The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) has urged the authorities to reject the Kasturirangan report on Western Ghats as it is “anti-farmer and anti-people” and implement the Gadgil committee report, which is “more farmer-friendly” after discussing it with stakeholders, including farmers.
District president of the science movement P.K. Balakrishnan and district secretary T.P. Damodaran, in a release issued here, said the Gadgil committee report was more comprehensive, with a combination of measures to protect the ecosystem as well as the farmers in the area. The government should however come forward to allay the apprehensions about the report in the minds of the farmers and other people,” they said.
The KSSP office-bearers criticised the Union government’s move to implement the Kasturirangan report in an “undemocratic and unilateral fashion.” They cautioned the State government about “vested interests which are out to destroy public property on the pretext of protesting against the report.”
Meanwhile, Porattam, a radical Left forum, too has come out in defence of the Gadgil report.
In a statement on Wednesday, M.N. Ravunni, its chairman, said the report was being opposed by both the ruling and the Opposition parties since they wanted the exploitation of nature to go on uninterrupted. Those staging agitations against Gadgil report were using farmers as a front to promote their anti-people and anti-nature activities, he said.
He wondered why these groups which were instigating protests by farmers had not raised their voice when nearly 4,000 farmers committed suicide out of poverty. The ganging up of political parties and priests on the issue was reminiscent of the ‘liberation struggle’ that was staged to topple the first Communist government in the State, Mr. Ravunni said, adding that “the greatest irony is that the Left is part of the alliance.”
Defending Gadgil report as “a scientific and democratic document,” Mr. Ravunni said its recommendations were being misrepresented by political parties since “these were incompatible with vested interests represented by these groups.” The clergy had instigated its followers to launch agitations against Gadgil report “misrepresenting facts” and the Union government diluted its recommendations by appointing the Kasturirangan committee, he alleged. The detractors had turned against Kasturirangan’s report also, the Porattam leader said, adding that both political fronts were “enjoying the spectacle of demonstrators they had let loose into streets getting beaten up.”