#Poem- Now its dangerous to be #Dayamani Barla #Jharkhand #Tribal #Indigenous


Below is the poem by By Himanshu Kumar, On Dayamani Barla, The iron Lady of Jharkhand who  is behind bars now and has  been fighting for the land rights of the tribal people, and is now behind bars.Dayamani Barla is an indigenous tribal journalist and activist from the Indian state of Jharkhand. She came from very humble backgrounds and worked as a maid to pay her way through the University. She became notable for her activism in opposing Arcelor Mittal‘s steel plant that tribal activist say would displace forty (40) villages. She has won a number of prestigious awards for journalism.

Born in Arhara village in Jharkhand, Dayamani Barla, 44, could have been one of the faceless thousands displaced by India’s largest steel plant.Today, she leads the mass movement against it. She could have been another Adivasi with a crumbling house and a buried story. Instead, she chose to become a storyteller, the voice of Jharkhand, the first tribal journalist from her state. Barla paid for her education by working as a domestic help in Ranchi. She washed dishes for the police, ate leftovers, stayed in a shed with buffaloes and coolies, learnt to type in English and Hindi, and worked as a typist for one rupee an hour. With a rural reporting fellowship and a bank loan of 25,000, she founded the Jan Hak Patrika. “I wanted to present the point of view of Adivasis, Dalits and women,” she says.

The money lasted two years. By then, she had convinced established local media like Prabhat Khabar to give space to Adivasi and Dalit issues. Barla is also at forefront of the Adivasi Mulvasi Astitva Raksha Manch, a people’s movement that unites thousands of Adivasis, Dalits and farmers across Jharkhand. In the past decade, she has trekked from village to village, alerting those who stand to be displaced by a steel plant, protesting against dams on the Koel and Kari rivers, against delimitation that would reduce the number of seats for scheduled tribes, against corrupt MGNREGA middlemen. Death threats from shadowy unknown figures have not deterred her.

Since 2010, Ms. Barla has led a movement against Jharkhand government acquiring 227 acres of paddy farmers’ land in Nagri village, 15 kms from Ranchi, for the campuses of Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Information Technology and the National University of Study & Research in Law (NUSRL). The government claims it acquired the land from them in 1957-58 to build an extension to Birsa Agricultural University. However, Right to Information (RTI) applications filed by Ms. Barla revealed that of the 153 families to whom the government had offered a total compensation in 1957, only 25 families in Nagri took it and the rest had refused.



There is anEenglish translation below, and you can also here the recitation at cgnetswara here


अब बड़ा खतरा है दायमनी बरला होने में

अब आदिवासी होने में खतरा है

अब गाँव में रहने में खतरा है

गाँव में ज़मीन है

गाँव में पेड है

गाँव में नदी है

गाँव में खनिज है

गाँव में लोग हैं

गाँव में दायमनी बरला भी है

गाँव की ज़मीन पर कम्पनी की नजर है

गाँव की नदी पर कम्पनी की नजर है

गाँव के पेड़ों पर कम्पनी की नज़र है

गाँव के खनिज पर कम्पनी की नज़र है

लेकिन गाँव में दायमनी बरला रहती है

सरकार कम्पनी से डरती है

पुलिस कम्पनी से डरती है

अखबार कम्पनी से डरते हैं

दयामनी बरला कम्पनी से नहीं डरती

कम्पनी का राज है

कम्पनी नाराज़ है

इसलिये कम्पनी बहादुर के हुक्म से

पुलिस बहादुर ने दयामनी बरला को

पकड़ कर जेल की सलाखों के पीछे डाल दिया है

आओ शुक्र मनाएं

दायमनी बरला अब जेल में है

अब दायमनी बरला कम्पनी बहादुर को रोक नहीं सकेगी

अब कम्पनी बहादुर दायमनी बरला के गाँव की  नदी को छीन लेंगे

अब कम्पनी बहादुर दायमनी बरला के गाँव की ज़मीन को छीन लेंगे

अब कम्पनी बहादुर दायमनी बरला के गाँव के खनिज को छीन लेंगे

अब कम्पनी बहादुर देश का विकास कर देंगे

अब कम्पनी बहादुर सब ठीक कर देंगे

पता नहीं आखिर हमें इस देश की सारी दायमनी बरलाओं से कब मुक्ति मिलेगी ?

कब हमारी सारी नदियाँ

सारे पहाड़

सारी ज़मीनों

और सारे जंगलों पर

कम्पनी का कब्ज़ा होगा

कम्पनी के कारखाने

कम्पनी की नौकरी

कम्पनी की कारें

कम्पनी के शापिंग माल

कम्पनी की सड़कें

कम्पनी के टोल बूथ

कम्पनी के कालेज

कम्पनी के आई आई एम्

कम्पनी के आई आई टी

कम्पनी की यूनिवर्सिटी

जिसमे पढ़ने वाले बनेगे

कम्पनी के गुलाम

कम्पनी के मतलब की शिक्षा

कम्पनी के मतलब का ज्ञान

कम्पनी के फायदे के लिये विज्ञान

कम्पनी की मर्जी की सरकार

कम्पनी के हुकुमबरदार कोतवाल

अब तुम ही बताओ

हमको दयामनी बरला से क्या काम ?

Translation by Priyanka

It is a grave danger now to be Dayamani Barla
It is a danger to be an adivasi
It is a danger now to reside in the village

There is land in the village
There are trees in the village
There are rivers in the village
There are minerals in the village
There are people in the village
There is also Dayamani Barla in the village

The company is eying the land of the village
The company is eying the rivers of the village
The company is eying the trees of the village
The company is eying the minerals of the village
But Dayamani Barla resides in the village

The government fears the company
The police fears the company
The newspaper fears the company
Dayamani Barla does not fear the company

It is the rule of the company
So the company is angry
That’s how with the order of the company chief
The police chief put Dayamani Barla
Behind the bars of prison

Come, let’s celebrate
Dayamani Barla is now in jail
Now Dayamani Barla won’t be able to stop the company chief
Now the company chief will snatch the river of her village
Now the company chief will snatch the land of her village
Now the company chief will snatch the minerals of her village
Now the company chief will develop the country
Now the company chef will make everything alright

When will be relieved of all the Dayamani Barlas of this country?
When will all our rivers
All our trees
All the land
And all the forests
Be taken over by the company

Company’s factories
Company’s jobs
Company’s cars
Company’s shopping malls
Company roads
Company’s toll booths
Company’s college
Company’s premium technology institutes
Company’s premium management institutes
Company’s university
In which those who study will become
Slaves of the company

Education as needed by the company
Knowledge as needed by the company
Knowledge to profit the company
Government to suit the will of the company
Cops to shout “Sir yes sir” to the company

So now, you tell me
Why do we need Dayamani Barla..?

Tribal weapons ban in Indian state of #Chhattisgarh


By Salman RaviBBC News, Raipur

Maoists in Chhattisgarh (July 2012)Chhattisgarh is a hotbed of India’s Maoist insurrection

Tribal or indigenous people in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh are to be banned from carrying traditional weapons such as sickles, axes and bows and arrows, police say.

They say that the move is necessary because of increasing attacks on police and civilians by Maoist insurgents with tribal weapons in public places.

The move has drawn criticism from tribal bodies and political parties.

They argue that it curtails the rights of tribal people.

Maoists are active in more than a third of India’s 600-odd districts. They say they are fighting for the rights of poor peasants and labourers.

Chhattisgarh is one of the Indian states worst affected by Maoist violence.

Rebels in its Narayanpur district have established a “liberated zone” over an area of 4,000 sq km (2,485 sq miles).

Boards, written in Hindi and local dialects, have been erected by police throughout the state warning of “legal action” if anyone is found to be carrying traditional weapons in public places, especially in markets.

A police spokesman in Narayanpur told the BBC that Maoists were targeting villagers and police in market places.

“They are taking advantage of the tribal tradition and it becomes difficult to differentiate between a Maoist and a tribal in such places. This is the reason we have decided to restrict carrying traditional weapons in public places,” Superintendent Mayank Srivastava said.

Such has been the criticism against the initiative, however, that police say they may soon alter the ban so that it applies only to the carrying of bows and arrows by tribal people.

Ramesh Thakur, a spokesman for the tribal group Sarva Adivasi Sabha, said that the move violated the rights of tribal people to carry weapons as guaranteed by the Indian constitution.

“The authorities have failed to counter the Maoists in this belt and so they are venting out their ire on the local populace,” he said


Orissa – Police file false cases against Dandapani Mohanty, Nachika Linga and three other CMAS activists

 Feb 21, 2012–                                   A note received from Dandapani Mohanty

Chasi Mulia Sangha (CMAS) is going to hold a meting at Narayanpatna. All the tribal communities will be attending the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to save the tribal language, culture and territory. Also, the objective is to provide education up to the 8th class in tribal language. In this context, two tribal students Landa Tadingi and Chakra Tadingi along with Suka linga, the younger brother of Nachika Linga, came to Berhampur to contact guests and for preparing the leaflets for the meeting. While they were returning, they were arrested by Berhampur Police at the Berhampur railway station on 17th February 2012.

The police recovered from then the fortnightly newspaper named Janatantra (Regd. No. ORIORI/2001/5588), Swaviman (Regd No. RNI-70589/98), 2000 copies of the pamphlet titled “Adivasi Jeevan Vasa Sanskruti Surakshya Pai Samabas Ku Safal Karantu” (d. 21.2.2012) and three books written by the environmentalist Prafulla Samantray, one handycam, two sarees and one blanket. They were charged using a fabricated case no. GR/241/12 under Sec-10,13,18,20,39,40 UAPA 124/A/IPC. The FIR has been lodged against Dandapani Mohanty (convenor of Jana Adhikar Manch), Nachika Linga (CMAS President) and the other three who were arrested by police.

CMAS is a democratic organization, organizing the tribal people in a democratic manner in order to raise their voices for implementation of the government’s policy in tribal areas. Since last four years, CMAS has organized many meetings in a democratic manner. Many intellectuals, social workers have attended these meetings. CMAS is not at all a banned organization. Unfortunately, Odisha police has treated the democratic organization and democratic peoples as terrorists and are trying to suppress the democratic voices, The police has now foisted a fabricated case under UAPA act against Dandapani Mohanty & Nachika Linga. So I appeal to all the democratic minded people in country to raise their voices against state violence and demand before that the government must withdraw the fabricated case against the five of us.

Adivasis: Betrayed by successive governments and parties


English: Women in a tribal village (Gondi trib...

Image via Wikipedia

NEW DELHI, 17/1/2012 – A delegation comprising Adivasi leaders and NGOs working for the cause of Adivasi welfare has demanded Union Finance Minister Pranabh Mukharjee for more allocation of funds in forthcoming budget towards Adivasis’ welfare.

The Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch and the Campaign for Survival and Dignity jointly met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to raise issues about budgetary allocations for Adivasis as well as issues relating to forestry programmes.

Speaking to Newzfirst, Mr. Shankar Gopalkrishnan, secretary of Campaign for Survival and Dignity said, “We have two concerns, more budgetary allocation and the evolution of a mechanism to ensure the proper utilization of those funds, as it is not being spent appropriately for the desired objectives.”

“Nothing much, except the creation of illusion, has been done for Adivasis by the governments so far.” he added.

Delegation has urged Finance Minister for more allocation especially towards major schemes like food subsidy, MSP for minor forest products, debt relief, student stipends, ITI and Vocational training.

Adivasis constitute about 8.08% of the total population in India. These more than eight crore Adivasis consist of some of the most oppressed and exploited sections of our society.

Traditionally in tribal society, land was not a commodity for sale. There was no concept of private property in land in most tribal communities.

A big section of the tribal people has been traditionally living in the forests and their life and work is intimately connected with the forest. The most tragic aspect of tribal life has been the alienation of the tribal people from their traditional habitat. Forests no longer belong to them but to the forest officials and contractors.

15% of the tribal population have been displaced or affected by development projects. The uprooting of the tribal people from their homes and habitat for building dams and other industrial development projects has nearly destroyed the Tribals.

In the tribal areas in remote hilly and forest regions, the vulnerability of tribal people to hunger and starvation has increased exponentially with the collapse of the Public Distribution System

Most tribal people deprived of their traditional means of livelihood, land and forests, are totally dependent on cheap food through the PDS schemes.

Reports of deaths due to hunger and malnutrition emanate mainly from the tribal areas, whether it be in Orissa, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh or Rajasthan.

One of the major problems for the tribal people is the exploitation by money lenders. Once they get into the vicious cycle of usury they end up as bonded labourers.

The successive Governments and all Political Parties have only paid lip service and have done very little to alleviate the condition of the Tribals.

The mandatory requirement is that 8.5 per cent of the total budgetary allocations should be made for the Tribal Sub Plan; however the allocations as well as the expenditures in consecutive budgets have missed the mandatory requirement by a huge margin.

In the last budget, the expenditure and allocation for the Tribal Sub Plan, comes to around 5.6 percent of the budget.

Even in this 5.6% only a quarter i.e. 25% of the allocation is for schemes which have a 100 per cent allocation for tribals and the remaining 75% are in respect of General Schemes in which 20 per cent allocation is for the tribals.

The total Budget Support for Central Plan was Rs. 335521. Crores, Total Allocation for the Tribal Sub Plan is Rs. 18, 625.91; This is just 5.6 per cent of the budget as against the mandatory requirement of 8.5%.

Schemes with 100 per cent allocations for tribals amount to Rs. 4732.51 which as percentage of the Tribal Sub Plan is 25%.

As a percentage of Total Central Plan Budget it is only is 1.41%.

The allocation for General Schemes in which 20 per cent allocation is for the tribals comes to around Rs. 13,893 Crores which as percentage of Tribal Sub Plan is 75 %.

There is no Central monitoring body or annual public reports on the Tribal Sub Plan. The allocations are misused as a routine with smart accounting.

According to the Campaign for Survival and Dignity The Ministry for School Education and Literacy has shown 128 crores Rupees expenditure for STs in the programme to set up 6000 Schools at block level as benchmarks of excellence. But on the ground both the percentage of beneficiaries and the actual amount spent in tribal areas seems far lower than 20 percent. In fact there are very few such schools in tribal blocks.

It is the same situation with all the flagship schemes of the Government be it the ICDS allocations, the Mid-Day meal scheme allocations or the Health Allocations. None of the Ministries have calculated what 20 per cent of the allocations would be and put the figure nor the No of beneficiaries belonging to the Tribals who are benefitting from the General Schemes.

The schemes of the Government for the Tribals under the Tribal Sub Plan are a mockery of their plight.

In the budget speech 2011 the Finance Minister allocated 200 crore rupees for the afforestation programmes. The entire amount was allocated through the MOEF. However the Tribals complain that this afforestation program is often used to plant trees on tribal land to deprive tribals of their rights under Forest Act. Often the species of trees planted are destructive of ground water levels and equally important, the trees do not provide livelihood opportunities for tribals.

The Tribals require a far increased allocation in specific areas which will change their living conditions, The Adivasis and the Scheduled Tribes are the most malnourished communities in India yet the Government has not made all of them eligible for BPL subsidies. Automatic inclusion of all ST communities in BPL lists with the requisite budgetary allocations, from within the Tribal Sub Plan can go a long way in reducing malnourishment.

A guaranteed central scheme for expanding government procurement and guaranteeing a minimum support price for minor forest produce including medicinal plants, increase in students stipends, setting up of vocational training centres in tribal blocks.

The allocations of funds should be given under the joint jurisdiction of the Tribal Affairs Ministry, the Panchayat Raj Ministry along with MOEF to ensure that the provisions of the Forest Rights Act are complied with and the rights and powers of forest dwelling communities respected.

What is required is a strict monitoring process to ensure that the Tribal Sub Plan is not reduced to a farce by showing inflated expenditure spent on the Tribals.

Adivasis under attack from the State

Dear friends

Tribals in Chhattisgarh are violently oppressed by government. The state of Chhattisgarh has been reeling under the effect of the undeclared civil war between the Naxalite insurgents and the government authorities. The word Naxalite is used to describe militant communist groups operating mostly in the eastern states of India. The plight of the exploited and dispossessed adivasis gave the Naxalites the perfect situation for starting a communist revolution. As the Naxalites slowly began perform the roles the government was ideally meant to perform, they began to gain the sympathy and support of the tribal people. In the last ten years however, the movement has moved away from guerilla warfare for the rights of tribals and natives and has mostly become anti governmental in nature.

In 2009 the Indian Government initiated the Integrated Action Plan which was to include funding for grass-roots economic development and special police funding for better containment of Naxalite influence in states like Chhattisgarh, However, instead of providing any relief to the villagers, the police have only added to their miseries. The Kalar and Gond adivasis of the tiny village Kadegaon have been the latest victims of police atrocities reports Bhan Sahu, Community Correspondent from Ambagarh Chowk district, Chhattisgarh.

Bhan is a social activist who focuses on mobilizing villagers and raising awareness, and uses video to advocate the rights of tribal people, As Bhan speaks to villagers, they describe how, one early morning, they had gone to gather their harvest and used an old red sari as a marker. This innocuous sign convinced the police that the villagers must have been Naxalites and without bothering to ask any questions, indiscriminately opened fire. They later rounded up the villagers and beat them mercilessly, keeping them in custody in their camp. The villagers were finally released at night.

Bhan goes on to tell the story of a young girl, Jayanti. It is a common practice for the children to bathe near the fields before preparing for school.. The police had been marking those very fields and the villagers were unaware of that Jayanti was in the fields collecting her clothes along with the other village children when suddenly the police opened fire. Jayanti was hit in her womb by a bullet, as a result of which, she will never be able to bear children, Jayanti has since been paid one lakh INR as compensation by the government and a team from the police gifted her family a television set. However, that cannot hide the fact that no action has been taken for the irresponsible behavior of the police. Says Bhan, “It is time the external police forces were removed from these villages. The local cops are good enough for us. Instead of feeling protected, the villagers are, instead, terrified of all the extra police around. They are too afraid to return to their own homes after dark!

Watch the Video here

Adivasis Under Attack From State


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