Landless farmers in Dhansa Village, Delhi, received land in a ceremony on Friday (14 August), as formal distribution began after a year of work by the city's local government.
Landless farmers in Dhansa Village, Delhi, received land in a ceremony on Friday (14 August), as formal distribution began after a year of work by the city's local government. Nearly one hundred families received an acre of land each in the ceremony as the plan, initiated by Delhi's right-wing Jana Sangh-led government, formally began.
Farmers gathered under a canopy in Dhansa Village for the ceremony, which started with a performance by a singer and other musicians.
The land was distributed by the Chief Executive Councillor, Mr Vijay Kumar Malhotra. Mr. Malhotra drew the names from a bucket; the names decided which people received the first available lands. The winning farmers were then given the deeds to their new properties.
Following the first distributions, Mr. Malhotra helped one farmer plow his new holding.
Nearly 150,000 people are to receive land under the Delhi Council's plan. The criterion for the selection of families to receive the land gifts is claimed to be solely their economic status. The land being distributed is government property which has so far been uncultivated.
In other parts of India, including Uttar Pradesh State, landless farmers have been participating in a "land grab" movement, The movement was launched by the Communist Party of Indian and the country's two socialist parties.
In her independence day speech on Saturday (15 August), Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi criticised the land grab movement and said the problems of landless peasants must be settled non-violently through implementation of land reforms. But she added that some people had too much land while others had none at all. This state of affairs could not, she said, be called justice.