Land and Natural Resources
The landholding patterns in India remain largely unequal and biased given the historicity of land distribution and its linkages to caste, tribe and gender. The social formation of India was primarily a caste-based feudal structure having regional variations like the Zamindar, Jagirdar, Mirasdar and Khots who controlled the land. Land relationships define the traditional system of social division of labour in India. In case of Dalits, there is a clear correlation between land holding and social and economic status.
Although the Dalits and Adivasis form a quarter of India’s population, their ownership over land and natural resources remains bleak. Issues such as land grabbing, land acquisition, incidences of violence, complicated titling procedures, lack of information, unavailability of relevant documents; land markings and other contribute majorly to the process of marginalisation of the Dalits and Adivasis.
Recognising this inseparable link between human rights and land rights, NACDAOR is involved with several issues ranging right from the legal framework of land, size of the landholdings, availability of land, lack of access to information and technology, to the ownership problems of the marginalised. Under its mandate, NACDAOR as a national platform has launched the the ‘Bhoomi Adhikar Yatra’ (Land Rights March) for the demand of land rights in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The ‘Dalit Jan Akrosh Yatra’ was started in Haryana state to address the increasing violence against Dalits, the prime reason being their landlessness. In the spirit of ‘Right to Minimum Land Holding’, NACDOR’s efforts are chiefly directed towards ensuring a life of resources and respect to the Dalit and Adivasi communities.
One of NACDOR’s primary demands is ‘Five Acres of Land to Every Landless Family’.