The Times Of India, 31 July 2014,Pune: The Anti-globalization Action Committee (AAC) will launch a mass agitation on August 7 in protest against the central government’s move to amend the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.
The members of the committee, which was formed to protect farmers’ rights, met here on Wednesday to decide on the future course of action. Ulka Mahajan, one of the conveners of the committee, said the AAC will launch the agitation on August 7 at Gorai, near Mumbai, and will also stage a dharna in Mumbai on August 13.
The AAC is mainly against the proposed amendments to two key provisions: ?Consent’ and ?Social Impact Assessment’ of the Right to Fair Compensation, Transparency in Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act, 2013.
“The Act came into force after a long struggle by farmers. It may not be the best, but it is definitely better than the one drafted during the British rule. Huge tracts of fertile land have been acquired in the past at throw away prices and given to private and public corporations in the name of public purpose and industrialization. The existing Act helps farmers to protect their land. However, the first step the Modi government has taken is to amend it to facilitate industrialists and capitalists,” Mahajan said.
She asked the government to come out with a policy precisely stating how much land should be kept ?under agriculture’ to feed the nation. “The government is eager to acquire land and devastate farmers. We are going to oppose any move that aims to grab farmers’ land,” she said. Questioning government’s plan to build 100 smart cities, she said: “The government should make it clear as to who will benefit from these cities.”
AAC members said it will be a retrograde step if we were to go back to the colonial process of land acquisition with no regard to the impact on people, environment and democratic institutions.
Another member, Suniti Su Ra, said the AAC will approach other organizations in the country to launch a comprehensive agitation in future.