Jan Satyagraha 2012

Jai jagat! The struggle of the March for Justice Jan Satyagraha came to end on October 11th with the signature, in Agra, of a 10 points agreement between Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Rural Development of India, and PV Rajagopal, leader of Jan Satyagraha and Ekta Parishad.

Read the agreement here.

To know more about the current follow-up of this agreement, have a look here.

Thank you for your support, donations and solidarity actions, which were very valuable to the marchers.

Watch the interview of Rajagopal PV explaining the purpose of Jan Satyagraha at the beginning of the year 2012 (video made by François Verlet) : Rajagopal PV on Jan Satyagraha 2012

In 1930 Mahatma Gandhi and some hundred followers marched 250 km to the sea in order to expose the injustice of the colonial prohibition on making salt. This direct, non- violent action marked the beginning of the movement that finally led to India’s independence from British rule. Inspired by Gandhi’s example, in 2007 Ekta Parishad and partner organisations mobilised 25 000 people, most of them landless and among the poorest on a 350 kilometre march from Gwalior to Delhi lasting 27 days. The march was called Janadesh – ‘the Verdict of the People’ – and its aim was to expose the deep injustice of land laws and the urgent need for land reforms in India. The key demands of the marchers were met through the establishment of a National Land Reform Council, however, three years later, the ensuring recommendations are still a challenge to implement.

A new march, Jan Satyagraha – ‘the March for Justice’ – was planned for 2012 which will brought together about 50 000 poor villagers, adivasis, dalits and other landless peasants from many Indian states in what will be the largest ever non-violent action for land, water and forest rights. The marchers walked from Gwalior to Agra where the  government agreed on the following demands:

  • Implementation of the Government of India’s 2007 commitments to land reform
  • Effective, time-bound implementation of the Forest Rights Act of 2006
  • Reformulating relevant acts and policies to ensure they are pro-poor and making the state accountable for policies and programmes affecting the marginalized
  • Addressing the grievances of the displaced and dispossessed, with special attention to the needs of women
  • Advocating for women’s empowerment in the context of sustainable development
  • Genuine decentralization of power with local control of resources, as proposed in the Forest Rights Act
  • Shift from large-scale industrial development to a people-centred, rural economy
  • Mechanisms to regulate the transfer of natural resources to corporate entities in order to protect the poor

More on the March for Justice on http://js2012.wordpress.com/ and http://www.ektaparishad.com/