Justice K Ramaswamy and Samata judgement

Justice K Ramaswamy, former Supreme Court Judge who passed away on March 6, was popularly known for one of his landmark Judgements known as Samata Judgement that upheld the rights of tribals on their lands in tribal areas. The State government, in a befitting manner, conducted his funeral with all respects to the departed soul.

Samata was a non-governmental organisation that worked for the rights of the tribal people as it found them being alienated from their lands and exploited by non-tribal people and the state, in contravention of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution and various Central and State government laws. After a prolonged struggle, it approached courts. The case it filed in the then Andhra Pradesh High Court in 1993 against the then State government was dismissed. Then, Samata filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court. After a four-year legal battle, it won.

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We break indigenous societies and yet are scared of ‘them’

The Hans India | Oct 31, 2020

We (you, I and them) are all tribals by origin. Over the years, we have lied to ourselves and conveniently believed that we are not tribals and that we were never tribals. A lie repeated constantly becomes the truth.

In the last seven decades and more, after many ‘convenient’ map makings, we have been trying our best to destroy tribals and their lives. Still, they hold the keys to our rental economy, specifically for Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and the North East. The platitudes related to a trillion-dollar economy are majorly based on the mines and minerals in custody of our indigenous peoples. The tribals, whom we left behind and set out in pursuit of creature comforts, remain the guardians of flora and fauna, below which lie the sparkle of billions of dollars.

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