The RSS is in support of the proposed amendment to the Tenancy Acts in Jharkhand. The issue is at the centre of not only a political tussle but has also seen protest from a large number of tribal bodies, who allege that tribal would be dispossessed of their own land if the amendments were allowed. One person has also been killed in police firing in Khunti on October 22, when they were coming to attend a rally in Ranchi to protest the proposed amendments.
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Replying to a query on the issue here on Thursday in a press conference, RSS’ Jharkhand Prant Sah-karywah (joint secretary), Rakesh Lal said, “Through media, we have got the information that the government wants to make certain changes that would make it easy for the tribals to make better use of their land, besides allowing government to have land for beneficial public purposes. These are old laws and they are being amended only for a limited purpose. It does not tinker with the basic spirit of these laws.”
Adding that these issues were within the purview of the government and the RSS had nothing to do with it officially, Lal recalled the story of a rickshaw-puller he met in Ranchi. “When I asked him about his source of livelihood, he said he had only rickshaw to ply, while his wife works in houses. He told me that he had big chunk of land in his village, but could not put it to any beneficial use because of these Tenancy laws,” he said.
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The proposed amendments to the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Paragana Tenancy Act have got the opposition galvanised against the state government, accusing it of having tinkered with the inherent spirit of the law. On October 22, nearly 40 tribal organisations held ‘akrosh rally’ with politicians from Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) also participating in it, against the proposed changes.
Lal further added that the membership of RSS had increased from 29,400-odd last year to around 34,500 in the last one year. “We intend to open at least 200 more shakhas in the state over the next year,” he said. Currently, RSS shakhas are functional at around 450 places in the state, he added.