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Sit-in and people’s parliament at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 23-24 July, 2009

India: Scrap LAA & R&R Bills - Enact NAC approved People’s Development Policy

People’s Movements to present their position before Public, Parliament and Government

by NAPM, 23 July 2009

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National Alliance of People’s Movements
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- Email: napmindia (at)


More than a thousand people representing people’s movements from over 15 states gathered at Jantar Mantar on the 23rd of July 2009, to protest against the Land Acquisition (Amendment) and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bills in their current form.

The gathering consisted of peoples from several organizations resisting failed development policies of the last 60 years that have not consulted people and recognized their right to land, forest and water. Eminent persons such as Kuldip Nayyar, Surendra Mohan, Prof. Amit Bhaduri, Sandeep Pandey, Manoranjan Mohanty, K.B. Saxena, Ramaswami Iyer, and others- strongly supported the people’s demand for inclusive development. Kuldip Nayyar stressed that no land will be given in the present scenario of forced land acquisition, without the guarantee of land- based rehabilitation.

"The act should principally consider the rights of the people owning the land", said Ashok Chowdhary of the National Forum for Forest Peoples and Forest Workers. Representatives from peoples movements present included Medha Patkar, Gautam Bandhopadhyay (Chattisgarh), Dr. Sunilam (M.P.), Shaktiman Ghosh (National Hawkers Federation, West Bengal), Rajendran (Kakinada, A.P.) and many others.

The demonstration began with a lighting of a symbolic torch by Surendra Mohan- veteran socialist leader- accompanied by vociferous chants against the two bills, which fail to address the long standing concerns of the communities displaced by the large development projects throughout the country. Surendra Mohan insisted that “without people’s consultation, no Rehabilitation and Resettlement policy will be entertained.”

The Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill was introduced by the UPA government in the last session of their previous tenure; however, while it was passed in the Lok Sabha, it could not go through a vote in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill clearly endorses the view that ‘private’ purpose, implying corporate and private commercial interests, is synonymous with ‘public’ purpose. The Bill in its current form negates the process of consultation that began with the National Advisory Council (NAC) and people’s movements, where a comprehensive Development Policy was drafted, keeping in mind concerns of the people.

During the day three delegations of the participants met with the Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabhas, Ms. Meira Kumar, Shri Kantilal Bhuria, Minister of Tribal Affairs and Minister of Rural Development, Shri C.P. Joshi and the presented our position and demands.

The Four Major Demands of Peoples Movements are:

  • Abolish the Land Acquisition Act of British Legacy
  • Issue a White paper on Land Acquisition, Displacement and Rehabilitation for the last 60 years.
  • Shelve the two Bills and hold a national consultation on the NAC approved draft along with the displaced people and the people’s organizations.
  • Institute a Joint Parliamentary Standing Committee for the discussion on the two Acts.

Medha Patkar (NAPM), Gautam Bandopadhyay (Nadi Ghati Morcha), Shaktiman Ghosh (National Hawkers Federation), Ashok Chowdhury & Pushpa (NFFPFW) Bhupendra Rawat (Jan Sangharsh Vahini), Suniti S R (Visthapan Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti), Rajendra Ravi (NAPM, Delhi), Simpreet Singh (Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan), Dayamani Barla (INSAF), P Chennaiah (APVVU), Gabriele / Geeta Ramakrishnan (NMPS) Venkatesh (NAPM, Karnatak), Sandhya Devi (Kalahandi Mahila Samiti), Anand Mazgaonkar (Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti), Ulka Mahajan (SEZ-Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti), Vimalbhai (MATU)

- Rohan (09953078167)
- Madhuresh (09818905316)

List of key speakers, participating people’s movements and groups

  • Shri Kuldeep Nayyar, Veteran journalist and political analyst
  • Shri Surendra Mohan, Former senior parliamentarian
  • Prof. Amit Bhaduri, Professor of Economics, JNU
  • Medha Patkar, National Alliance of People’s Movements and Narmada Bachao Andolan
  • Ashok Chowdhury, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, NTUI
  • Ramaswamy Iyer, Former Secretary, Water Resources
  • Dr. Sunilam, National President, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti
  • Dr. Sandeep Pandey, NAPM, PPF and Asha Parivar
  • Dayamani Barla, INSAF and Jharkhand Jan Andolan
  • Madhu Bhaduri, Former ambassador and women’s rights activist
  • Mahadeb Das, Singur Krishi Zameen Raksha Samiti
  • Shaktiman Ghosh, Murad Hussein and others, National Hawkers Federation
  • Jai Sen, CACIM
  • Rajendra Ravi, NAPM, New Delhi
  • Simpreet Singh, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan
  • Anuradha Talwar, Pashchim Bangal Khetmazdoor Samiti
  • Tiwari Bhai and others, Metro Sangharsh Samiti, Mumbai
  • Niketan Palkar, Tata Dharangrasth Sangharsh Samiti
  • Bijaya Chanda, Association for Protection of Democratic Rights, West Bengal
  • Krishnakant Anand Mazgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat
  • Kailash Awasya, Kamala Yadav and others, Narmada Bachao Andolan
  • Khema, Samrat and others, Jobat Bandh Vistapith Sangharsh Samiti
  • Manshi Asher, Independent researcher/Himalaya Niti Abhiyan
  • Guman Singh, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan
  • Rajendran, Kakinand SEZ Vyatireka Porata Samiti
  • Vasundhara Jairath, Intercultural Resources
  • Bhupendra Rawat, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, Bhoomi Bachao Andolan
  • Sandhya Devi, Kalahandi Mahila Mahasangh
  • Purno Da, Orissa Jan Sangharsh Manch
  • Roma Behan, Khaimur Kissan Mazdoor Sanghatan, Uttar Pradesh
  • Gautam Bandopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha, Chhattisgarh
  • Vimal Bhai, Matu Jan Sangathan, Tehri Bandh Sangharsh Samiti
  • Mohan Bhai/Jagdish Bhai, Omkareshwar/Indira Sagar Nahar Sangharsh
  • Gomai Bandh, Prabhavit Adivasi Andolan
  • Madhuresh, Rohan and others, Delhi Solidarity Group
  • Ashok Sharma, Delhi Forum
  • Ramesh Sharma, INSAF, New Delhi
  • Bipin Kumar, The Other Media
  • Anita Kapoor, Urban Women Labour Union
  • Sunita, Domestic Worker Labour Union
  • Benny Kuruvilla, Focus on the Global South
  • Mamta Kujur, Adivasi Mahila Mahasangh, Jashpur, Chhattisgarh
  • YUVA
  • Dalit Foundation, Kalahandi, Orissa
  • Dalit Adivasi Vikas Samiti, Orissa
  • Beas Sutlej Visthapit Kalyan Samiti, Himachal Pradesh
  • Adivasi Mulvasi Astitva Raksha Manch, Jharkhand
  • Berchha Hemrange Punarvas Sangharsh Samiti, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
  • Jhuggi Jhopdi Avaas Yojana Jan Kalyan Seva Samiti, New Delhi
  • Jan Chetna, Rayagada, Orissa
  • Mehnatkash Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, Chhattisgarh
  • Bhoomi Suraksha Samiti, Orissa
  • ACORN, New Delhi
  • Mashaal Samajik Sangathan, Uttarakhand
  • Indian Help Society, New Delhi

See Also:

Summary Note re Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bills
This document is in English and Hindi