ILC Asia proud to bestow PV. Rajgopal with the Asia Lifetime Recognition
PV. Rajagopal is acknowledged as eligible to receive the Asia Lifetime Recognition for his commitment and consistency in promoting non-violence movement on land rights in India and around the globe.
PV Rajagopal, born on 6th June 1948, at Thillenkery, Cannanore district of Kerala State, India. He is from a Gandhian family. After study in south India, he came to the northern part of India in 1969 during Mahatma Gandhi’s birth commemoration. Rajaji began his works in rural development and nonviolence issue during his first 6 years working with the dacoits (outlaws) in Chambal region of India. In 1972 – 1974, more than 500 outlaws gave up arms and moved into settled life and much of this was the result of hard work of many people, including Rajaji. From here, he spent the next fifteen years in different part of India, building the capacity of rural youth through training programs and other initiatives. In 1993 he became the Secretary of Gandhi Peace Foundation, and subsequently he was elected as the Vice-Chair. In the mid-1990s, Rajaji focused more into mass movement. In 1999-2006 he began to carry out long-marches across the country through different states.
In 2007 he carried out the largest non-violent march which was known as the Janadesh 2007. He led 25,000 on a one-month march from Gwalior to Delhi covering a distance of 350 kilometers. In 2012 Rajagopal led a march of 100,000 people to the capital of the nation to demand peoples control over land and livelihood resources, and the movement signed a ten point agreement with the Govt. of India. In 2014, Rajagopal continued his struggling by led a long march called “Freedom March” for landless farmers and adivasis demanding land reforms within this year. The final march to Delhi was cut off after then Rural Development minister Jairam Ramesh signed an agreement with Ekta Parishad promising to address their key demand of ‘land for the landless and shelter to the homeless’.
In October 2018, Rajagopal P V decided to another mass movement, called “Janandolan” (people’s action) with about 20,000 people from all over India walking from Palwal to Delhi in order to support their demand to the central Govt, to introduce and to execute National Homestead Land Rights Act, National Land Reforms Policy, Women Farmer Entitlement Act, Land Tribunals and Fast Track Courts for resolving lad disputes/cases, set up and operationalise National Land Reforms Council & National Task Force on Land Reforms and set up new ’execution and monitoring’ structures on Panchayat (extension in the Scheduled Area) Act-1996 and Forest Rights Act-2006.
The Janandolan plan includes organizing a ‘People’s Parliament’ in Palwal, 80-km in east of Delhi) on October 2 to flag off the march to Delhi, Janandolan support action in Delhi is started from October 3, arrival at Delhi on October 5 to begin decisive action, organizing parallel actions in 200+ districts across India and staying indefinitely in Delhi until the Govt resolve the key demands.
By acknowledging these struggles, ILC Asia proud to bestow the Lifetime Achievement Recognition to appreciate and to respect the struggle have been carried out throughout his life.
*Story by ILC Asia, enriched by Ekta Parishad