Sunday, October 20, 2013

Retrieve Panchama Land

I've started the petition "The Honourable Chief Minister of Tamilnadu: To retrieve 12 lakh acres of Panchama Lands of Dalits from encroachers" and need your help to get it off the ground.
Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:
Here's why it's important:

During the British rule Mr Tremen Here then Collector of Chingleput district have submitted a report to British government explaining the need to give lands to Dalits. The British government have accepeted the report and have issued two GOs ( G O No 1010, 1010A Revenue 30th Sep 1892; G O No 68 Education 1st Feb 1893) in this respect. The British govt have instructed the revenue officials to identify waste lands and distribute them to Dalits. About 12 Lakh acres of lands were given to Dalits. They are called Depressed Class (conditional) Land. The lands were given between 1891 to 1931 in all districts of Tamilnadu. The lands are not transferable.After Independence most of the lands were occupied by non dalits and the Dalits were left landless.

In 1991 Madras High Court delivered a judgement confirming the rights of Dalits over Panchama lands and have ordered the state government to retrieve the lands. The AIADMK ruled State government have issued a GO No: G1/4868/90 dated 15.7.1991 asking all the District Collectors and DROs to identify the Panchama Lands. About 85000 acres of panchama lands were identified. But the work was stopped due to the negligence of the officials.

Dalit organizations of Tamilnadu are waging numerous struggles to get back the Panchama lands. On 10th October 1994 John Thomas and Ezhumalai- two Dalits were killed in the police firing at Chingleput during the struggle Then in 1996 the state government have formed a commission under Mr S.D.Somasundaram - the then honorable Revenue Minister to look into that matter.But nothing happened due to regime change.

In response to the request of Viduthalai Ciruthaikal Katchi ( VCK ) - a Dalit Party, in 2011 the then Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Mr M.Karunanithi have formed a four member commission under Justice M.Maruthamuthu a retired judge of the Madras high Court to give suitable recommendations over the Panchama lands issue.Unfortunately that commission too become defunct after the new regime came to power.

Now VCK have given a call to all Dalits and democrats of Tamilnadu to adopt the last week of October as 'Land Rights Week' to pressurize the state government to take necessary steps to retrieve Panchama Lands to Dalits.

You can sign my petition by clicking here.

Ravi kumar
Gen Secretary, VCK, Tamilnadu

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