Jharkhand govt’s manipulation of ‘self-governance’ by Adivasi Communities | Stan Swamy
‘Adivasi Vikas Samiti’ of Jharkhand Govt SETS ASIDE
(i) PESA an Act of Parliament 1996,
(ii) Jharkhand Panchayat Raj Act 2001,
(iii) Vth Schedule of the Constitution
Here is the latest manipulation by Jharkhand govt with regard to ‘self-governance’ by Adivasi Communities. The constitutional and legal provisions being violated are:
PESA Act of 1996 which gives clearly defined powers to Gram Sabha. Clauses 4(d) to (m) spell out the powers of Gram Sabha;
Jharkhand Panchayat Raj Act 2001 in Clause 10 gives Gram Sabha 43 distinct powers plus five special powers in sub-clause 5;
Vth Schedule of the Constitution [Article 244(1) which describes the significant role of Tribes Advisory Council in Scheduled Areas
One gets the impression Jharkhand govt is playing musical chairs with the life of Jharkhandi Adivasi People. There are no well thought out programme of action in terms of development which is possible only through a consultative process of Tribes Advisory Council and Gram Sabhas. On the other hand, some fanciful impractical decisions are thrown at people.
Adivasi Vikas Samiti (AVS), as is fancied by govt, is to be set up in all the 32,000 villages of Jharkhand in view of supposedly bringing about development in each village.
Let us bear in mind, PESA Act is an Act of the Parliament which has deliberately been left unimplemented. Now just before the central & state elections are due to take place, Jkd govt is attempting to show that it has at long last woken to the need for rural devt.
A comparison of PESA and AVS will bring out the contradictions:
PESA is an act of Parliament WHEREAS Adivasi Vikas Samiti [AVS] is a measure taken by Jharkhand govt cabinet.
PESA empowers Gram Sabha for over all self-governance WHEREAS Adivasi Vikas Samiti is exclusively for economic development of the village.
PESA aims to achieve its goal through Gram Sabha WHEREAS Adivasi Vikas Samiti sets up a small development committee;
PESA empowers the Adivasi traditional leader as the President WHEREAS Adivasi Vikas Samiti prescribes that a woman be the President
PESA stipulates that all the members of the village community above the age of 18 will compose the Gram Sabha WHEREAS Adivasi Vikas Samiti is an exclusive group of 11 or 9 members [source of info on Adivasi Vikas Samiti: Prabhat Khabar, Ranchi ed., 7-3-2018]
Points of concern:
1) Jharkhand govt is guilty of not implementing PESA Act 1996, not bothered even to fulfill the stipulations of its own Panchayat Raj Act 2001 and not abiding by the constitutional provisions of the Vth Schedule.
2) Off-hand announcement of setting up Gram Vikas Samiti in all 32,000 villages is not to be taken seriously… it is in view of forthcoming election!
3) Completely ignoring the traditional system and leadership of Adivasi community is an insult to the Adivasi People
4) All Jharkhandi parties, people’s movements / organizations should come together to denounce this casual treatment of Adivasi, Moolvasi People of the State.
(5) Legal action against the state govt must be initiated.