Rajagopal P. V.

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Rajagopal P. V.
Rajagopal in Delhi Oct 2007.jpg
Rajagopal P. V., October 2007
Born Rajagopal P. V.
1948
Thillenkery, Kerala, India
Residence Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India
Occupation Activist, president of Ekta Parishad

Rajagopal P. V., a Gandhian activist, is former Vice Chairman of the Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi,[1] and the president and founding member of Ekta Parishad,[2]

Rajagopal was born in 1948, the fourth of five children, in Thillenkery, a village in Kerala, south India. His full name is Rajagopal Puthan Veetil, but he now chooses to use only his first name in public in order to avoid any caste-related stereotyping that might be associated with his full name. Rajagopal's father was an activist fighting for India's independence and therefore was frequently separated from his family. Rajagopal attended the grade school at Seva Mandir, being taught in Malayalam language. The school followed Gandhi's philosophical principles with regard to life and work in a community. He later studied classical Indian dance and music, prior to completing his education at Sevagram, Gandhi's Ashram in Maharashtra, with a degree in agricultural engineering. This is also where Rajagopal learned to speak English.

In the early 1970s, he worked in the violence-ridden area of Chambal in Madhya Pradesh to help rehabilitate dacoits.[3]

Since 1993, Rajagopal is married to Jill Carr-Harris, a Canadian national, who is also an activist in social change.

Janadesh 2007[edit]

After consolidating a membership of 200,000 people (the majority are women) across six states, Rajagopal began using the Gandhian technique of foot-march or padayatra to galvanize greater support among the poor. With a track record of ten state level foot-marches, he led a national march to Delhi in October 2007. In the march, Janadesh 2007 25,000 people marched 340 kilometers from Gwalior to Delhi and compelled the Government to take action in land reforms and forest rights.

Jan Satyagraha 2012[edit]

Though the Land Reform Commission has issued its report, the government has not yet accepted it.

Land reform through nonviolent action[edit]

In the context of the continuing growth of Naxalism in Central rural India, Rajagopal's organization of Ekta Parishad with its mobilization of tribal peoples, women and youth as well as its advocacy of Land Reform, is one of the most successful nonviolent alternatives.

New land reforms, 2014 and conflicts[edit]

Modi government has proposed two major changes in the land acquisition act:-

1.It seeks to dilute provisions such as the mandatory consent of 70 percent of those affected in case of public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

2.It removes the provision of mandatory requirement for a time-bound Social Impact Assessment for land acquisitions.

Rajagopal accuses Modi as pro-corporate and claims that it will further aggravate the difference between the rich and poor in the country.[4]

Documentation[edit]

Several films have been made of Rajagopal's work and the effort to establish international solidarity of the poor around land reform issues:

Awards[edit]

In 2014, he received the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration, an award granted annually by the Indian National Congress party. [5][6][7]


Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gandhi Peace Foundation". Gandhi Peace Foundation. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  2. ^ Bablu, J. S. (2007-11-20). "Waging a battle for the landless". The Hindu. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  3. ^ Subramaniam Vincent (December 2001). "Interview". India Together. Civil Society Information Exchange Pvt. Ltd. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  4. ^ "Land Acquisition Act: Activists say Modi govt's proposals are pro-corporate". Firstpost. Retrieved 2016-09-18. 
  5. ^ Vinod Kumar (2015-10-15). ""Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration" to Shri. Rajagopal P.V. "Founder of Ekta Parishad"". Ektaparishad.com. Retrieved 2016-09-18. 
  6. ^ "Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for p v rajagopal പി.വി. രാജഗോപാലിന് ഇന്ദിരാഗാന്ധി ദേശീയോദ്ഗ്രഥന പുരസ്‌കാരം". Mathrubhumi.com. Retrieved 2016-09-18. 
  7. ^ "padayathra gandhi,p.v rajagopal പദയാത്രാഗാന്ധി". Mathrubhumi.com. Retrieved 2016-09-18.