On 12 May 2015, the Lok Sabha referred the controversial land acquisition bill to a Joint Committee of Parliament, amidst mounting resistance from the Opposition and some of its allies. A thirty-member joint committee of the Parliament, which will comprise twenty members of Parliament from the Lok Sabha and ten from the Rajya Sabha, will submit a report of its findings on the first day of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament. The bill, which seeks to make the process of acquiring land for industry and infrastructure easier, has been critcised for diluting the need for consent from those whose land would be acquired. While the Bhartiya Janata Party has been refuting all claims that the bill is “anti-farmer”, the unrest caused by the bill has only been increasing.
Through this photo essay, Aruna Chandrasekhar of Amnesty International shares glimpses of land acquisition and social conflict from across a diverse series of projects, geographies and communities that could potentially be at risk from a bill, that many believe threatens to diminish their rights.
Aruna Chandrasekhar is a photojournalist and researcher, working on issues of development, land alienation, indigenous rights and corporate accountability in India for the last six years. Follow her at @aruna_sekhar.