Fighting Injustice in Polepally SEZ

…more than courage it takes WILL to stand up against injustice !

Bhu Nirvasita Gramala Sabha

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Voices of struggling masses | Voices of hope | Voices of the land call YOU

Bhu Nirvasita Gramala Sabha
27 & 28 December 2008 At Hyderabad

“There is nothing to compare with the courage of ordinary people whose names are unknown and whose sacrifices pass unnoticed. The courage that dares without recognition, without the protection of media attention, is a courage that humbles and inspires and reaffirms our faith in humanity” – Aung San Sung Kyi.

We invite all students, teachers, workers, writers, intellectuals, activists and friends of varied walks of life to listen to the heroic struggles and woes of our people threatened by ‘development’. Meet representatives from several people’s movements in the cause of protecting their land and lives! You are invited to the people’s struggle for sovereignty, sustainability!

You are aware of the heightened Development, radical transformation and progress our state is witnessing currently. Also aware of the debate on Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Coastal Corridor, Mining projects and Mega infrastructure projects in Andhra Pradesh. Some talk of the promise of miracles that foreign investments and multi national projects increasing county’s GDP and generate millions of jobs. Development that will wipe tears from every poor man and restore pride of being part of the nation that is on the path to progress. What if, they ask, the poor loses their ‘small piece of land’, who cares if an adivasi, dalit, fisher folk, poor farmer dies.

Development and development politics of the nation or state or region has become a curse for the poor people. Development is now creating a world within that is to be sacrificed for the pleasure of another section. Today what we see is ‘national’ development that is killing the poor in large scale.

‘Development’ in the name of dams, IT parks, mega rail and airport projects, petro chemicals and pharma companies banned abroad are forced on the people. A few giants like TATA, Jindal, Reliance, Aurabindo, SATYAM, INFOSYS etc are told to be the salvation of this country. These ‘development’ projects are often illegal and criminal and have no legal sanctions or governmental clearances besides not having people’s consent! Some interstate projects like Polavaram dam do not even have the consent of neighboring state. Short term gains of some contractors and greedy politicians, in power and out of it, is becoming increasingly a threat to country’s peace and stability besides unleashing war against its poor people.

Lakhs of acres of land of our poor people is forcibly grabbed by a few projects and sacrificed for irrigation projects that spell doom for the state. Dams, mining projects, SEZs and several other projects are uprooting millions of people across the state and causing cultural genocide. It is Development War that’s in force in our state.

Please come to hear tales of the real nature of the development that our state is suffering from the myopic policies. Andhra Pradesh is today the mega lab of destructive development. Amidst numbness of the larger society there are several movements by the affected people, movements in isolation. Movements that have not given up yet. Movements that hold hope for a humane society tomorrow.

These movements raise fundamental issues that humanity anywhere in the world has stressed- right to life, dignity, consent, freedom and equality.

These movements are fighting injustice that’s unleashed in several parts of the state. Representatives of the movement appeal to all of us to join the open debate.

Our Polepally SEZ Vyatireka Aikya Sanghatana visited several major struggles in AP. Destructive development is same everywhere and the demands of the people are similar. We met people from Polavaram, Coastal Corridor, Kakinada SEZ, Nellore, Gangavaram Port and Jindal bauxite mining projects.

SEZs are taking away thousands of acres of lands for peanuts and displacing lakhs of people. No one can talk about any labour laws, forget about sovereignty, in these Special Exploitation Zones. SEZs are taking away cultivable lands in violation of the norms. The coastal zone of nine districts from Srikakulam to Nellore is a rice bowl, rich in fishing and known for fertile lands. A devilish ICPIR policy is going to ruin lives of people along the coast. Petro chemical hubs, ports, roads, airways, IT parks, Heli Stations, power supply units etc are planned in this zone. Govt has acquired almost 51,500 acres from the poor. About three fourths of it is going to be offered in the silver plate to MNCs.

Polavaram project is going to wipe out nine mandals in AP and parts in Chhattisgarh and Orissa and about 400 villages with 3 lakh population largely inhabited by adivasis. It is a cultural genocide for the Koya tribe inhabiting the submergence area. Eastern ghats and dandakaranya is turning into a graveyard with displaced adivasis earmarking the forests on higher elevations for future settlements posing high risk to the life and storage capacity of the reservoir that’s about to swallow hundreds of villages. It’s a dam that is going to deprive Telangana people of the share in Godavari River turning Telangana into desert and threatens the downstream coastal Andhra of flood havoc and dam breakage pralayam.

Polepally SEZ is devastation with pharma companies going to pollute Dundhubhi and small rivers joining Krishna River. Metro rail project, another mega project, displaces the urban poor and middle classes in twin cities. Visakha Bauxite mining is going to affect thousands of people across Araku and Ananthagiri, Chintapalli. Large sections of Adivasis and idyllic Nature is going to wiped out soon. Irreparable environmental destruction, social tragedy is in the making.

Should we pretend ignorant and rejoice our comforts and allow the ‘parasitic development’ eat every humane aspect of the society. Should we promote a culture of submission and allow the valiant struggles of our people to be crushed one after the other by demonic evil forces that control government and politics. Should we allow our poor brothers and sisters to fall down and communities destroyed and natural resources irreversibly damaged talking of temporary maayaajalam of political or developmental mantras? Should we allow the padmavyuham erode the last spirit still challenging for life and dignity of the individual and community

Its time to halt the ‘suicidal development’. Let’s not forget lessons from some small countries which are now totally dependent on UN for their existence. If we lose lands, we are not only losing farmers whose lands are forcibly acquired. We are also allowing manifold destruction of several other communities dependent on the affected farmers. Large scale evictions, loss of livelihoods and food insecurity is not going to leave other sections of the society unaffected in near future.

Several struggle movements across the state will tell their stories on December 27 & 28 29 & 30, 2008. All friends from diverse walks of life are requested to join

Participant representatives will chalk out on second day an action plan and solidarity action of several movements putting up a collective fight against injustice.

Development Tsunami is waiting to take away all our lives. There are people engaged in relentless struggles to save their lives and the country. All that they need is our concern and participation in arresting the development that’s going to affect all of us one day.

Every small help makes a difference, it says that you are part of it otherwise you are not. Join the movements and be part the struggle to save our people, our culture and land.

Its peoples program , we are just facilitators for their voices to come together and take a shape.

Around 1000 people are expected from different movements. We need to arrange their travel, stay , food and accommodation meeting hall. Donations can be sent to…

India : Sujatha Surepally (+91.98494.68281)
USA : JayaPrakash Telangana (+1.240.604.1327)

In Solidarity
Sujatha Surepally, Madhu Kagula

Convenors, Bhu Nirvasitha Poratala Ikya Sanghatana

Contact us at sez.polepally(at) for more details.

Written by JayaPrakash Telangana

December 9, 2008 at 12:42 am

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