PV Rajagopal Speaks on Human Rights Day
The video highlights the views of P.V. Rajagopal, leader of Ekta Parishad, on human rights day while he is on his yearlong cross India tour meeting those who do not have land rights. Drawing attention to the landless dalits in a village in central Maharastra who are agricultural labourers and daily wage earners, he gives a portrayal of theirlives and hardships. This underscores the need for land rights. Small-holder farmers, agricultural labourers, peasant women,indigenous people, herders and fisher folk are all facing massive appropriation of their local and livelihood resources, making it difficult for them to defend their basic human rights. In these cases it is necessary to have redistributive land agenda along with an enabling environment for small-scale agriculture as a way to ensure that the basic rights of peasants are maintained. “Everyone has a right to an adequate standard of living” and to “be free from hunger and to have adequate food” (ESCR/ 11). This has been reinforced in India and many countries with a right to food written into national law. In countries with large landless rural populations, people require access to land in order togrow food and maintain a dignified life. This is stated: “In no case should apeople be deprived of its own means of subsistence”(ESCR/16). In general, land rights fulfill the material, social and cultural conditions for life.