Clashes At Fishermans Cove

The recent stand off between the government and activists of the Narmada Bachao Andolan is a classic example of the rights of traditional communities. These are communities who have been living in the area for generations, and have been living off the land. Typically these communities don’t have much financial assets and usually don’t possess titles for the land. Very often in the name of development, these communities are displaced, and are given inadequate financial compensation. Once displaced, since they cannot continue their traditional occupation, and aren’t educated, they end up in slums and shanty towns working as manual laborers.

Another example of this typical story is being played out in Chennai, where the battle is between the traditional fishing communities in Kovalam and Taj Group Of Hotels.

The Indian Express Reports:

Tension gripped the fisher hamlet of Kovalam in the last two days when their struggle over sharing the beach with Taj Fishermen’s Cove peaked and led to a clash between fishermen and police.

Further on Indian Express reports about how the land was acquired by Taj

The Fishermen’s Cove had acquired land near the Meenavar Natham some 27 years ago. “Then the fishermen were not well educated and did not demand anything when the resort slowly started using our area,” said Suresh, one of the fishermen in the area.

But 13 years ago, a few literate fishermen reached an agreement with the Fishermen’s Cove. “As per that, we allowed visitors of the hotel to use our beach and they paid half the fees for our children and gave water facilities,” said a fisherman.

This somehow has an uncanny resemblance to what happened to the Red Indians in USA, but at this point its too early to draw any conclusions.

1 Comment so far

  1. Jeevan (unregistered) on April 16th, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

    I dont know why our police are arresting the people in Night?

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