ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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POSCO Exit

POSCO’s announcement of its withdrawal from Odisha is a major victory for the small farmers, forest dwellers and fisherfolk who have opposed the steel project since 2005. The victory celebrations of the local communities, however, have been muted because their struggle against corporate greed, and the destruction of land and habitats has left them with over 2,000 warrants for arrest, 400 police cases, lives lost, livelihoods disrupted, communities fractured, and the constant memory of violence and repression.

Undermining Adivasi Interests

The haste with which a public hearing was pushed through for Sesa Sterlite's expansion of its Lanjigarh facility in Kalahandi, Odisha leads to the assumption that perhaps the acche din promised by the new government are actually for the corporate sector. There seems to be an overt and covert effort to ensure that big corporate houses take over the development projects at the cost of local communities and natural resources. The Dongria Kondhs who have been opposing the expansion have been paying the price in terms of daily repression and arbitrary arrests.

Undermining Adivasi Interests

The haste with which a public hearing was pushed through for Sesa Sterlite's expansion of its Lanjigarh facility in Kalahandi, Odisha leads to the assumption that perhaps the acche din promised by the new government are actually for the corporate sector. There seems to be an overt and covert effort to ensure that big corporate houses take over the development projects at the cost of local communities and natural resources. The Dongria Kondhs who have been opposing the expansion have been paying the price in terms of daily repression and arbitrary arrests.

The Price of Dalit Assertion

In Odisha, especially in the western part, dalits face a peculiar situation. On the one hand, they suffer the indignity of the age-old caste system and on the other, they are perceived by tribal communities as "exploiters", and at times, bear the brunt of their fury too. Such a perception accentuates the hatred against dalits and also seems to justify attacks. This fi eld study in Lathore, a village in the block of Khaprakhol of Balangir district of Odisha, demonstrates how in such a hostile atmosphere, even minor incidents involving individual dalits lead to horrendous consequences.
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