Discussion on What is Development
Q. What is Development?
Ranade: Development means we have a decent standard of living and every human being is able to express their potential. Everyone gets a decent amount of education, exercise their positive and negative rights. Positive rights are natural rights like the right to life. India has extended it to right to education, food ,clean air & non polluted environment etc. Negative rights are things like right not to be harassed by the police.
Satisfaction of everyone needs is what I call development. Again needs are in the sense that Gandhi used when he said that the the world has enough resources to satisfy everybody's need but not everybody's greed.
Q: Our mineral and their minerals?
Ours means each and everyone of us. Whose minerals are these? Everybody's or Nobody's. Or do they belong to the government. Once we have consensus on the rights, we have the possibility of negotiating these rights. If the minerals belong to the tribals, then we need to sit down and negotiate with the tribals?
Nandini: Want to respond to what Dr Ranade said about development.
I am glad that you recognise that everybody has a right to development. We have a constitution. The problem is that the people who are meant to maintain the law are the ones who are violating it. Consistently even in non-naxalite areas, the law is being violated. It is not as if people don’t know whose rights these are. It is not that there are no laws which say that adivasis have these rights.
It is that these laws are being violated by the government using security forces.
Industry does not need to acquire land forcibly. It doesn’t need to have environmental public hearings where villagers are not allowed to attend, where security forces prevent villagers from attending, where the press releases about peoples consent are distributed before the public hearing is held.
There are proposal like giving shares to Adivasis. In other countries that you mentioned mining must get the permission from the tribe concerned. In India we have the fifth schedule of the constitution which says that adivasis have the rights in these areas. We are not taking about a MNS type chauvinism. We are taking about constitution.
And if you respond to people asking for their rights by burning down their villages, you are going to get Naxalism. .
Ranade: There must be areas in India where this has been done successfully. I agree Salwa Judome problem is serious, that Court order are not being followed. But what I an speaking about is the bigger challenge which is about negotiating rights.