On 23rd-24th February 2015, thousands of peasants, adivasis (tribals) and agricultural workers from across the country demonstrated against the land acquisition ordinance initiated by the BJP-led NDA government. Peasants, adivasis and those dependent on the land for their livelihood had come from Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar, Oddisha, Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and other areas to this rally which lasted two days. A large number of women participated enthusiastically in this rally.
“Withdraw the Land Acquisition Ordinance!”
“Down with the anti-peasant NDA government!”
“Stop robbing farmers of their land in the name of development!”
“Stop stabbing the peasants in the back in the service of big capitalists!”
The two day rally reverberated with these slogans. Banners with slogans like, “We are her master, we are India, workers, peasants, women and youth”, “Lok Raj is the only solution to the exploitation of peasants” were held aloft in the rally. Activists of the Communist Ghadar Party of India participated in the rally and distributed thousands of leaflets.
The demonstrators filled Parliament Street and Jantar Mantar areas of Delhi. Each and every speaker alike condemned the ordinance and demanded its withdrawal. Speakers said that the BJP-led central government had got the ordinance passed in order to facilitate the loot and plunder of the land and resources of the Indian people in the interest of increasing the profits of the Indian and foreign capitalists.
Speakers pointed out that the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government at the centre and various state governments had used the colonial Land Acquisition Act, 1894 to deprive the peasants, on a large scale, of their land under the pretext of ‘public interest’. Peasants, adivasis and human rights activists had been carrying on a militant struggle and campaign against this over the years. This had compelled the UPA government to amend the colonial act. The present Ordinance was brought in to mitigate the obstacles posed by this amendment to acquiring land by the big capitalists.
Speakers said that the aim of developing land and natural resources must be to raise the standard of living of every toiler in society and to ensure happiness and security of future generations.
Birju Nayak, Secretary of Delhi Lok Raj Sangathan addressed the peasants.
All-India Kisan Sabha, National Alliance for People’s Movement, Lok Raj Sangathan, All-India Van Shramjeevi Manch, Rashtriya Kisan Sangarsh Samiti, Samyukt Kisan Sangarsh Samiti, Insaaf, Delhi Samarthak Samooh, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Kisan Manch and other organisations participated in the protests