi or Garibo ka Masiha (Soldier of Poor or God of Poor) what is he trying to show? This question was raised by one of the most famous TV news channel. Well I will say this is nothing more than maturity and what we are seeing is the right person for the prime minister post. Someone who understands problems our under priviledged, tribal and farmers are facing and I believe as a leader we can expect a lot from him.