The Yogi government of UP is preparing to bring a new township policy. Is this decision of the UP government a gift for the Dalits or a hoax?
March 17 (KMS): Land in India is not just a piece of land to cultivate, but in caste dominated India, land also determines your status. Here the land is not only for farming, but it has also been a way of keeping the deprived castes as slaves. There is a huge difference in the social and economic status of the castes who have land and the castes who do not have land.
There is a caste-based distribution of land in India, with the so-called upper or dominant castes owning most of the land, while a minority of the Dalit castes own land. But attempts to snatch the land of these few Dalits have always been made by the land mafia and the so-called upper castes. But now the government itself is making arrangements to grab the remaining land of Dalits.
The latest case of UP… The Yogi government of UP is preparing to bring a new township policy. According to this new policy, now if a Dalit wants to sell his land to a non-Dalit in UP, DM’s permission will not be required for that. In this article, we will investigate whether this decision of the UP government is a gift or a hoax for the Dalits.
What is the full news?
UP government is coming up with new township policy. The presentation of UP Township Policy 2023 was done in front of CM Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday. In this new township policy, keeping in mind the urbanization, it has been said to make a new rule on the purchase and sale of land of Dalits.
According to this new proposal, DM’s approval will no longer be required to sell Dalit land to a non-Dalit. That is, if a Dalit’s land is bought by an upper caste person like Brahmin, Thakur or Baniya, then he will not have to take permission from the DM. At present, this is a proposal, but the Yogi government is preparing to bring a law on it.
At present, what are the rules on buying the land of Dalits?
Now you should also understand that before the new township policy of the Yogi Government, what were the rules regarding the purchase of Dalit land in UP. In fact, under the Uttar Pradesh Landlord Abolition and Land System Act, 1950 in UP, it is mandatory for any Scheduled Caste person to take approval from the District Magistrate to sell his agricultural land to a non-Scheduled Caste person.
Then came the UP Revenue Code in 2006. Section 98(1) of the Uttar Pradesh Revenue Code, 2006 also states that ‘no Scheduled Caste landowner shall have the right to transfer land, he shall first obtain the permission of the Collector. He cannot sell the land without permission, nor can he gift the land to anyone, nor can he mortgage the land, nor can he give it on lease to anyone.
There are certain conditions for selling land under this rule. For example, a Dalit can sell his land to a non-Dalit only when either he has no heir, the owner of the land has settled in another state or district, or a family member has a serious illness that requires treatment. It is necessary to sell the land for. With these conditions, the DM used to give permission to sell the land.
Why were such rules made?
Now you must be wondering why such strict rules were made? In fact, the possession of land in India has been with only a few influential castes. Most of the SC-ST people either do not have land or have very little land. In such a situation, the upper caste people used to either take possession of the land of the Dalits by threatening them or forced them to sell the land at cheap prices.
These casteist people could not forcibly buy the land of Dalits, so such strict rules were made so that the land of Dalits remains with them and they can earn their livelihood by doing farming on the land. Due to this rule, the Dalits also benefited a lot. Due to the condition of DM’s permission, land mafia and casteist people could not easily occupy the land of Dalits.
How much land do Dalits have in UP?
Many agitations had to be done, many people struggled but land reform was not fully implemented in India. Because of the minor reforms that have taken place, some Dalits in UP have got land suitable for cultivation. Even during the BSP government in UP, a large number of Dalits were given leased land. Lease land means that the government gives the government land to a person for some time for a specific purpose, but the person who gets the land is not its owner, it is only for that purpose in that fixed time frame. Can use the land, for which the land has been given to him on rent.
According to the 2011 census, the total population of SC-ST in UP is 22%. Out of this population, about 42% SC does not have any land while 35.10% ST also does not have any land. These people are either agricultural laborers or do some other hard work. That is, only about half of the Dalit population in UP owns land.
What are the advantages of having your own land?
Most of the land in India is cultivated and farming becomes the main source of income. If you have your own land, then you can grow grains and vegetables for yourself, so that your children and women can get nutritious food and they do not become victims of malnutrition. If you are the owner of the land, then you are not forced to work as a laborer in someone else’s farm. Land is associated with feudalism, so owning land also determines your social status.
In times of need, land is your asset, by selling it you can meet your needs. But when Dalits don’t have land they become poor, they have to work as laborers in someone else’s farm, the possibility of exploitation of Dalit women also increases due to laboring in other’s farm. Therefore, for Dalits, land is not just a means of farming, but also a means of improving their lives.
What’s wrong with the new proposal?
India is actually not an agricultural country but a caste-based country. Here people belonging to few castes do not even care that a Dalit should live with self-respect. That’s why often the land of Dalits is forcibly occupied. In villages where the Dalit population is less, the dominant caste people force Dalits to sell their land at cheap rates. Due to poverty and illiteracy, many Dalits avoid court cases and land mafia take advantage of this and buy Dalit land at throwaway prices.
In the old rule, a non-Dalit had to take DM’s permission to buy Dalit land, the advantage of this was that it was not easy to take possession of Dalit land. But if the new proposal is passed, then the apprehension will increase that the land of Dalits will be encroached upon. Land mafia and casteist goons can forcibly grab the land of Dalits. You can get them to sign by harassing or threatening them. With this new proposal, there is scope for snatching the land of Dalits. That is why this policy of the Yogi government is being opposed. Azad Samaj Party President Chandrashekhar Azad has warned Yogi Adityanath on this change.
Samajwadi Party has termed this proposal of Yogi government as a conspiracy to grab the land of Dalits. However, the surprising thing is that when Akhilesh Yadav himself was the CM of UP, then in 2015 he had brought exactly the same proposal in the Legislative Council, but due to strong opposition from BSP, that proposal could not be passed.
We also tried to know the opinion of some people of UP on this new policy. We asked Vinay, a student of Babasaheb Dr. Ambedkar University, Lucknow and Akash Paswan, a student of Gorakhpur University, what they think about the new policy? Everyone says that if this new law is enacted, then the possibility of their land being encroached will increase.
This apprehension of Dalits is not without reason.
In UP, there are often reports of land grabbing of Dalits. Let me tell you an anecdote which will make it easier for you to understand this news.
According to the Indian Express report, in 1992, the Maharishi Ramayana Vidyapeeth Trust in Ayodhya bought 21 bighas of land from Dalits. According to the old rule, no non-Dalit could buy the land of a Dalit, so the trust got all the land registered in the name of its Dalit employee named Rangai. After 4 years this employee named Rangai donated all the land to Maharishi Ramayana Vidyapeeth Trust.
That is, using one Dalit, the land of dozens of Dalits was illegally grabbed. But if a new policy is made, then legally the land of Dalits can be forcibly grabbed. In the current Yogi rule, especially the leaders of the ruling party have been accused of land grabbing.
You just go to Google and search, BJP leader accused of land grab in UP… and see how many such news you will get to see in which BJP leaders are accused of forcibly occupying the land of poor and deprived caste people. That is, those who forcibly take possession in this way even when there is a law, what will they do when a new law is enacted? This question worries the Dalits.
Yogi Raj calls his government Ramraj in UP, perhaps that is why he is trying to establish such a Ramraj where no Dalits can study, no Dalits have jobs and no Dalits have agricultural land. What do you think about this new proposal? Do give your opinion.
Courtesy: Justice News