While most countries across the world are moving away from coal to limit climate change, the Indian government and corporations continue to mine more coal. India is the world’s second largest coal producer after China. Coal fuels 60% of India’s electricity, the price of which is often the forest land on which millions of Indigenous people depend to earn their living. Most of India’s coal is under forested land. Hundreds of thousands of Indigenous people are protesting in India against coal mining and demand recognition of their forest land rights. But instead of granting them rights, the government is working with coal corporations to forcefully acquire Indigenous people's land, forge their consent, and stage fake public consultations. Those who create trouble, including the human rights defenders, are put in jails. In some violent face-offs, people get killed.
Eastern India's Hasdeo Arand is one of the largest contiguous tracks of forests. It also has a billion metric tons of coal underneath. A good part of this forest is being mined by billionaire Gautam Adani, who is known to be close to India’s prime minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Modi’s government has designed a new system that favors coal corporations like Adani and makes it easier for them to mine coal. The government is also trying to weaken the Recognition of Forest Rights Act, an Indian law which was passed to give forest dwellers more power to decide on all the matters related to their forests.