Friday, March 26, 2010

Ultra Modern Zamindars

We fought more than 200 years with British for freedom of our land. Indo-Pakistani war and Indo china war were happened for Jammu Kashmir land dispute and Himalayan land dispute. So many agitations in India for separate land i.e. Telangana, Vidarbha, Mithilanchal, Saurashtra, Harit Pradesh, and Bundelkhand. Funny thing is… SATYAM (No related to land except software), such a big tech company collapsed due to greedy investments on land through MAYTAS and others. Matter of fact everybody loves land…. land is life, basis of all wealth and a factor of production. Now everybody’s passion is land because…the land appreciation value is very high comparatively with other savings like gold, fixed deposits, bonds, shares and securities. The land value is cherished more than 5 times in past ten years.

Before independence most of land was acquired by few land lords (Zamindars). Since independence, there has been voluntary and government initiated land reforms for distribution of land among the landless farmers. Jawaharlal Nehru initiated ceiling on lands to abolish landlord system. Land to tiller is the slogan of peasant’s movement in 1970s became very intense. Now the history repeating… present economic reforms are creating Ultra Modern Zamindars in the form of Industrialists. The land ceiling systems is applicable to agriculture lands only not for industrial lands, those limitations are advantages to the industrialist to acquire the land as much as they want. The governments are allotting thousands of hectares of land to big industrialists in the name of SEZ, IT industries, Airports, Seaports and other Projects. Reliance, Tata and Adani Group have got 4,830 hectare land from Gujarat state. GMR group (Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao) got 5500 acres of land for free to construct the Shamshabad Airport, but the Government share is very nominal. The Government of Andhra Pradesh allotted the land to Vanpic (Vaderevu – Nizampatnam Port& Industrial Corridor- Nimmagadda Prasad) around 10,000 acres. I can mention so many like 1300 acres to Jindal group (Savitri Jindal) near Visakhapatnam, 1000 acres to Vedanta Resources (Anil Agarwal) in Orissa and Tata and Essar 6500 acres of land in Chattisgarh. I have a right to believe that Chief Ministers are functioning as Property dealers

In fact farmers need the land, because that is their livelihood, they care for the land. The recent economic reforms are intend to forcible acquisition of agriculture land in thousands of acres that belonged to small farmers in the name of industries, mining, dams and others projects. The economic liberalization programs are completely neglected the land distribution among the landless farmers. Indian farmers are very small and peasants who are holding an average farm land of lessthan 1 hectare (2.5 acres) and some of them do farming by taking lands on rent basis (Tenant farmers). Present economic reforms are promoting the privatization of natural resources, it cause to moving the farmers out of agriculture and some times may be lead to insurgency (Maoists in Chattisgarh, west Bengal, Orissa, and Jharkhand). We need mutually beneficial reforms which can restore the pride of agriculture and ensure the industrial growth. We must protect our 600 million farmers to make sure our food security and food self sufficiency which is our country’s priority