August 22, 2006
Corporates from around the world are engaged in carpet bombings of
their projects in Jharkhand and Orissa, the two minerally rich States
in India. State governments and the Central governments have been
playing facilitative roles to this disturbing trend. Disturbing since
at the receiving end are those who shared intimate relationship with
nature – adivasis and nature itself.
Casual survey of the projects lined up for the two States investements
run into billions of crores in terms of mining and industry. Some of
course is the SEZ (Special Economic Zone) variety that threatens
labour rights in addition to settlement rights and environmental
rights of Adivasis. The trend guarantees creation of teeming homeless
and hungry that will be ‘controlled’ by intensified security and State
There is a need indeed urgent need to halt this trend both for the
sake of life and nature. Industry and mining are creating the changes
in nature that are irriversible in its negative tendencies in doing
away with forests, agriculture, and survival and dignity of Adivasis
and others in these two states.
Indias draft tribal policy has no answer to the continued genocide of
nature and Adivasis of India. In fact it is highly confused and put
out for the discussion sheerly out of compulsion to do so by the
movement in India.
Of course State and Industry has sought to deal with the protest
movement in variety of ways such as repression through Police force,
Co-option through lure of ‘chair’ in the corridors of Power,
exploiting financial vulnerabilities of few activists by pro industry,
pro-mining non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and even attempted to
creat horizontal rifts on the lines of ongoing infamous ‘Salwa Jhudum’
in Chatisgarh. In North-West Jharkhand Dalits too have to shoulder
thier share of investment burden and so the responsibility of
The so-called Secular State of India at central govenment have taken
beastly twist in suggesting various draconian modifications to
Environmental laws in India by progressively shrinking whatever
available democratic spaces in public hearings before these projects
are cleared. The reason of course is understandable: corporate Capital
cannot wait the long consultative duration as the interest rates on
the loans for investments keeps shooting and more the delay in
implimentation more the chances of failure of the projects.
Multinational corporates that have lines up for investments have
intesting character. Two major of the players playing with life and
dignity of adivasis, and future of planet earth are TATA and Mittal.
botgh of them have India character to them yet have investments
worldwide. The two corporates hve differing streanghts in their
nefarious ends: the former has over a century of experience in
environmental destruction and usurping surplus through lablour
exploitation while the latter have been able to gather its muscles
over a recent while and have gone about swallowing number of other
companies world wide. Mittals have investments in 14 countries of the
World and spread over 4 continents.
This write up is meant to provoke thinking and debate. I am sure once
you gather your guts you will say something very very important.
Sebastian Rodrigues, Ranchi.
August 22, 2006