Educational Loans
Educational loans are not easy for the student of lower income groups in unorganised sectors whatever their merit or result is. Government publicises that it has opened the gateway to all for higher education with educational loan facilities. But it is offered and sanctioned by the banks/the financial institutions depending upon some mandatory criteria. Eligibility of educational loans is strictly needed securities (collateral securities) as guarantee of refund.

Economically lower groups have no such securities. It is evident that till date none of students of poor community has been accessed this facility for higher education. Only higher and middle income groups avail this facility at a large (cent percent).

The Congress Party of India has started a campaign that it has planned to waive the educational loans. Is it not like "to carry coal to Newcastle". Who will benefit from it?

Poor and lower income group people of India have a handsome share of revenues and resources. Poor has to pay education cess variously (i.e. mobile uses, electricity, etc.). And it is used for their children's education. Government and different political parties are saying that they are doing lots for education of poor. But how is it? Poor only dream for higher education in, so-called reputed institution (private). Why would they share the deficit after a waiver of such educational loans for welloff. Is it the resource of a political party? Why would political party take such a step which would make rich richer? It would be a strategy for political gain.

This type of declaration should be protested. The political party should be more responsible, and it has to rethink considering the condition of the large section of the underprivileged. It is just a conspiracy to finish the poor. Has there any strategy to the political party for employment of educated youth?
Harasankar Adhikari, Kolkata

'Marha' (Corpse)
Is there any racial identity or other identity of a corpse? Nothing! It is very truth that a corpse has no identity. It is only a transformation of living being into a non-living thing. Living being (human being) has glory and vanity of identities of different (race/caste/poor/rich/elite/ etc.). There are so many identity crises in human society. It is the cause of separation and division as well as conflict and violence. Prejudice, superstition and taboos are cleverly inbuilt in human society. Even human being observes the funeral rites for the dead. These customs are only the narrowness while a corpse has no headache whether anyone of his/her close observes it or not. Even, no one could realise the result of offering the mandatory rituals after death.

Then why people are invoked in such divisions? Every society teaches all is equal, and self-love is a virtue. It teaches to live together (live and let live).

Here 'Marha' (corpse) is the title of a one-act play which reminds people about the foul-play of divisions. A vagabond and mentally ill middle-aged man lives in a locality. He has any racial identity. One day, local people saw that he was fallen at road side senselessly. A group of local people thought he was dead. They took initiative for last sacrifice. But it divided them because the Hindu community demanded to burn him, while the Muslim group demanded to bury him. Both groups claimed separately he was from their community. So, they would do last rites according to the norms and religious structures of their own community. A communal/racial tension and strife were started. By that time this man was woken up suddenly and spitted towards them. Then, he left the place.

This one act-play teaches the truth. Why do people quarrel? Why are they involved in racial conflict and violence when they have to die and to be transformed into a non-living being?
Harasankar Adhikari, Kolkata

A Human Catastrophe
The Supreme Court has asked the Chief Secretaries of 16 state Governments including Jharkhand to evict about 1.1 million Adivasi and Other Traditional Forest Dwelling families whose claims were rejected by the respective Forest Departments. But as of 30th November, 2018 as per the FRA implementation report status maintained by the ministry of tribal affairs, some 18,92,893 claims were rejected. The total individual claims filed from 20 different states, were 40, 6,606, as on 30.11.2018. While in Jharkhand as of now total no. of 1,07,756 individual claims (both of STs and OTFDs) were filed under Forest Rights Act. But out of that 28,107 claims were rejected.

Resonating with the Nationwide outrage and protest against the latest Supreme Court Order asking States to report action for eviction of those whose individual forest rights claims to have been rejected, All India Front For Forest Rights Struggles too demands an immediate review of the order. It also demands from Central government to bring an ordinance immediately in order to put stay on it.

It is well known that in state after state, there have been constant protests regarding improper process of rejection of claims filed by the Gram Sabhas, and hence in no state can claim that process of rejection has been finalised at all. Why then is the SC demanding that state governments file a report on the status of completion of the rejection process?
Xavier Kujur, All India Front for Forest Rights Struggles (AIFFRS)

Vol. 51, No. 39, Mar 31 - Apr 6, 2019