Published on Countercurrents.org, by Nachiketa Desai, 19 May 2010.
A macabre drama is unfolding in the poverty-stricken Indian state of Orissa where a democratically-elected government has begun to crush over a dozen people’s peaceful resistance movements against their forceful eviction from their forest, farm, water bodies and source oflivelihood to help giant multi-national corporations usurp mineral-rich forest and fertile agricultural land.
The recent police atrocities on the people of Kalinganagar and Jagatsinghpur may turn out to be a turning point in the state’s people’s non-violent agitations which have a long and distinguished history of successfully thwarting two nationally important mega projects – the national missile testing range of the defense ministry at Baliapal and the bauxite mining from the Gandhamardan hill by the public sector National Aluminum Corporation (NALCO).
People of Kalinganagar, touted as the steel hub of India, and Jagatsinghpur have been carrying out a non-violent agitation against their displacement to make way for Tata’s six-million-ton integrated steel plant and Korean giant Posco’s 12-million-ton steel plant respectively. In both the places, the Orissa government, with active collusion of armed goons hired by companies, has launched massive attacks indulging in firing, baton-charge and arson. The government had tried to forcibly evict the people from their villages in 2006 and 2007 too resulting in the death of 14 tribals in Kalinganagar and injuries to many in Jagatsinghpur … (full text).
Orissa: Miners’ Paradise, by Nachiketa Desai, 16 May, 2010;
Can ‘Civilised’ People Show Such Disrespect For The Land And Those Who Cultivate It, by Felix Padel, 16 May, 2010.