After innumerable demonstrations and rallies, tribals have now decided to seek divine intervention to safeguard their lands. They are now turning Durga Puja pandals into a platform to protest against land acquisition.
Accordingly, Bisthapan Virodhi Nava Nirman Sangharsh Morcha, the outfit that has been spearheading the agitation against land acquisition, has printed over 70,000 pamphlets and posters to create awareness among farmers. The posters will be distributed in pandals at Gumla, Godda, Hazaribagh and Dumka, though districts falling under Singhbhum-Kolhan region will be the main focus.
Kumar Chandra Mardi, a spokesperson of the morcha, said that although Durga Puja was not the traditional puja of the tribals, the grand festival is organised in many localities having a sizeable number of tribals. And local inhabitants visit Puja pandals in the villages as well as the city suburbs, or attend village fairs, at this festive time. "So, we decided to take advantage of the occasion," Mardi said, adding that they have printed 50,000 pamphlets and 20,000 posters to be distributed in pandals in peripheral areas of the city and at village fairs.
Mardi said the morcha, which is an alliance of 37 anti-land acquisition outfits active across the state, had decided on August 24 to intensify protests against land acquisition by industrial houses in the mineral-rich state. The decision to resort to poster and pamphlet campaigns at pandals during Durga Puja was part of the protest.
"Through the posters we have tried to make the villagers understand that selling their ancestral land to industrial houses will not be in the interest of villagers," he said.
September 27 / telegraph