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Land has been an important part of human life. Land Reforms remain quintessential for social and gender justice. Land consolidation actually resulted in a highly inequitable society. India was among those very few nations that decided to abolish Zamindari and provide land rights to rural poor immediately after it became a republic in 1950. The government further went forward with its socialist agenda and brought in Land Ceiling Act to provide land to the last person of our society.
Even when officials were not honest in absolute terms to respect the ‘Directive Principles’ in the form of guidelines to Indian State, in terms of dutifully implementing it, the real changes appeared among Indian intellectuals in the aftermath of 1991 when Indian economy was ‘liberalised’ and government took extra steps to promote private capital and business investment in the country
After 2000, the governments in India unleashed a wave of ‘glasnost’ in the economic sphere; therefore, they provided huge subsidies to big corporations and single window solutions for their problems. Suddenly, the greener regions of India, its vast and lush green forest zones became the target of big international and national corporations. The land was easily being occupied by the state in the name of ‘national interest’ under the colonial law of 1894 land acquisition act. Millions of acres of land were made easily available to greedy corporate houses, both national and international, without seeking any mandate from the people whether they want the project or not. Not only this, the irony was that there was no need for them to even think of any decent rehabilitation plan of those who lost their land and livelihood.
Here, we showcase some studies on cases where people mobilized their efforts against acquisition of land. Some have turned out to be complete or partial success. All the cases, with two exceptions, start with the background or what happened really in the case or project, then go on to describe the people affected and/or legislations involved, the story of struggle or litigation, ecological-environmental issues, free prior informed consent (FPIC) and national and international laws being violated, people’s movement and mobilization, and finally state the current status of the issue/project