Eviction and Rehabilitation
The government is forcibly snatching the land of poor Dalits and tribals from across the country and selling them to a handful of capitalists, and continues to vandalise the settlements by bulldozers like a storm.

On one hand the government is pretending to be the well-wisher of the poor and labourers, on other hand is celebrating destruction of livelihood and housing. These demolition/eviction drives are being fuelled with the communal agenda by creating an environment of hate in the name of encroachments in Delhi and thus trying to break the unity of the working class.

From the on-set of COVID-19 pandemic to till date, more than 6 lakh people have been evicted from their homes and around 1.6 crore of people are now faced with the threat and uncertainty of being displaced.

There is a growing trend of dispensing “justice” using bulldozers rather than the procedure established by law. The Delhi Development Authority announced eviction of 63 lakh houses in Delhi-NCR however there was not a single word about rehabilitation.

Additionally, of the 50,000 labourers in the informal sector, there is no statutory provision, nor planning for their housing by the government, while in Delhi, 28,000 houses are lying vacant. Ground realities also contradicts the claim that under the Pradhan Mantri Awaaz Yojana about 123 lakh houses have been sanctioned till March, 2022. The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) Policy 2015 guarantees rehabilitation to the residents of the 676 recognised slums; however it is silent on the hundreds of slums/bastis that have not even been surveyed. Similar situations prevails in many other states such as Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Tamil Nadu.

People from Gyaspur Basti, Khori Gaon Faridabad, Haryana, Ghaziabad, Agra, Dhobi Ghat Camp, Kasturba Nagar, Bela Ghat etc. have gathered who have faced forced eviction and demolition, despite having Delhi High Court stay order in some cases. These demolitions/evictions have violated the many “alternative shelter” provisions that both the executive and judiciary have guaranteed to the urban poor and inconsistent with the rights to life, livelihood and dignity” of the affected people.

While the unemployment in the country is rising day by day, hawkers, street vendors, waste segregation & sanitation workers are being evicted from their place of work. The government itself is not allowing the law made to protect the work of the labourers. Report by the National Crime Research Bureau (NCRB), “Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India”, shows that daily wage earners remained the largest profession-wise group among suicide victims in 2021, accounting for one in four of the recorded 1,64,033 suicide victims.

Those organisations or activists who raise their voice are being put in jail by putting false cases on them. Neither survey nor relocation nor certificate allotment, only deprivation of livelihood and consequently to the deprivation of life.
Nirmal Gorana Agni, Delhi

Lula Has Won
He has defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro to become the next president of Brazil.

This election is the world’s most significant of 2022—and it is hard to overstate how fraught with danger the process has been. Bolsonaro and his supporters were relentless in their assault on the right to vote, from voter suppression to outright violence.

Days before the elections, Roberto Jefferson, a former federal deputy and self-professed personal friend of Bolsonaro, threw grenades and open fired on police claiming that he would “not surrender” to the tyranny of Brazil’s Supreme Court. Congresswoman Carla Zambelli, also a Bolsonaro ally, pulled a gun in central São Paulo down the street from the Lula rally the day before polling day.

On election day, reports of federal highway police blocking roads and conducting unwarranted vehicle searches in Lula’s bases of support areas across Brazil were heard—yet the Chief Justice of Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court declined to take any substantive action.

It is no surprise then that some of Lula’s first words after the victory were, "We didn't just defeat a candidate and we defeated the machinery of the Brazilian state.”

That is why the Progressive International was in Brazil. For more than a year, the world has been wary of a coup in Brazil as Bolsonaro repeatedly indicated that he would not accept a loss. With Brazilian democracy itself on the line, Brazil’s largest trade union federation and PI member, the CUT, invited the PI to bring the eyes of the world to the election and help defend democracy.

This victory is historic. This election result is a demonstration of the determination of progressive forces in Brazil to reclaim their democracy against all odds. And forces of the right world over—corporations, big polluters, and the imperialist interests that helped unseat Lula during his last presidency—should be afraid.

In his speech as president-elect, Lula immediately championed urgent action against the climate emergency, indigenous justice, and internationalism. “Brazil and the planet need a living Amazon; a standing tree is worth more than tons of illegally extracted timber, a river of clean water is worth more than all the gold extracted at the cost of mercury that kills the fauna and puts human life at risk…When an Indigenous child dies because of the greed of predators, a part of humanity dies with it.”
Aline, Progressive International

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Vol 55, No. 20, Nov 13 - 19, 2022