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This book is about India and its land laws. The bone of contention was to remove the consent clause as it was becoming an 'obstacle' for those who wish to acquire people's land in the name of 'National Interest'. It is perhaps for the first time in India when we are documenting the issue of consent in such wider way. The aim of this compilation to make both policymakers, practitioners, activists, lawyers and academics to carry forward the issue in the greater interest of the people. Consent remains the most important part of democracy and all the land conflicts world over happens because of denial of it to those who get affected by a project hence it becomes essential for peacebuilding as well as strengthening democracy.
In 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, recognizing their rights and making specific mention of “Free, Prior and Informed Consent” (FPIC) as a pre-requisite for any activity that affects their ancestral lands, territories and natural resources. Despite its approval in 2007, progress towards the implementation of FPIC has been slow and uneven by countries, private sector corporations, non-governmental organizations, international financial institutions, and the United Nations agencies.
Land essentially is a state subject in India and therefore state laws and the consent parts in them should be understood in all the right perspective. The importance of this volume is that it consists of not just activists who have been working on the issue for long but some of them have also been engaged in academic exercise. Many others who have tremendous national, as well as International experience, contributed and enriched it. We also have those also who work at the primary level or what is termed as grassroots, apart from some constitutional experts. Such a variety of interaction will always bring out the rich and knowledgeable documentation.