Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Land Alienation of Tribes in North East India

Land is the prime need for all human beings BUT unfortunately in North East India in the name of “Forest Policy” the Govt of India has acquired tribal land & is gradually pushing out the indigenous tribes out of their age-old habitats.

Every time the land of a tribal community has been acquired for some project of the Govt they have been paid “cash compensation” – realizing pretty well that they have no respect for cash & stacking a few rupees is not a part of the tribe cultural ethos.

Besides, while the land is acquired, if it is for an industry, there is a promise for a “job”, so when the tribes while away the “cash compensation” , they survive on a “promised job”, which is never delivered as the job offer is turned down citing that the tribes do not have sufficient skills. The land is lost forever & there are no jobs!

At the same time, certain politicians & agencies of the Govt have been very keen to facilitate settlement of Illegal Bangladeshis, this has created a lot of controversial issues & does not seem to end, though at the moment Assam & Tripura are the worst affected a trend of Bangladeshi illegal settlers moving to Manipur & Nagaland is being witnessed. The condition of the fencing of Indo-Bangladesh border is best left unsaid.

Today, Bangladeshi illegals are found almost in every part of the North East Region.

To preserve the unique cultural identity of the Tribes of North east India, the land alienation activities conducted under the supervision of the Govt, its officials & their agents must STOP with immediate effect!

If the Govt is keen to “develop” the tribes then its has to be done in a cautious way & taking into consideration the tribal way of functioning, their value systems, morals etc. Emphasis should be laid on overall socio-cultural development & not merely on material advancement.

Thus the Govt of India needs to address the land alienation issue when drawing up any “plans” or launching welfare “schemes” for tribal development.

Thanks & Regards

Mishing Renaissance

Ref: Vaid, N.K. 2004, Who cares for Tribal Development, New Delh, Mittal Publications.

Ps: You are free to use this article BUT just be kind enough to inform me of the same.

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