New Delhi: Alleging that amendments carried out by the Narendra Modi government to the 2013 Land Acquisition Act will threaten identity of women which they get through owning land, a women’s body Wednesday appealed to the Centre to bring reforms with gender justice.
Addressing the press here today, National Federation of Indian Women, a CPI affiliated body, appealed to the government to ensure provision of consent clause with say of women in deciding whether to hand over land to private or public party.
“Land gives identity to women. Land gives her existence whether it is productive or not. It has social and cultural implications for women,” NFIW president and activist Aruna Roy said insisting on land reforms.
Jaya Mehta, an economist who too was present during the press conference besides NFIW general secretary Annie Raja and advocate Usha Ramnathan, said, “(Until now), consent was taken from men as land titles were in their names. Women had no say in this. So, we think women must have a say when it comes to deciding about land.”
The NFIW claimed that only four per cent women in the country have ownership or land and property, whereas 73 per cent of the food is produced by women in rural India. The federation said offering land and property rights to women are an important stepping stone in their empowerment.
Terming the Land Acquisition Ordinance, re-promulgated on April 3, as “pro-corporates”, Roy said that its execution is set to lead to “unrest” in rural India. She also criticised the Modi Government for taking the Ordinance route, which she said did not involve any “democratic” consultation process.
“Land is most sensitive issue for rural people. For them, the relationship with land is fundamental.
“The Ordinance, what it threatens to do is it can lead to unrest in the country. The Ordinance was passed in corporate interest and they (corporates) will use land in worst possible way,” Roy said citing an example of how procuring only “strip of land” in Rajasthan for laying rail tracks had resulted in violent protests.
Meanwhile, the NFIW said it will join the month-long campaign launched by Left parties and mass organisations to register protest against the Ordinance.