BHUBANESWAR, Jan. 20. — Displaying a rare resolve, a dozen mass organisations and revolutionaries working among the poor in different parts of the state declared that they shall not allow any displacement of tribals and that the government needs to discontinue its anti-people economic policies.
Coming together on the Kalinga Nagar police firing issue, the revolutionaries formed an umbrella organisation called Jana Sangharsha Samanwaya Kendra to carry forward their struggle and decided to hold a “Sapath Divas” at the trouble-torn Kalinga Nagar tomorrow.
Addressing a rally of tribals leaders of these bodies including Chakradhar Haiburu (heading the Kalinga Nagar tribal movement), Gananath Patra, Dibakar, Dandapani Mohanty, Lingraj Azad, Buddha Gamanga and several others announced that they will not budge from their land.
Using chief minister Mr Naveen Patnaik’s slogan of “jami, jala, jungle”, the revolutionaries declared that they would not surrender their right over ‘jami, jala and jungle’ to multinationals or their agents in the government.
“We will not be displaced, we have faced bullets and lost 12 lives, we are prepared to sacrifice ourselves but not our land or forest rights,” thundered Mr Haiburu. ‘‘The government may continue with its monetary packages but all of it will be applicable to those who have already been displaced, henceforth there shall be no displacement of tribals,” he stated.
The Sapath Divas will be observed at Kalinga Nagar tomorrow and on 30 January a massive public meeting and rally shall be held there. Mr Haiburu as well as other leaders on the dais alleged that major political parties were shedding crocodile tears over the Kalinga Nagar issue. But the speakers were bitterly critical of the Naveen Patnaik government which, according to them, had unleashed a mindless industrial policy aimed at plundering the mineral wealth of the state.
At this rate, Orissa will be devoid of its rich mineral reserves in 30 years time and if the displaced tribals become beggars today, the state too will be begging in 20 years time, they said.
The government fails to appreciate the fact that it is not an issue of displacement and industry but a larger policy matter which involves inter-generational commitments and people-oriented development. Speeches interspersed with rhythmic traditional music and revolutionary songs marked the occasion.
Talking to reporters, Mr Haiburu denied charges that NGOs and outsiders were fanning trouble in the area. “They are all there providing relief to the tribals,” he claimed.
He also indicated that the agitation would assume a national proportion on 30 January when the future course of action will be announced. Mr Gananath Patra regretted that a few were trying to hurl allegations against him. “I am with struggle and movements in the area. I am with the people,” he said when asked about his presence in Kalinga Nagar a day prior to the police firing.
Significantly, several organisations from Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand were also represented at today’s meeting.