Target: Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi
Goal: Provide fair compensation for those stolen from and mistreated by JSPL and put an end to government support of corrupt corporations.
A young woman in India had everything she ever worked for stolen from her by Jindal Steel & Power Ltd, a mining and power corporation. A 50-year-old woman had her home destroyed by the same company. A man’s 16-year-old son was allegedly killed by the same people who stole his land and built a power plant on top of it. The list of lives ruined by the corporation, and the government that supports it, is continuously growing.
India’s government issued a coal mining permit in 1996 to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd, or JSPL. By 2003, thugs appeared on a young woman’s land and claimed it for themselves. The woman, Lakra, was compensated one-fourth of the total value of her fertile land.
The evidence against her case to defend land that is her father’s life work was all a lie–JSPL’s lawyers in Chhattisgarh High Court-Bilaspur claimed that Lakra’s land had held nothing of value. The truth is that at one time, the land that is now a private road and an engineering college was a paradise–27.5 acres of fertile land with hundreds of mango trees, cashew trees, sagwan teak and local mahua. Her case is one of the hundreds of injustices committed by JSPL.
Currently, the new prime minister, Narendra Modi, wants to focus on economic development and cares nothing for the environment or theft from land owners. Within a year, Prime Minister Modia and the newly elected government has fought against policies of fair land acquisition, environmental protection, and tribal rights.
The government and the prime minister say that these policies and rights and environmental issues only stand in the way of economic development. Demand that Prime Minister Modia respect fair land acquisition and environmental protection rights and fairly compensate those landowners that Jindal Steel & Power Ltd has stolen from.
Dear Honorable Mr. Narendra Modi,
The government of an advanced nation is not one that seeks to gain profits for itself, but rather seeks to protect the fair rights of its citizens. Citizens of India should have a right to their land and, at least, fair compensation when it is stolen from them. A woman named Lakra had 27.5 acres of paradise-like fertile lands stolen from her. Not only was her produce beneficial to the community, but the land was rightfully hers and was a result of her father’s life efforts. She is not the only landowner who has been stolen from and unfairly compensated.
The best path toward the long-term economic prosperity of a nation is protecting its environment and its people. Tourism, ecotourism, and cultural tourism are a renewable and constant source of revenue so long as the tourists are willing to come. Coal mines and power plants are not only extremely unattractive to tourists but they are also built up from the land of India’s most valuable asset–it’s people.
Protect the people, not the profit. Honorable Prime Minister Modi, I am asking you to seriously consider respecting fair land acquisition and environmental protection rights and demand fair compensation for those wronged by Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ananth BS