An Open letter to Hindalco CompanyPublished by MAC on 2005-05-09
An Open letter to Hindalco Company
We, the concerned citizens from Mumbai, support the people of Kashipur, Orissa who are fighting to save the land they lived in and sustained them since generations, from mining companies including yours. Today, they are pushed to a stage that they have no other option than to struggle to protect their land, culture and their very livelihood. The serious violation of their rights demands that this struggle is not to be confined in the interiors of Kashipur but their plight has to be highlighted. We stand for true development, which values human life and environment. We further believe that the fight in Kashipur redefines the economic priorities and development perspectives of our country.
We are concerned about the gross violation of adivasi rights including their Constitutional right to decide on the developmental projects on their land. We oppose the attempts by the state, in collaboration with the company, to forcefully occupy their lands in the name of 'development'. It's a matter of shame that the so-called development and years of democracy and independence could not even bring a school to the area till now. The attempts to bring in developmental activities, in violation of their right to life, are just eyewash in the name of corporate responsibility. The large-scale mining of Bauxite in the region is destroying the ecological balance of the area. Unjust exploitation of water resources is resulting in drying up of water sources and the processing of bauxite is polluting the land, besides driving over 70,000 tribals destitute.
What the people are fighting for is to save the natural resources like forest, land and water from unsustainable exploitation and destruction of their livelihoods and communities. This is opposed to the 'rape and run' attitude of corporates and profit makers. They are fighting for their right to decide upon their future and the right kind of development they require.
The attempts by the state and companies to reign in terror and coerce people into submission are re-enactment of the imperial policies and autocratic state. The people in Kashipur have the solidarity of all those across the country, who fight for justice and peace.
We urge you to enter into a dialogue with the people and their organisation that are fighting in the area. We further request the state government to immediately withdraw the police force from the area. All the police officials who were responsible for the firing in 2000 should be brought to book.
If your involvement in Kashipur cannot be in the absence of large-scale human rights violation and environmental damages, the least you can do is to withdraw from the mining and let the people live with dignity.
Hope sense will prevail before forests come to war.
Hum Kashipur Sangharsh ke sath hai.