Trade, Corporate Market and Indigenous People

The Copenhagen drama is over. Nothing came out of it. It was predicted the same by many expert and many intellectuals, activists, professional experts kept a distance from this proscenium. But what is that concerns the ordinary people of this nation?
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  POLICY PERSPECTIVE   Trade, Corporate Market and Indigenous People Goldy M. George, P! Resear" S"olar, S"ool o# So"ial S"ien"es, Tata Institute o# So"ial S"ien"es   Mu$%ai   &'(')*(( +(&(- M  The Copenhagen drama is over. Nothing came out of it. It was predicted the same by many expert and many intellectuals, activists, professional experts kept a distance from this proscenium. But what is that concerns the ordinary people of this nation !ow does market and market values related with people at large and particularly the "alits,  #divasis and the exploited sections of Indian society $hat is the correlation between trade, corporates, market and indigenous communities of this land who still have the noble %uality of surviving on a minimum basis  Co$petition o# /ne0uals In &arch '((), *uropean +arliament came up with a resolution on *-India ree Trade  #greement, where one of the ma/or concerns raised was the inability of India to contain with the problems of "alits and #divasis. The reason identified was the lack of administrative and political will of the government, which underlines the existence of an un/ust socio-political divide. #pparently this stratifies the inability of "alits and #divasis to coup up with the situation under free trade formula particularly in the context of un/ust caste system.In 0ctober '((1, the "irector 2eneral of $T0, +ascal 3amy said, 4#ll of the models suggest that the gains to developing countries will be larger the more they open their markets to trade.5 Citing specific cases, he said, 4since opening their economies, #sian giants like China and India have together lifted more than 66( million people out of poverty, an economic success.5 $hile trade has been an engine of aggregate economic growth, 3amy did not consider the unmitigated displacement of traditional sectors and the uneven development that has led to an alarming rise in income ine%uality both socially and geographically within each country.Industriali7ation has today proved to be the worst form of development with unchecked exploitation, particularly with $T0 taking the centre stage of all sorts of trade related agreements and transactions. Trade is no longer buying and selling of goods and services but it encompasses issues like Intellectual +roperty 8ights, exploitation of resources, maintenance of supremacy, mobili7ing capital, controlling share market etc. +rophets of free trade argue that it maximi7es economic output but what has been witnessed is a competition of une%uals 9 diametrically opposite to these claims.  Corporates Trading Indigenity The symbiotic relationship between the forest-based communities and the forest *co-system is an eternal truth. Their life cannot be segregated into watertight compartments such as social, economic, political, religious, cultural, administrative, intellectual, spiritual, etc. ndoubtedly #divasis, live in close relationship with the forest and have the greater dependency on it. There are many "alit artisan and craftsman communities like :urava in :erala, &ala communities in #ndhra +radesh, Basod in &adhya +radesh dependent on the forests. !owever their customary rights were either curtailed or ignored by every ruler 9 both Colonial and National.ndeniably the past policies led to unchecked forest destruction, affecting people;s lifestyle and stuck at the very survival. +eople;s control over Natural 8esources was further reduced with the direct intervention of $orld Bank in funding forest pro/ects. Biodiversity, bionetwork genealogy, natural knowledge, medicinal herbs etc. are treasure of wealth in forests. $ith land, forest and water in the open market, life and culture turns corporati7ed, slowly legitimi7ing an un%uestionable political and social control over people.<tate has turned out to be an implementation tool of the corporatehood. or instance private participation in mining sector is widely open in Chhattisgarh. The <tate;s &ineral +olicy has created conducive business environment to attract private investment with simplified procedures. The state is interested to provide resources and manpower such as tailor-made programs in geology, geophysics, geochemistry, mineral beneficiation, mining engineering, land procurement, financial support, recommend for mining operations in forests area, etc. or the people, their dependency on land and forest is not /ust as a productive asset but as a symbol of their self-determination, co-existence, community feeling and dignity.  !ispla"ed 1 !islo"ated &ining pro/ects, power plants, dams, defense pro/ects, wildlife management, botanical gardens, bio-experiments, eco-tourism, etc has displaced large population across the country. or example in Chhattisgarh alone almost => lakh acres demarcated for wildlife conservation consisting of '?( villages with an approximate population of ?(,((( had already been cleared off. Ten ma/or dams ac%uired ',?>,(@'.?1? acres of land affecting '@1 villages and their rehabilitation has not yet been done. Thirty medium pro/ects impacted ='@ villages with an ac%uisition of @',>6?.=@ acres. These statistics are of '(((, which has gone several multiple by now.<argu/a, 8aigarh and Bilaspur districts are the coal 7ones. It is estimated that more than >',((( acres was leased to <*C3 for coal mining, dislocating hundreds of villages. Nearly '(,((( acres have been occupied for mining steel in Bailadeela and "alli 8a/hara area of Bastar and "urg districts with some of the rare %uality of steel. In 8aipur, "urg and Bilaspur, there are =( big cement plants and its auxiliary units. !uge diamond deposits in "evbhog A8aipur and Bastar are also in the eyes of the &NCs. In all for cement industry ',))( acres, =6,?@( acres for rice mills, >,? acres for steel industry, for ferry alloys )6( acres and '1? acres for re-rolling mills were already ac%uired till =))1. #part from these =1,?'.@>> acres of land has been given for mining.$ithin the last two years, Chhattisgarh has signed = &os with Independent +ower +roducer AI++ to generate ?(,((( &$ of electricity with an investment of nearly 8s. ',?(,((( crores. National Thermal +ower Corporation signed an agreement last Duly to set up a 6,((( &$ plant needing @(,((( hectares. = power pro/ects are to be established in Dan/gir-Champa district alone with an approximate estimation of 1(,((( acres of land for unit establishment, ancillary divisions and blocks, overburden dumping, fly-ash, staff %uarter, road, and other infrastructure.Between '((? and '((> Dindal alone had applied for the prospecting licence A+3 and mining licence A&3 for ,==(.)? s% km and another =,??).=>' hectare A@,1?'. acres in "antewada, Bi/apur, Narayanpur, 8a/nandgoan, Bilaspur, Dan/gir-Champa, 8aigarh, Dashpur and <urgu/a districts. This gives a glimpse of displacement or possible dislocation. # survey by a "elhi based N20 revealed that over =.? Dharkhandi #divasi girlsEwomen are domestic workers in "elhi. 0ver half of them are found to be from displaced group. Non-recognition of land rights implies land alienation which further leads to depeasantisation. Seeking Market or lternati2es3  nder the impact of corporate market the lifestyle, culture and ethos of indigenous people change forcefully. 3and is turned into a commodity with concentration on corporate capital. +eople;s rights are systematically and strategically bypassed, excluded or isolated, while a new army of easily disposable domestic refugees emerge. The historic omission and betrayal continues multifold. It is a conflict between surplus and survival, subsistent economy and market economy, between community life and competition."evastating development based on industrialism and wasteful growth is the root cause of this. "eveloping countries must be allowed the policy flexibility and political space to create national development strategies to increase incomes and secure livelihoods. +olicies should create employment and raise productivity, especially in the agricultural and informal sector along with progressive taxation system, land reform and e%uitable access to education, health, credit and technology.!ence a reorienting of economies from production for export to production for the local market is re%uired. "e-emphasi7e growth and maximi7e e%uity in order to radically reduce environmental dise%uilibrium. 2lobal policymakers need to understand not only the economics of aggregate growth, but the socio-economic impact of globali7ed flows on the distribution of income aligning welfare of human beings. 0ne needs to come out of the socio-political inferiority and impotence, which prevents them from identifying the de-humani7ing situations, and restricts them to magical explanations and limits the activities to passive acceptance and resignation. A2oldy & 2eorge is an social activist for nearly =1 years and a key student of contemporary social and political affairs of indigenous and absrcinal communities. !e has authored six books and has been contributing to various newspapers, maga7ines and /ournals. Currently, he is also a +h." candidate with the Tata Institute of <ocial <ciences, &umbai.The views expressed in the article are personal and do not reflect the official policy or position of the organisation.httpFEEwww.theindiaeconomyreview.orgE#rticle.aspxaidG>(HmidG6 
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