“No vote unless the Political parties include land rights to Dalits in their manifesto “. This was the demand of over two thousand people assembled in the famous Miller School groundsin Patna last Sunday (10th March) at the sixth state level conference organized by the Dalit Rights Forum”For the creation of a law for land ownership”.
“Without the alternative arrangement of housing, eviction of people from their homes on the roads, railways tracks, embankment, cremation grounds is violation of human rights” said the representatives of the land ownership law conference addressing the participants.
The day long open air event, held under a bright sun was attended by hundreds of poor villagers from the Dalit communities. Representatives of social organizations of various districts of Bihar, among whom were human rights activist Sandeep Chachra, State President Mr.Kapileshwar Ram, Director Saurabh Kumar, General Secretary Deepchand Das, senior member Sumitraji, state director Vinay Ohdar, from the right to food Rupeshji, PradeepPriyadarshi from Unity Council, Pankaj Swethabh of the unorganized sector workers organization, Bihar Dalit Vikas Samiti Father Anto, Vidyasagar, Yogendra Narayan, Dhananjay, Vimala, Dr.Sharad and others were present.
Even after 71 years of independence, a large part of the population is landless and also face social stigma. Vinobha Bhave’s Bhoodan movement urged landlords with huge tracts of land to donate land for homeless neighbours to build homesteads. Following this, the Land ceiling Act came into force, after which it was the government’s responsibility to re-distribute the land seized from the zamindars.
A large part of Bihar’s population do not possess land for a roof over their head. Bihar has 65.55 % population of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Of these an estimated 1 crore 16 lakh 52 thousand 296 families do not have land. According to non-official figures, the number of residential homeless families in Bihar is 35 lakhs.
According to those who addressed the gathering, land has been a subject of social prestige. In Bihar, the government is of development with the social justice for the last thirty years, but these landless people have been boycotted by the government rather, and they have lower self-esteem . Efforts have been made in the encroachment and cleaning exercises to remove these people from the land they currently ocupy..
Bihar Government gives rights to at least 10 decimal places to all rural poor families under the Residential Land Rights Act 2019. It is worth mentioning that after the country’s independence, Bihar was the first state to implement land reform law. A number of laws were made but the law was not made for poor and agricultural laborers of the affluent community suffering from social discrimination.
Due to unequal land ownership, women, dalits, tribal and other backward communities of the society become victims of discrimination. The Honourable Supreme Court has outlined in its order that person must have a roof over his head. This is the fundamental right of the person which creates the situation of living with honour. The Bihar government also accepts it and believes that it is necessary to have land for house and food security. The Indian Constitution also gives right to live life with dignity and self-respect.
Demands for Dalit Rights Forum
1. Land ownership laws of the state will be created.
2. Reviewing the land of Bhoodan and Sealing, the rest of the land will be distributed to Dalit landless people.
3. Proprietary rights of all the lands will be given on the name of adult female member of the family.
4. The atrocities committed on Dalits and tribals should be prohibited effectively.
5. Funds received under the SCSP / TSP should be enacted by making the law and formulating its employer, allocation and correct use.