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A BRIEF LOOK AT OUR HISTORY

All Photographs By: Simon Williams

SAMVAD (DIALOGUE)

Ekta Parishad has deep faith in the process of dialogue as a means of the Satyagraha to engage with all possible allies and opponents towards a positive impact for all.

During the 1970s, with the inspiration of ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, Acharya Vinoba Bhave, and Jaiprakash Ji (JP), the greatest engagement and conversation with the Rebels were started by Dr. SN Subba Rao (Bhai Ji) and Rajgopal Ji. This had resulted in the grand success as a surrender of 600+ Rebels who had decided to accept and practice nonviolence. This surrender of Rebels in the conflict zone of Chambal Valley is regarded as a historic peace process in the history of India

Engagements in Chambal Valley

During the 1980s, an alliance-building process was strengthened which resulted in many successful campaigns towards protecting the rights of marginalized communities across various regions of India. These processes of unionization were joined by many known movement-based organizations like Sarva Sewa Sangh, Tarun Bharat Sangh, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangthan, Jan Sangharsh Morcha, Bandhua Mukti Morcha, etc.

Building Alliances of People’s Movements

 

In 1997, a petition, popularly known as Malik Makbuja Case (related with the Rights of Tribal Community over their Trees), was submitted to the Supreme Court of India praying against illegal deforestation by State. This was successfully concluded with penal action against responsible people and provided directives for protecting the people’s rights over their forest resources in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh

Petitioning for Conserving the Forest Resources

In 1998, few petitions were filed in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh against illegal grabbing of river water and mineral resources in Chhattisgarh region. This resulted in several safeguards announced by the State government which later failed to execute the given directions

Petitioning for the Protection of Water and Mineral Resources

During the first Foot March of Ekta Parishad in 1999-2000, a series of dialogues were established with the Madhya Pradesh government. Finally Madhya Pradesh's government had agreed to constitute a Task Force on Land Reforms with due institutional authority to Ekta Parishad in planning and execution of land redistribution to the landless poor. For the first time, a successful operation was initiated by the State for redistribution of land to thousands of landless poor.

Advocacy for Land Reforms

Ekta Parishad’s Bihar Chapter was deeply involved on issues of Bhoodan Land received by Acharya Vinoba Bhave during Bhoodan Padyatra. After multiple levels of engagement with the State Government and Bhoodan Board a Land Reforms Commission was set up which provided detailed mechanism for resolving the disputes over more than a million hectares of Bhoodan land in Bihar

Resolving Issues of Bhoodan Land

In 2003 after a massive campaign of Ekta Parishad in Chhattisgarh, a dialogue was initiated for the distribution of land to the tribal community. After negotiation with the State government a Task Force was set up for distribution of land to 6000 landless tribal families in the Kawardha district. As a result of this negotiation, the State government also issued high-level directives for prohibiting atrocities against any tribal community in Chhattisgarh

Dialogue for the Allotment of Land to the Tribal Community

In 2004-05, after foot march in Odisha, a campaign was initiated by Ekta Parishad which opened an intense dialogue process with the State government. After a long negotiation process, the state Government finally announced a state-led action for ensuring land to the homeless poor people in Odisha. Until recent past, nearly 200,000 families have received entitlement for the homestead land

Negotiating for Land to the Homeless Poor

In 2005, Ekta Parishad decided to file a petition in the Supreme Court of India with a detailed presentation of possible remedies. This issue was later taken up by the state governments of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh which issued multiple directives to resolve land disputes over more than 4 million hectares of land and to ensure justice to the dependent masses.

Petitioning for Resolving Land Conflict

Janadesh 2007 was the first massive nonviolent campaign organized by Ekta Parishad. Thanks to mass pressure, the Central Government invited Ekta Parishad to negotiate on key demands of Campaign. This finally resulted in an agreement for the execution of the Forest Rights Act towards ensuring land to millions of tribal and forest dweller communities in India. An agreement was also reached for the constitution of the National Land Reforms Council and National Committee on Agrarian Crisis and Unfinished Agenda of Land Reforms. These high powered committees presented a framework for land reforms

Agreement for the Forest Rights Act

During Jan Satyagraha Samvad Yatra 2011, a process began to involve a large number of land rights movements to come together for Jan Satyagrah mass action. A one-year-long march of 80000 kilometers over 24 States of India finally resulted in a grand federation of 2000+ land rights movements which came forward collectively for mass action of Jan Satyagraha. This cross-ideological alliance succeeded  in engaging  some very important organizations live Serva Seva Sangha, National Tribal Front, National Federation of Dalit Land Rights Movements, Eastern Fisher Folks Forum, National Alliance of Farmers Movements and Campaign for Unorganized Workers etc.

Building Campaign Alliance

In 2004-05, after foot march in Odisha, a campaign was initiated by Ekta Parishad which opened an intense dialogue process with the State government. After a long negotiation process, the state Government finally announced a state-led action for ensuring land to the homeless poor people in Odisha. Until recent past, nearly 200,000 families have received entitlement for the homestead land

Negotiating for Land to the Homeless Poor

Jan Satyagraha 2012 was the second massive nonviolent campaign organized by Ekta Parishad when 100000 landless poor got involved in mass action. The long process of dialogue and negotiation finally concluded in 10 point Agreement with Central Government which agreed to immediately set up a National Task Force on Land Reforms. This Task Force presented National Land Reforms Policy, National Homestead Land Rights Act, and Institutional Mechanism for setting up Community Paralegal Support Centers in order to resolve Land Disputes. The Task Force also issued detailed guidelines to various State governments for carrying the agenda of Land Reforms and ensuring land to the landless and homeless poor

Agreement for the National Land Reforms Policy and Homestead Land Rights Act

During the long course of 20 years, Ekta Parishad has deeply been involved in facilitating dialogue among various groups and the State in the conflict zones of India. These multidimensional dialogue processes in states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Assam and Manipur have received encouraging responses

Multidimensional Dialogue in the Conflict Zones

Jan Andolan 2018, was another landmark mass action organized by Ekta Parishad to strengthen the dialogue process with the Central Government with a very specific focus on Women Farmer Entitlement Act, benefitting women folks engaged in the field of agriculture

Continuous Dialogue for the Land Reforms

In 2020, Ekta Parishad, together with hundreds of national & international organizations, started a Global Walk for Justice and Peace called Jai Jagat Campaign. The building blocks of dialogue at the international level received encouraging responses from various established institutions like the United Nations and other global institutions. The key focus of the Jai Jagat campaign is to motivate the global leaders and organizations for setting up the Ministry of Peace in every country and promoting Peace Education. Jai Jagat campaign is meant for strengthening the peace processes, focused on building a just and peaceful world

Declaration of Global Campaign for Justice and Peace

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