India: now to keep election promises for the most marginalized

India’s recent elections saw the victory of Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While the elections have been widely covered by the international media, the impact of these elections on India’s indigenous communities—Adivasis—has received less attention. Indian law has not historically protected the Adivasis or their land — for decades, community members have been forced out of their lands to make way for development projects. During the campaign, Modi and the BJP pledged to develop a long-term strategy to empower these communities; however, given the BJP’s historical disregard for protection of the Adivasis, such promises will require follow through. In particular, within six months of its reassembly, the BJP-controlled parliament must pass a law that makes wrongful dispossession of Adivasi land a criminal offense.

June 24, 2014 | Namati