INDIA: Landless Plan a Long March

(2007 March)

By Inter Press Service

GENEVA, Sep 13, 2011 (IPS) – The Gandhian movement Ekta Parishad plans to organise a march for land rights in October 2012 in India, aiming to gather around 100,000 indigenous people, dalits and poor peasants. Support is shaping up around the world, at events such as an international mobilisation conference in Geneva Sep. 12-13.

“In India, a large number of adivasi (indigenous people) are pushed out of their land because of mining, huge dams, wildlife protection, industrialisation and tourism. Every time you have a new industry, they bear the cost of development. That is why there is a lot of agitation and uprising of adivasi, both armed and non-violent”, Ekta Parishad president P.V.Rajagopal told IPS in an interview.

Ekta Parishad is a federation of more than 900 associations all over India. Founded 20 years ago and inspired by the Gandhian non-violent movement, it struggles for the land rights and livelihoods of indigenous peoples, nomadic tribes and the dalits.

In October 2012 it will organise ‘Jan Satyagraha – the March of Justice’ that is meant to become the biggest march for land rights in history. The plan is for people to walk the 350 kilometres from Gwalior to Delhi over 35 days.

“In preparation for this big march, we decided to get support from institutions, NGOs, policy makers and activists from countries where land rights are an important issue too, like South America and Africa,” Margrit Hugentobler, coordinator of Ekta Europe told IPS. “Hence this international mobilisation conference on the right to land and livelihood.”

Read more at Inter Press Service

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