CPI Leader Abani Baral showed a few revealing documents confirming
that the ownership of land with betel-vines had been given to the
farmers during British days. And, the farmers were entitled to own
the lands till they grow betel vines on it. Baral showed a bunch
of copies of land record documents dated back to 1922 where in the
settlement officer clearly declared ownership of farmers over the land
till they grow betel vines on it. But the land is being forcefully
acquired by the government on the claim that they are all no man’s land.
It’s ironical that the
democratically elected Naveen Patnaik government in Orissa is all set to
make the POSCO Project over the same land given to the farmers by the
British administration. Doesn’t it mean that the governments of free
India give less priority to the welfare of people in compare to the
colonial administration of the British days?
However, the leaders from left
parties could be successful in pursuing the CM to have a meeting with
people who are opposing the POSCO Project. If held, this will be the
first meeting in last five years between the CM and representatives of
communities that are going to be affected by the project. But, again,
CPI Leader Abani Baral is quite apprehensive about the results of such
talks as he still doubts that the powerful henchmen (bureaucrats) would
come on the way alleging that Bureaucracy is already hand in gloves with
‘We are having a bureaucracy in the
state that is much more powerful than the political part of it. The
political parties do not have much reluctance but the bureaucrats are
not allowing the government and the Chief Minister to interact with
people who are going to be affected by the POSCO Project. The
bureaucrats are also opposing to stop the survey works till the issues
of people are properly discussed and sorted out’, said Abani Baral.
democracy, this is really a matter of concern when the people’s power
gets overshadowed by the power of the bureaucracy. Such a situation is
definitely fatal to the spirit of democracy.