Rural Poor and Workers Demand National Register of Landless & Homeless, Not CAA-NPR-NRC : Declare Right to Housing a Fundamental Right!

THE AIARLA has appealed to all citizens to come forward to demand a national register of landless and homeless people and to fight for their right to home be declared as a fundamental right.

In a statement AIRLA General Secretary has said that the Modi Raj is dangling the sword of disaster over the heads of workers and the poor. Homes and households are getting crushed under spiraling prices; at the same time, increasing unemployment has led to an increase in workers’ suicides. The constitutional responsibility of guarantee of minimum wages and pension for all is being ended in order to benefit wealthy capitalists like Ambani-Adani. Housing rights are being denied and dalits, adivasis and the poor are being evicted across the country.

Comrade Dhirendra said that a countrywide campaign is being conducted on the demand for Right to Housing as Fundamental Right and mass memoranda will be sent to the President of India before the Budget Session in Parliament. The main demands raised during this campaign are:

  1. A national list of the country’s landless and homeless should be prepared; the required survey for this should be conducted, or it should be given prominence in the 2021 census.
  2. The Right to Housing should be made a fundamental right and all households in the country should be given a minimum of 5 decimal ‘basgeet’ (homestead) land.
  3. Any kind of tampering with the ancestral rights of adivasis/original dwellers to jal-jangal-jameen (water, forest, land) should be stopped forthwith. The PESA Act should be strictly implemented and no forest land of any kind should be allowed to be acquired without the recommendation of the Gram Sabha.
  4. The anti-Constitution CAA-NRC-NPR should be revoked forthwith.

He said that the unholy attempts to bring changes in the basic structure of the Constitution to pick and choose citizens according to convenience are being made, hence it is utmost important for the country as well as for all poor and rural workers to protest. That our Constitution gives equal right to every citizen and speaks of guaranteeing a life with dignity to all citizens. However, it is a strange irony that a very big population of the country today is landless and homeless. Even today people have to dwell under the open sky or on platforms, under bridges or in parks. Dozens of families in rural areas are forced to live in a single-room building along with their livestock and animals. AIARLA as an organization for rural poor and workers, we wish to draw attention to these demands to be included in the government’s work schedule and they should also get space in the Budget. He asked the governments to work more earnestly towards the interests of dalits, adivasis and deprived sections and to implement the directive principles enshrined in the Constitution.

In a statement by AIARLA issued earlier this has been said that “the homes of 50 lakh families alone in Bihar in the name of the Jal-Jangal-Hariyali Scheme are facing the sword of eviction from forests. The real aim of the government is to keep the poor out of the right to livelihood, education and health. In order to weaken the increasing protests on these issues and to carry forward the RSS agenda, they have now attacked the birthright of citizenship of the people. This is an attack on the basic structure of the Constitution which gives the right to equality to the deprived sections of the country. The people who will be hardest hit by CAA-NRC-NPR are the landless, homeless, and migrant workers.

“We need to understand that the same government which is depriving us of land, housing, ration, employment and pension is now conspiring to snatch away our citizenship. The Assam NRC is an example for all to see. Out of the more than 19 lakhs whose citizenship was snatched away, not only are 14 lakhs Hindus but most of them are landless, poor, dalit, adivasi, and other backward castes. Therefore, we need to come out strongly and join the protest against NRC.

“The government is about to start the work of preparing the National Population Register (NPR) and people are being misled by the lie that this has no link to NRC. This is another lie perpetuated by a government habituated to lying; NPR is in fact the first step in NRC. To put it in totality, CAA-NRC-NPR is an integrated project of the Modi-Shah government, which we need to protest vociferously. This is anti-national and will cause great problems and distress to every citizen, especially the poor.

“The intent of the Modi-Shah government is to spread communal poison and establish a Hitler-like fascist rule and a Manuvadi society where the wealthy and upper sections will dominate. We all have to come together and campaign in villages and Panchayats to stop this evil conspiracy and lead the struggles to save the Constitution, the country, and democracy.”