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The Hindu on : Major offensive planned against globalisation

Online edition of India's National Newspaper on
Saturday, December 23, 2000

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Major offensive planned against globalisation

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, DEC. 22. The National Alliance of Peoples' Movements, representing about 150 organisations, has decided to launch a ``major political offensive'' in April next year, against globalisation and privatisation.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Mr. Thomas Kochery, National Coordinator of NAPM, said a decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of national convenors of the NAPM here during the last three days, attended among others by Ms. Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.

Mr. Kochery said the twin policies being vigorously pursued by the Government would have disastrous impact on farmers, tribals, dalits and fishworkers and all those living on natural resources and human labour. As part of the action programme, the NAPM would organise tribals, dalits and fishermen to take over the control of forests, land and water bodies.

``These communities who depend on these natural resources for their livelihood are their owners and custodians. We will not rest, until we control and manage them,'' he said. The NBA would launch a wider struggle for restoring land to the people displaced by the Narmada dam.

The NAPM had taken a pledge to attain a real democratic relationship between the State and the people, drive away the global powers hand-in-glove with the corrupt, anti- national ruling forces and bring in equitable and sustainable development policies and technologies in all sectors.

It would also oppose the Aquaculture Authority Bill, planned to be introduced in Parliament, to circumvent a Supreme Court judgment that went in favour of small fishermen. There would be an all-India fishermen strike on January 18, in protest against the Bill.

Dr. P. Chennaiah, general secretary of the AP Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union, a constituent of the NAPM, said over 320 million agricultural workers (22 million in Andhra Pradesh), continued to live on the brink sandwiched between floods and droughts and migrating to urban areas in search of work. To make matters worse, indiscriminate mechanisation in the last few years, had resulted in large-scale displacement of agricultural workers, especially women.

The plight of agricultural workers in this scenario, could well be imagined, he said and demanded that the Agricultural Workers (Employment, Conditions of Service and Welfare measures) Bill, be introduced and adopted in Parliament. It seeks to provide security of employment, retirement and maternity benefits for agricultural workers. A memorandum in this regard has been submitted to the Governor, Dr. C. Rangarajan, on Friday.

Mr. Vijay Jawadia of Kisan Sangathan, said pressure should be brought on the Central Government to stop import of agriculture products as it was leading to crash in prices of domestic agriculture commodities. It was surprising that the Chief Minister, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, a strong supporter of free market economy, should seek the State's intervention for purchase of paddy and rice.

Mr. Keshav Rao Jadhav of Samajwadi Jana Parishad and Mr. P. M. Latha of NAPM, Maharashtra, spoke about the resolution on the formation of smaller States, especially Telangana and Vidarbha. Mr. Sanjay Mangala Gopal, National Coordinator, NAPM, condemned the way communal feelings were whipped up through the Ayodhya issue and attacks on Christians.

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