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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 42 New Delhi October 6, 2018

People’s Mobilisation on Land Reforms deserves Wide Support

Sunday 7 October 2018, by Bharat Dogra

COMMUNICATION

Keeping in view the extremely important role of land reforms for reducing rural poverty and ensuring sustainable food security to the most vulnerable sections, there is clearly a need for strong government action on this front but this responsibility has been completely neglected by the government in recent times. Even though the ground level action has to be taken by the State Government but a clear and strong land reform policy at the national level and policy guidelines issued on this basis certainly fall in the realm of the Union Government. Unfor-tunately this responsibility has been badly neglected.

In such a situation broadbased mobilisation of people for completing the abandoned agenda of land reforms in India is badly needed. This year an initiative called Jan Andolan is being coordinated by a Gandhian organisation, Ekta Parishad, an organisation which has been working for nearly three decades for land reforms at the grassroots. This initiative is trying to link up more and more organisations and people who believe in non-violent social mobilisation for land reforms. These efforts are expected to culminate in the first week of October around Gandhi Jayanti.

The demands of this initiative include strengthening the Forest Rights Act and PESA legislation, ensuring homestead rights to all rural people, the formulation of clear land reforms policy, setting up a land reforms council at the national level, ensuring speedy justice on land related cases and properly recognising land rights of women farmers.

While some of these demands can bring immediate relief to some of the most vulnerable people and communities, other demands can help in longer-term revival of land reforms. These demands deserve wide support.

Bharat Dogra

C-27 Raksha Kunj
Paschim Vihar
New Delhi 110063

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