Dalit Women Rally: “Give us Our land to Live with Dignity and Self-Respect”

“Give us Our land to Live with Dignity and Self-Respect”
Mammoth Rally & Conference by Dalit women
28 October 2006, Kolar
Adima Sakti, Federation of Dalit Women, Kolar District
Human civilization began and spread out from land and water. We the ‘moolanivasigalu’ (original inhabitants) of this country had been pushed to the margins, alienated from the land and water, which have been very dear to us -
like our Mother.

The alienation from land and water rooted us out of our cultural identity consequently losing our human identity and dignity. This had also resulted in the deterioration of our status at various arenas – political, economic, education, civil life and culture.

The alienation from land and water at the same time gifted everything that we lost to the oppressive forces. The new strengths they got have been converted into political power, science and technology, profit, social status, ‘classic’ labels! And poverty, atrocity, injustice, oppression, marginalization, victimization and displacement all are the gifts offered to us by this ‘elite democracy’! Now the neo-liberal economy taken forward by this elite democracy is further pushing us to the extreme margins of ‘zero-status- being’!

Hence we the Dalit affirm to regain our lost dignity, respect and culture. We affirm that we could get back all we lost only when we get back our land. It is in this context we Adhima Sakti – the movement of Dalit Women plan to take out a rally and organize a conference to strongly voice their demand for land distribution. This is not an event but the beginning of our struggle for true independence! Your participation, support and active involvement in this will definitely be of great historical value in the process of Dalit empowerment. Jhai Bhim! This is not merely a struggle for land and water as such. They are the symbols of our struggle for human civilization. Let our boiling blood of Dalit bind us together! Let us win over a firm pathway for a historical struggle!

DEMANDS
* Identify govt. lands, such as wastelands including waste gomala lands and distribute 5 acres to landless Dalit families.
* Form Taluk level Land Sanction Committees and distribute land to those families who submitted Form No. 53.
* Enforce Land Ownership Ceiling Act in Karnataka as in Kerala and West Bengal. * Give Thoti and Neeragatti Inamti lands to the real cultivators. Re-sanction of Thoti and Inamti lands.
* Give one more chance to submit Form No. 53 to those who are cultivating land without submitting form No. 53.
* SC/ST corporations should give first preference to purchase of land and distribute to land less Dalits and Adivasis instead of other programmes.
* Land ownership should be in the name of Dalit, Adivasi women.
* Govt. should take steps to clear pending tenancy cases as early as possible.
* Govt. should not give Dalit lands to Companies, corporations for non-agricultural activities.

Stop livestock loans!
Land ownership is fundamental for sustainability and dignity!!

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Adima Sakti