A Peasant History
Peasant life and struggle in novels and films – worldwide
Have a look!
Gaomi District, Shandong Province, China – 1970 (2)
First a goddess, now a demon
“Foot Bai, come out immediately,” Gugu (aunty) shouted into the megaphone. “Don't be so childish. It is only a minor surgery. Chairman Mao has ordered us to limit the number of new children."
Sign the petition to save the land of the peasants!
The Struggle of the Kudubis
October 2008 the world of the Kudubis from Padavu near Mangalore, Karnataka, collapsed. With the help of police and goons the government
dumped hundreds of truckloads mud on their fields.
The Kudubi Adivasis together with local activists and city people resisted fiercely. One of them was Malapa.
Read more and download the poster! map
Resistance Against Dams
Uttarakhand Center - Visit End 2011
Making the Forest Act Alive
'Whatever Small Voice We Have'
Dalit Activist in the Tauns Valley
The problems for farmers worldwide are becoming worse from year to year.
Especially the situation for peasants and landless farm labourers in the countries of the South are dramatic. Loss of land and commons, migration, poverty and hunger are growing. In many villages everywhere in the South peasants are struggling for their land, water, commons and culture. They claim more economic and cultural autonomy: Peasant Autonomy. This autonomy is necessary to overcome the daily humiliation, oppression, poverty and hunger.
THIS WEBSITE TELLS the stories of the village struggles in India. It also shows how the same
A well balanced combination of struggle and development of the rural economy and culture will be the most successful way to peasant autonomy.
Peasant Autonomy is not about opinions or ideology, theory or political vision. It is about the experiences of villages struggling for their autonomy, against displacement and for the prosperity of a rural economy and culture.
Peasant Autonomy is a tribute to all the peasants, women and men, who go on with their struggle year after year.
Read more in About us
'Don't Touch the Khaddi People'
What can you do against bribes government officials always force villagers to pay? In Khaddi, a village in the Himalayas they
found an answer. When officials didn't want to give the villagers the full payment for their work, women occupied the office, locked
up the officials and phoned up higher level officials and journalists.
It all started in 2009 when Phool Dass became village headman of Tipli, one of the four villages of the Khaddi municipality. Dass is a dalit, a member of the lowest cast ...
Read more about this struggle, or go to the overview of Uttarakhand South-West 2; articles, photo series map
a Global Peasant Movement
Via Campesina is a global peasants' movement fighting for food sovereignty. It published a lot of booklets about all political issues relating to peasants. For example: 'Stop Land Grabbing', 'Peasants Can Feed the World', 'No To Violence Against Women' and 'Small Scale Farmers Are Cooling Down the Earth'. Read more
This documentary gives a quick overview of the water problems in the Himalayas.
It also shows how villagers and their
local organizations struggle against hydro power projects and deforestation and for safe drinking water; to protect their life and
Read more; link to the documentary map
Assam, crossing ethnic lines
In Assam many different people live together. Till several years ago there was a lot of
violence between the different communities and their fighter groups. Now people struggle together
against evictions, crossing ethnic lines.
Read more about this struggle, or go to the overview of Assam; articles, photo series map
Reclaiming the Village Forest
"It will only cost you 100 till 200 Rupees (1, 50 till 3 euro) and two visits to the district office to get
back the lost parts of your village forest." Rakesh Bahuguna from the small development organisation Himcon in the
North-India state Uttarakhand is enthusiastic. "We got back 6 hectares from the Forest Department, and we claim another
7 hectare. On the first part the villagers already planted oak trees."
Read more + photos map
Stiff Resistance for Many Years
Villagers from Saraipalli stopped the pump house
of the Jindal iron factory. Ten years ago the company started to build a dam to make an artificial lake to collect water for their factory. By the
stiff resistance of the villagers the
plans were delayed for two years. Jindal promised the villagers one job at the factory for every family. But
they never kept their
Read more More photos map
The Power of
an Independent Organisation
Bon Bibi Legend and 'Ethnic Cleansing' of India's Forests
Indian writer Amitav Ghosh is very angry about the Indian forest policy: "Over many decades, there has been a kind of 'ethnic cleansing' of India's
forests: indigenous groups have been evicted or marginalised and hotel chains and urban tourists have moved in." With the help of the beautiful Bon
Bibi legend from the Bengal mangrove forests Ghosh describes the relationship between the villagers and their forests. He warns the political
disempowerment of the forest dwellers will not
continue forever. Read more map
Download full article from Amitav Ghosh: 'Wild Fictions', 7 pages in Word, 7 photos; 400 KB.
Arundhati Roy With the Guerillas
roaming around in the forest for several weeks
The famous Indian writer and journalist Arundhati Roy traveled around with the Maoists in the center Indian state Chhattisgarh for
several weeks. The guerillas are mostly young tribals (women and men) fighting against oppression and displacement for dams and mines and
for their autonomy as small farmers with their own local culture.
Roy: "The antagonists in the forest (of the government and companies) are disparate and unequal in almost every way. On one side is a massive paramilitary force armed with the money, the firepower, the media, and the hubris of an emerging Superpower. On the other, ordinary villagers armed with traditional weapons, backed by a superbly organised, hugely motivated Maoist guerrilla fighting force with an extraordinary and violent history of armed rebellion."
Go to the introduction article or download the whole article (in Word, 1.5 MB)
Village Life in Kimsar
Rajaji National Park,
The Powerful Combination
Building Up and Criticizing
at the Same Time
What is the best way to revitalise the rural areas? Is it by development projects like planting trees, building water harvesting structures or starting a small factory to process medical herbs? Or is it by campaigning against a corrupt Forest Department and government? Both constructive work and campaigning have to be done. At the same time. Constructive work without changing the system is useless, because the system will destroy the livelihood of the people faster than we can build up. But campaigning without constructive work can easily become sterile. Even when the slogans hit the nail on the head, people cannot eat slogans. But the combination of building up village economy with campaigns to protect the rights of the villagers is powerful. Read more map
Sitting on the Fence
Letter from a Middle Class Activist
It is a terrible idea that we, middle class activists, sit at the fence, when 'our people', the small farmers, are killed by the government. Killed by decades old exploitation, by displacement for mining and so many other projects and now killed as collateral damage for hunting the 'Maoists'. At the same time we are sitting on the fence, doing almost nothing. Traveling, having some discussions, writing an article, making a picture, compiling a website. Read more Print Nederlands Druk af
Village Women Stopped
The people of Pala village stopped the construction of a hydropower tunnel twice. The local women's group put Raksha Sutra (holy threads) on the trees the contractor wanted to cut for a road. Later on they chased the workers away when they started felling in the night. Read more map
‘We are Living Here for Generations’
Forest Dwellers in Sariska Tiger Reserve Will not Leave
In the north of the West Indian state Rajasthan we find the Kankwari fort. It is on the top of a hill. It looks like a fairytale castle with big towers and solid walls. At the foot of the hill flows a friendly small river to a small lake with date palm trees and a village. The cows and buffalos just came back from the forest and are milked now. Some goats are grazing next to the farms. Yes, it looks so idyllic. But at the same time a serious struggle is going on. Read more map
Pollution, displacement and resistance
The last twenty years hundreds of iron factories came up in the centre of India, in the states Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal. Life became a hell for the hundred thousands of villagers in their neigbourhoods, most tribal people. The air, the water, the land everything became horribly polluted. It brought many diseases. Big trucks killed a lot of people in traffic accidents. Thousands and thousands Adivasis had to leave for the factories, and for the coal and iron mines. They became displaced persons. Off course there is a lot of resistance. map
Artist Support Struggle
Mother Earth - a New Future for Small Farmers
Documentary about poor women farmers in the South of India who turned their back to modern agriculture in order to bring new life to their traditional ways of farming. With a lot of success! Read more; link to the documentary