Greetings to the listeners of Radio Sangharsh. In the landmark judgement by the Delhi High Court reinstated the faith of its citizens in democracy. Delhi High Court quashed the look out circular issued against the Greenpeace Activist Priya Pillai. The high court also directed the authorities to expunge endorsements made while offloading Priya from a flight to London by immigration officials on January 11. In the judgement court also stated that “you cannot muzzle dissent in a democracy”. The government failed to provide any evidence to substantiate its claim that Priya was working against the national interest. It was argued by the senior advocate Indira Jaisingh, who appeared for Priya that the Look out circular was issued without any authority of law. Jaisingh also said that it was a great day for India. The right to dissent has been raised to the level of constitutional right.
It is a great moment for Greenpeace India, welcoming the court’s decision as a vindication of the group’s legitimacy and validity of its campaigns for the rights of people to their land and forests, for clean energy, a health environment and to hold corporations and the government accountable. Priya said that “we are relieved that the court has cracked down on this undemocratic abuse of power by the government. Big win for people who dare to have a different dream of development which may not coincide with the dream of the government.”
Greeting I am Vivek Goyal and welcome to Radio Sangharsh. There is a good news to the listners, one of the oldest sal forest of Aisa has been in controversy and discussion because of strong opposition from local community against coal mining. According to the Government document acquired by Greenpeace’s RTI the Mahan coal block may not be put on auction as it falls in ‘inviolate forests’. Despite getting the Stage II Forest Clarence mining has not begun in Mahan. This is the third time when the Environment Ministry has told the Coal Ministry to deny permission to mine Mahan.
The decision represents a huge victory for the people of Mahan and Greenpeace. If Mahan is inviolate, it also has implications for other blocks in the region like Chhatrasal and Dongrital. This is people’s victory!!
I am Haridayal Singh Gond and an active member of MSS, Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (village Amelia, post karsualal, tehsil – Mada, district- Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh)
I have applied for a passport but unfortunately it has not been processed. One of my colleagues Priya Pillai, who has been working on the Mahan issue for a while now, was about to leave for London, UK to address our problems about Mahan forests and coal mining. But Government did not allow her to go and has banned her from leaving the country. In Singrauli, big companies and corporations are trashing the livelihoods of villagers and creating problems for us. She wanted to address these problems but Government does not want people and politicians in other countries to know of our problems.
This is a clear case of human rights violation. In this era of communication revolution we can and we will raise our voice through the internet and will reach out to the world about our issues.
Editor’s note: Barring anybody from leaving the country is a blatant violation of her fundamental rights. Priya Pillai has been campaigning for the rights of the people in Singrauli region, Madhya Pradesh. There was no reason provided by the government as to why she is banned from leaving the country.
JAGNARAYAN SHAH (Village-Amelia, Post karsualal, Teshil Mada, Dist- Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh):
“I’m an active member of Mahan Sangharsh Samiti, fighting to save our ‘Jal Jangal Zameen’ (water, forest and land). I would like to tell you all that on 24th Sept’14, Supreme Court has cancelled the licences of 214 coal blocks allocated (illegally) from 1993 to 2011! We, from Mahan Sangharsh Samiti, welcome this landmark decision.
People in Singrauli and Mahan Sangharsh Samiti have been fighting to save Mahan forest for the last four years. We always told that ‘truth may get in trouble but its never defeated!’, and this ruling proves it right! Many from different corners of the country fought together for people’s rights, livelihoods and environment and we congratulate them all!
On the other hand, the govt is talking about amending some related laws. Our struggle will continue because we can’t let our rights get violated. We appeal to all of you listeners of Radio Sangharsh to stand with us.”
Priya Pillai and her puppy followers, can they tell us if they intend to develop the village? And do you know they have spent 20 crores on this campaign, these Greenpeace people! And they know that if they send women to these villages, they will be able to manipulate the simplicity of our villagers. Once the villagers are manipulated, it’s easy to incite violence among them. They have the capacity to break father- son relationships! We are educated people, even are children are well read and wise. Remember when the East India company was doing business in India. Under the pretext of business, they had colonized our country for 200 years! We were slaves under them. These people from outside are exactly like them!
I appeal to the mothers and brothers here, this Priya Pillai has never done any good for her own parents , what will she do for our betterment!
Priya Pillai, is a senior campaigner working to protect the forests of Mahan, and fighting for the rights of the local communities in Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh, central India.
To attack her and her co workers’ intentions and hard work is extremely derogatory. The above speech is a false accusation, comprising of hate towards activists and NGOs who are working in the region. Additionally, comparing the activists and NGOs to colonial powers is also preposterous. The activists are no foreigners, but conscious citizens of sovereign India who have taken environmental protection and human rights as their passion.
The speech maker also accuses of using women as ‘manipulators’ to create tension among the villagers. This is completely untrue. Local people in Mahan, men and women have stood up for their rights, and putting the blame on female activists is only indicating the heat faced by the local politicians and corporate powers who are trying to fast track the clearance of this forests to establish the coal mine.
Mahan is one of the oldest Sal forests in the world. Companies in Mahan want to mine the forests for coal. The mining will result in felling of 5 lakh tress, which will displace local people who depend on this forest for their livelihood.
“Ï am a local of the Mahan forest region, volunteering with Mahan Sangharsh Samiti. Mahan forest is our life force. Everyone – the women, men, children and the elderly people of the region are dependent on it for their survival and livelihood.
The women have equal right to the forest and associated resources. Forest is a gift of nature and indestructible, through the means of which, us locals enjoy a peaceful and content life.
With the prime ministerial elections, I thought that we too would get to see some “acche din”(Good days, Slogan made popular by the BJP). But that didn’t happen for us!
Like earlier, even today we have to deal with “burre din”(Bad days) So I request the government to pay attention to our problems so we can also experience good days.
In our area, women are being heavily exploited. Their rights are being denied to them. They are abused and receive life threats from the governmental officials here! And, no one in the Govt bothers stop this atrocities inflicted on us.
The villagers, in keeping with the 2006 Forests Rights Act, are peacefully protesting to get their community forest rights implemented save Mahan forest. As a result of this we are facing a lot of harassment related problems.
Hence through the means of Radio Sangharsh I want to bring to the attention of the Women’s and Child’s Rights Commission of India – the problems faced by the women in our village and push for a legal probe against the defaulters, which would help all of us live peacefully.”
Know more details on the situation there from Jagnarayan at 07566904239
Inform the National Women’s Commission Complaints cell: 011-23219750, 011-23213419, 011-23236153
Call the Women Protection Cell at 9425841437 and mail – firstname.lastname@example.org and demand action on the Government employees assaulting women.
Report this to District Magistrate – M. Salvendran, phone – 07805234541, 07805244110, mail – email@example.com
Mahan Sangharsh Samiti members Jagnarayan and Kripanath received life threats from an influential figure from Amelia village, outside of Bandhaura Police Station! This incident took place on 22 Feb’14 when they went to police station for their personal work. Jagnarayan declares that any harm brought to him, his family or any other MSS member in future, would hold the origin in the threats they had received.
Mahan Sangharsh Samiti is fighting for saving Mahan forest, villagers’ rights and livelihood in the region. Jagnarayan appeals to the villagers to join the Mahan fight with unity and non-violence!
Radio Sangharsh is Greenpeace India’s decentralized project that helps the larger world discover stories from the dense forests. By digitizing the voices from grassroots, we hope to facilitate sharing of grassroots people’s life with the environment to the rest of the world. Combining technology with powerful social expressions, Radio Sangharsh aims to create a platform that will provoke and enlarge the debate around the right of indigenous people on forests. Read more...