National Consultation on “Land Rights and Agrarian Reform”
Land rights and agrarian reform are two adjacent fundamental issues that have been at the centre of peoples’ struggles working for safeguarding peoples’ livelihood and control over livelihood resources. The concept of access and ownership of people over natural resources has been fundamentally and constitutionally challenged under the neo-liberal trend by replacing the notion of ‘common goods’ such as land and other natural resources fauna, flora, water, air into ‘private goods’. Important to mention that conversion of a virtuous source as ‘land’ into freely tradeable commodity is not only against nature but also against natural justice and natural rights of the toiling people, especially the landless and poor cultivator peasants and primary producers.
Further, it has also negatively affected the labour rights of the labour force engaged in the agrarian sector. This has not only negated peoples’ natural and inalienable rights over natural resources but also increased the concerns over critical agrarian issues and precisely on the issue of self reliance on food sovereignty. The process of mass-conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes and massive land acquisition for PPPs under speedy National Investment Board is one such example of state’s responses to the issue. There is also a new land Act which facilitates corporate control of natural resources even after years of struggles to repeal the 1894 Land Acquisition Act. While there has been a clear negation of demands by various peoples’ movements struggling at various fronts and even parliamentary standing committee recommendations probing a more vetoed power under the concept of eminent domain.
Furthermore, there has been obvious change in the ‘rationale of production’ in agrarian sector that has also determined the usage of agri-land use policy, alienating ‘commons’ from the ‘right to grow’ and converting them into a form of agri-producers for the markets as modeled under neo-liberal policies.
Therefore, a concrete and collective addressal of land rights and agrarian sovereignty and reform is important to emphasise the rights of ‘commons’ on natural resources and ‘rationale of primary production’.
Under this background, we invite you to a two-day national consultation 16-17th Dec 2013 on ‘Land Rights and Agrarian Reform’ to share and discuss the thoughts, understandings and strategize for the way ahead on the issue. Details of the two-day consultation are as given below:
16th December 2013, Constitution Club
17th December 2013, Indian Social Institute
Time: 9.30am to 6pm
Address: F- 10/12, (Basement), Malviya Nagar,New Delhi INDIA – 110017
Phones: 011-26680883 / 26680914 / +91-9958797409 (Mobile)