Our economists are stating that India is vibrant and it’s going to be one of the super powers by 2025, I am confused… what kind of super power it’s going to be, is it in software, defense power, Industrial development or agriculture? Being an agriculture enthusiast, my hopes and horizons are diminishing due to violent economic reforms. While the governments are grabbing all the farm lands in the name of Economic reforms, how can we expect the India as super power in agriculture? When all the farm lands are diverting to non agriculture usages like Industrial corridors, Special economic zones, It industries, Airports, Power plants and sea ports, how can we ensure the India’s food security?
Now the rural India turned violent during the protests over the forcible acquisition of farm lands i.e. in Noida & Agra in Utter Pradesh, Ambala in Haryana, Mansa in Punjab, Singur in West Bengal , Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Mangalore & Sullia in Karnataka, and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh. Thousands of acres of land being forcibly transferred to industries in the name of development by devastating the fertile lands and the government is promising that it will provide the employment to the displaced farmers as resettlement. I have a big question that what kind of employment positions will be given to the farmers in SEZs, Industries and power plants? Most of our Indian farmers are qualified with mediocre education and they are not technocrats, so…. imagine that these refugee farmers should work as porters, gardeners, scavengers or peons. Nevertheless, why should farmers dispense their hard earned or ancestral profitable fertile lands and why should they work for some others in their own lands?
The governments are saying that massive industrialization will improve the quality of life, I strongly agree with the same, provided that shouldn’t be harmful to other occupations. But this is a forced migration from agriculture, farmers are already self sufficient, they are creating rural employment, feeding the country and they are contributing to GDP. Why should leave their lands and change the profession... I don’t know what kind of economics these are? There are some critics in compensations of resettlements which are not transparent not reasonable to the farmers and the policy makers are favoring to the Industrialists for their personal gains by allotting the thousands of acres of farm lands. Some state governments are forcible acquiring the lands by lesser rates and reselling the same lands to Industrialists for better price. Sometimes these lands are sold and resold for higher prices changing hands to real-estate companies. It seems to be that the Governments are operating like REAL ESTATE COMPANIES and the Chief Ministers are functioning as a PROPERTY DEALERS for Industrialist by SELLING the RURAL INDIA.
Before independence most of lands were acquired by few land lords (Zamindars), after that the Government initiated land reforms and lands were distributed among landless farmers. Now the history is repeating and the lands are going to few industrialists in the name of vicious economic development. Now the farmers are very vigilant, they don’t want to loose their fertile lands and don’t want to become beggars by filthy economic policies and politicians. They are strongly protesting against forcible acquisitions and the audacious governments are using police force to restrain them which eventually turned to violence and the farm fields are becoming battle fields in all over the places in India i.e. Noida or singur or Srikakulam.
As Indian population grows, crop production need to be increased to feed them, the World Bank estimates that 1 hectare of land will need to feed 5 people in 2025 and ironically the Indian farm land has reduced by 0.43 percent to 182.39 million hectares in last five years. Indian agriculture also provides opportunities for growth, jobs and significant contribution to GDP. I strongly support the industrial development which leads to progress but protecting agriculture is important too. Governments should restrict the usage of farm land for Industrial purpose and if necessary, the land owners must be allowed as partners in the upcoming projects by allotting share or some stable income. However, we need mutually beneficial economic policies which can ensure the agriculture and industrial growth then only the agriculture and Industrialization can flourish evenly.