The real problem in Singur

Ratan Tata has threatened that he would rather pull out of the Nano project in Singur than risk the safety of his employees even if such a move resulted in huge losses (Rs. 1500 crores have already been spent on the project). One can appreciate Tata’s concerns, but the violence in Singur is of a political nature and at its root lies a problem that is not restricted to Singur or West Bengal – the politics of the great land grab.

The Indian central and state governments have never really bothered about property rights when it came to “national interest” or “public interest” or “development”. Rent control, urban land ceiling, zoning, acquisition of property for dams or to lay railway tracks or to build highways or other projects, or more recently – SEZs are all part of the same problem – the refusal to acknowledge the principle that the owner has the right to the disposal of his property in a manner of his choosing and for a compensation that he demands.

In Singur, the communist government grabbed land from farmers, paid them compensation (some farmers did not accept it), and then leased the land to the Tatas. It is but natural that those who do not want to give up their land will protest. Generally such protests stop getting media attention after a while or simply subside when the compensation amount is increased. In Singur, however, Mamata Banerjee saw that she could pin the communists down, and she went ahead and did it. Trinamul Congress spokesman Derek O’Brien argued today, and the argument has been made several times before, that out of the 1000 odd acres allotted for the project, 400 acres belong to farmers who do not want to give it up. They have been indulging in subsistence farming for a long time and even if the Tatas have promised blue collar jobs for family members, it is difficult to convince farmers to make the shift. What he is basically arguing is that the farmers prefer stagnating rather than change their attitudes. It is a bad idea, but the farmers are entitled to their opinion. After all, the land – whether it is able to feed them or not – belongs to them.

Ratan Tata can complain and even feel threatened, but he committed a major blunder in letting the communists deal with the farmers. In any land acquisition, a direct deal between the owner and the buyer is the best one and such a deal would have prevented Banerjee from resorting to her brand of politics. Now, the issue has become one of saving face. The Left cannot give in. Banerjee cannot give in. And the Tatas needs the 1000 acres without which the entire logistics of production will take a hit. If Singur doesn’t provide land, make no mistake, the Tatas will move. They don’t bluff.

A country that does not respect property rights does not respect any rights. And we can see this around us all day, every day.

update:
As Abhishek points out (see comment below), the Tatas could not have directly purchased land from the farmers because such an act is illegal in India. So the only blunder Ratan Tata committed was dealing with the soulless communists.

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Comments

  • Abhishek  On August 23, 2008 at 9:45 am

    “Ratan Tata can complain and even feel threatened, but he committed a major blunder in letting the communists deal with the farmers.”

    Unfortunately the laws in India make it illegal for the Tatas to deal directly with the villagers to buy cultivable land. This lies at the root at the absurd and sad situation we see in Singur today.

  • Sushant Sachdeva  On August 23, 2008 at 11:21 am

    You have hit the nail on the head as far as the problem is concerned but I don’t agree with the fact that every individual should have his choice as to whether to surrender his land. As long as fair compensation is provided (by fair, I would look at market rates plus compensation to move), I do not see why every person should have his choice as to whether to hand over his land or not.
    It may sound outrageous to you, but let me take an example that will show you what I mean. Consider the allocation of a new national wildlife reserve. The core area of a wildlife reserve is expected to have no human inhabitation. And with the core areas usually being at least hundreds of sq. kms, you cannot give every person to go by his whims or fancies. As you have noted, none of these projects would work out if personal choice ended up with the state having a huge land with holes in between belonging to people who don’t want to surrender.
    I will not deny that the current agitation is politically motivated, but nevertheless there are some collective objectives that cannot be achieved if everyone has his way.

  • aristotlethegeek  On August 23, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    @abhishek
    My mistake. I assumed that the Tatas could legally deal with the villagers, like Reliance is supposed to have done in case of their SEZs. But that is about SEZs, and the new SEZ policy allowed that.

    Only goes to show that the State should keep its hands to itself when it comes to private property.

    @sushant
    Sorry. If you cannot pay what the landowner demands, you cannot grab his land – “fair”, even if it means market rates, has no meaning unless the owner says it is fair. If the government or the developer cannot convince the people involved to part with their land in spite of offering a good compensation, its hard luck, but that is what property rights are all about.

    Individual rights are bigger than collective rights – in any sphere. No one has the moral right to demand that people sacrifice themselves and their properties so that others can benefit. “Collective objectives” is a form of moral cannibalism and nothing more. As I said, “a country that does not respect property rights does not respect any rights.” Think about it.

  • you12  On August 24, 2008 at 12:09 am

    This is atrocious. How can the government be allowed to have a law which establishes a clear monopoly and also interferes in private business affairs?

  • Skb  On August 24, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Tata could have purchased land directly.Its done all the time in Gujarat. here government makes sure that farmers are in position to “squeeze” the city-folks with deep pockets. They don’t meddle at all.

  • Sandip Ghose  On August 26, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Have no doubts, there is a lot of posturing by all the parties. But, can you really blame Mamata for what she’s doing ? Aren’t all political parties genetically coded to fish in troubled waters ? would the CPM have done anything different if they were in the opposition. I think the CPM is only reaping what they have sown over the last 30 years.Eitherways, whether they get to start their plant or not, the Tatas are in for a rough ride in West Bengal. Those who had advised RT that, he must be “mad” to go to WB were probably right. I am sorry, to say this as a Bong.But then I ‘defected’ long ago.

    http://www.ghoses.blogspot.com

  • Gora Lahiri  On August 26, 2008 at 11:06 am

    West Bengal Govt. acted like the goons like in the Bombay high streets who arrange land deals in favor of land sharks.

  • aristotlethegeek  On August 26, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    @sandip
    My head will explode if I start allocating blame to each political party or see them in the light of the “right to engage in rank opportunism”. The situation in Singur is plain unsalvageable. If I were to give a crazy example, its like telling someone he will have to give up one of his thumbs, and letting him decide which one he is prepared to lose – there are no good choices here.

    The communists have run the state into the ground over the last three decades, and “any” change in government would be welcome – even a loose cannon like Mamata. Political parties in other states at least follow the “honor among thieves” credo, but the communists cannot see beyond red, and hence have the biggest share in the present mess. Theoretically speaking, Mamata is simply standing up against land grab, and that is a good thing. But I do feel there are options available which she will refuse out of pure pigheadedness.

    I think its time for the Tatas to pack their bags, and run, if they value their sanity. Let the people of Bengal punish those responsible for the mess. But since we are a “democracy”, that is never going to happen.

    @gora
    Its not restricted to West Bengal, although the communists have taken it to the next level altogether – land owners have faced “forced” acquisitions in many Indian states when it came to the badly thought out SEZ policy. Innumerable protests and lathi charges later, a new policy had to be prepared.

  • Krishna  On August 30, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Hi

    The ruling CPI (M) in WB is a real fascist force. They call communists and do the job of a pimp for all capitalists like TATAs and Selim group. They use bullet against those who protest.
    Now people slowly get to know the real colour and started organising. This is a peoples problem. Not a political problem. Those who support it prevail. Others perish

    Krishna

  • boringpedant  On August 30, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    I should think that the Tatas cannot be absolved completely. In all fairness, shouldn’t they have ensured that all that land was made over to them, legally, before commencing ANY operations(including erection of the factory)?
    Also, it is funny how big business is showing its support for Tata. The method is the usual. Claim that the people objecting are standing in the way of national interest/international image.

    If the whole thing weren’t so sad, it’d be bloody hilarious.

  • aristotlethegeek  On August 31, 2008 at 1:55 am

    @boringpedant
    When the government says its going to acquire land for you – something that you are barred from doing under the law – do you have another alternative? The use of eminent domain powers in India is all too common.

    Its natural that big business will support the Tatas. And its also natural that they will argue on the lines of “national interest” and “international image”. When governments can grab land for “national interest” and impose a zillion kinds of taxes in “public interest”, and when people can demand everything from kerosene to reservations on the same lines, why should businesses go about with their hands tied behind their backs?

    If you want change, break the chain that binds special interests (government employees, trade unions, unscrupulous businessmen, crazy environmentalists, religious zealots etc) and government, and demand that government keep its hands to itself and scrap all anti-liberty laws. Otherwise, a million Singurs will happen.

    @krishna
    Communism is a dead ideology – everybody in the world, except Indian communists, knows that; and most communist countries have turned authoritarian – fascist. But why the complaint? If government can use laws to steal from the rich and middle class while people applaud it, why is it so painful when the same standard is applied to the poor? After all, its egalitarianism in its truest form. Well, enough of sarcasm. I have said what I had to say in the reply to boringpedant (above).

  • debjani  On August 31, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Who has actually paid the compensation money? Is it the Tatas or the WB Govt? Out of the 1500Crore investement, what is the cost towards land? Bcoz if the land is not coming to Tatas at market rate but at a subsidised rate, then it is being funded by Indian taxpaers

  • aristotlethegeek  On August 31, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    The compensation is paid by the government, and companies (including the Tatas) lease land from the government. If the Tatas are therefore being subsidized by the Indian taxpayer, the taxpayer should then think about voting out parliaments and governments that pass and implement laws that criminalize any attempt to strike a deal directly with the farmers.

    Talking of subsidies, the Indian taxpayer pays for everything – too many government employees, free electricity to farmers, cost overruns on grand infrastructure projects, salaries of teachers who don’t teach, fertilizer subsidies running in thousands of crores of rupees, the MSP guaranteed to every farmer – starting with sugar cane…….

    Every time the government cooks up some idiotic socialistic plan, the taxpayer pays.

  • Sujoy Gupta  On September 1, 2008 at 12:45 am

    The farmers were compensated 52% above the ‘market price’, whatever that was, and the land was leased to tata at a profit. So far the taxpayers were in the black, until the tata’s pull out, sue the government to recover the 1500 cr investment made so far and the compensation for their troubles. That’s when the taxpayer pays.

  • sree  On September 4, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    It is not that people want to stagnate when they dont want to sell their land. They are being wise as the land prices would shoot up several times and they would be left with small change. The land on which the industry comes up would give enormous gains to the company too. but what does the farmer get? Whatever price was given by govt or company. even if he got prevailing market rate, he is at a loss. For his land would continue to yield gold to the company while it yeilds himm just once. So stakes in the company or a land pool that can be sold later etc are some of the options anyone caring for the land seller would go for. But who cares?

  • aristotlethegeek  On September 4, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    The problem is that people care too much. That is why everybody from Mamata to the CPM have gotten involved in this blood fest.

    Now, its but natural that a new project in a particular area will result in the property prices shooting up. Ideally if Tatas had dealt with the farmers directly, the farmers could have come together and demanded better prices, or even inserted clauses in the agreement wherein part of the compensation would be linked to the market price of land say five years hence. But forced government acquisition doesn’t allow for that. Some wise people may fight because they know they are being swindled. But most people are loathe to give up their land because farming is the only profession they have ever known – even if it barely meets their needs. This is what I refer to as stagnation. Another thing; the Tatas are not gaining anything from the land – they are leasing it from the government, remember?

    Too many people involved in agriculture is the hallmark of a primitive society. And every new generation results in the reduction in the size of farm holdings. Unless holdings are consolidated and modern techniques of farming are used, things are not going to improve as far as agriculture goes.

    As for R&R, if not Singur, Suresh Prabhu’s idea can at least be tried in other parts of the country.

  • raj  On September 6, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Two years back, the CPI (M)-led government in West Bengal acquired 1,000 acres of extremely fertile multi-crop agricultural land by evicting the peasants at gunpoint rending thousands homeless and landless. This was to set up a highly sophisticated capital-intensive automobile industry by TATAs.

    Singur KrishiJami Raksha Committee (SKJRC) (Committee for ProtectingAgricultural land in Singur) was formed to fight this forced acquisition of land. Trinamool Congress (TMC) and SUCI (a communist party) are important constituents of SKJRC.

    The CPI (M) led government did not hesitate to let loose its armed police on the agitating peasants to orchestrate one of the most brutal lethal attacks on legitimate democratic movement of these peasants. Raj Kumar Bhul, a protesting youth was killed; peasants were dragged out of their houses to be mercilessly beaten and maimed, Tapasi Malik, a young adolescent activist was brutally raped and burnt alive plan fully by ruling party-backed criminals. Modesty of the women was outraged. Many have starved to death. The whole country burst into protest. Leading intellectuals and thinking personalities called this savagery unprecedented.

    Similar incident at Nandigram in West Bengal backfired on CPI(M).
    Nandigram peasants braving all odds courageously stood up and foiled the scheme of the government to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in keeping with the prescripts of capitalist globalization. Singur-Nandigram have become legends in the annuls of democratic mass movement providing spunk and determination to the fighting people in other parts of the country to rise in protest against such forcible land grab or any other injustice. The local elections after this saw CPI(M) wiped out in these areas.

    The Singur peasants are now voicing demand for return of 400 acres of land belonging to the unwilling owners who have refused to receive compensation cheque. It may be added that the Tatas themselves in a letter written to Mamata Banerjee, the TMC leader said that the proposed automobile plant would need only 600 acres of land. So there is every legitimacy in claiming back the said 400 odd acres of land.

  • papia mitra  On September 7, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    What will the farmer get from this deal even if they want to have better paying jobs?
    It is the highly educated people from cities who will get those coveted jobs.
    and of course there is no guarantee that tatas will not pack up after 3-4 years when Europe produces cheaper battery cars.

    • Dipp Mukherjee  On March 26, 2009 at 10:03 am

      I’m agreed with you in some extent.TATA has been ruling tata nagar for long yers,social & economical devolopment hapend only in tata nagar rest of jgarkhand is still antique.
      But still i believ that we should accept modanization and update every thing according to time.

  • aristotlethegeek  On September 7, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Jobs don’t grow on trees. So, if someone wants a “better paying job”, he should have the necessary qualifications. Yes, there is no guarantee that the Tatas won’t pack up and leave in 4 years time. But you don’t give them enough credit when you say that. If Europe can produce cheap battery cars, why can’t India?

    As I said, there are no good choices here. Ideally, there should be no “land grab”. If there is, the people who lose their land should get more than they give up. And I hope that happens in Singur. If not, the Tatas will leave, and the farmers can have their “land”.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On September 8, 2008 at 12:01 am

    west bengal and kerala are eye openers enough to not vote the communists. how can the ppl from these two states do that even after they understand the aftermath.

    kerala, after all is the prime exporter of unemployed men all across the nation and the world.

    if only raj thakrey type characters were in every state then finally we’d realize a balance or restriction on exodus on unemployed stock. bihar and UP would have no choice but to beg the industrialists with full support and kerala would think twice before organizing another strike. yes, carry your fu@king weights you assholes.

  • papia mitra  On September 8, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    The whole point to the agitating farmers is that they want their ‘land’ and I don’t know why you put it in quotation marks as if it is something undesirable and foolish.

    Land to them represents food security for generations to come. And it does to the same to us urbanites.

    One old farmer was interviewed and asked what he thought about tata threat of leaving. His response was telling: “Did we not get enough toe at before the tatas came? This land fed us”.

  • aristotlethegeek  On September 8, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    It should have been “their land”. The fact is the WB government has grabbed the land – it now belongs to the government – and the G says that the law does not allow it to return the same. But since laws can be (and are meant to be) circumvented all the time, the G will probably do some magic and give up some land (or allocate another stretch), according to whatever agreement it has reached with Mamata Banerjee.

    The farmers are entitled to decide on what they want to do with their land. But if the farmers of Singur are, so is every other farmer and property owner. In that case, the government should be stripped of all its eminent domain powers – no zoning rights, no right to determine who can build what and where, no ban on direct deals, and so on. Till that happens, all discussion on this issue would be only that. We will keep talking, and things will go on as they always do.

  • sona  On September 9, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Communism is not dead.China is not communists. So also the so called Indian communists. See what happened in Singur? CPI(M) is nothing more than a social democratic party, trying to appease big business.But this doesn’t mean communism is dead.

    In US the people turning to communism is on the increase. See the crisis gripping US. Govt nationalised 2 giant firms. What is happening to free market economy? People pay for the crisis ridden capitalism ?

    In south america a PINK revolution is gaining momemtum ? Why ?

    In Europe Left organisations are gaining strength day by day.

    In Russia people turn to communism in large numbers.

    1. Crisis ridden capitalism militarises the economy.
    2. Fascism is the last resort of capitalism.

    These are the distinguishing features of capitalism today. The danger is allout.Let us think with a free mind.Make conclusions based on facts.

  • aristotlethegeek  On September 9, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    If you think that the US is a “free market economy”, you are badly mistaken. It is a “mixed economy” which is a euphemism for socialism, and socialism is a diluted form of communism. The US has been a socialist country for more than 100 years now and the government regulates anything and everything – particularly the banking industry through the Fed. Paulson would not have had to nationalize Mae and Mac if they had not existed in the first place. It was the socialist idea of “providing everybody with an affordable home” that led to the creation of such crooked institutions. Fascism, on the other hand, is a collectivist, nationalistic, and militaristic ideology that demands that individuals sacrifice themselves to the State and remain subservient to it. Currently the US is struggling between communism and fascism.

    The Chinese and the Russians saw that communism means that they have to kill millions of their own citizens. And still the system did not work. So they decided to drop the pretense and come down to naked fascism. South America – particularly Venezuela – is able to turn socialist because of the oil money that flows from America and Europe. Once that tap turns off (wait for a massive global recession), Chavez will have to run for his life because he cannot maintain huge subsidies that he is currently funding because of oil revenues. The same will happen to Putin-ist Russia.

    A capitalist system has never existed anywhere in the world because the world is full of thieves, and thieves don’t adopt capitalism – they adopt socialism. Capitalism – laissez faire capitalism – demands that governments keep their dirty hands to themselves. When that happen, we will see real capitalism in action. Till then we will have to suffer at the hands of various bastardized forms of socialism and despotism.

    These are the “facts”.

  • sona  On September 13, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Lesson learnt

    1. US is a socialist state.
    2. US is between communism and Fascism.
    3. Venezuelan Chavez exists because of Capitalism.
    4. World is full of thieves.
    5. Govt stop working. Let corporations rule. This brings prosperity.

  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On September 13, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    it’s the end of history
    it’s caged and frozen still
    there is no other pill to take
    so swallow the one that made you ill (capitalism!!!)

  • Manish  On October 3, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Aristotlethegeek
    Nice blog and a healthy discussion!

    However I want to give another perspective to your comment below:
    “Individual rights are bigger than collective rights – in any sphere. No one has the moral right to demand that people sacrifice themselves and their properties so that others can benefit. “Collective objectives” is a form of moral cannibalism and nothing more”

    If above were true(indiv rights>collective rights), no organized civil society can exist. Then everyone will do their ‘manmani’ with no consideration of collective good of society or nation. When you live in a society, you respect its laws and rules, and if you are intelligent, will support measures that lead to greater good for all that eventually will be good for you.

    I am in Indian who lives in US and even in this country which is a ferocious guardian of individual liberty and rights, a concept of ’eminent domain’ exists.
    See below link
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_domain

    “The court opinion stated that a public use does not have to mean public occupation of the land; it can mean a public benefit”

  • Aristotle The Geek  On October 4, 2008 at 3:12 am

    What is society? It is a group of individuals who have come together so that they can benefit from each others’ abilities through a voluntary process of trading.

    What is the “collective good” or “public good”? “The society” and “the public” are pure ideas, not concretes. Without individuals, there is no society, no public. I can talk about “my good” and “your good” because these terms can be specifically defined. “Public good” or “common good” however, cannot be. If I am part of the public, and the government decides that my land should be acquired so that a garbage dump can be built there, it is definitely not in my interest nor in the interest of my immediate neighbors. But people who stay ten miles away will surely benefit. So, the “public good” theory will always result in some one’s “bad”.

    If some one does want to do business with me, he should be willing to pay whatever I ask. Or he can find someone else to deal with. I will give you an example. Will the Indian government agree to demolish the Rashtrapati Bhavan and give that land to the Tatas for their factory? After all, what purpose does that building serve – presidents can surely be accommodated in some flat or penthouse in Delhi? The answer is no. Why? Because the government says so – purely arbitrary.

    The “manmani” you refer to is people doing whatever they want to do “with their property”. And they have the absolute right to do it. People only need to follow laws that are “just”. Unjust laws deserve contempt and nothing else. As I said, there is no such thing as the “greater good”. If you cannot respect my rights and instead pass laws that enable you to steal my house and land for the “greater good”, how is it good for me?

    The US was a free country once. Now its a socialist country. Its freer than most countries, but it is definitely not “a ferocious guardian of individual liberty and rights.” And its eminent domain laws are proof of that. If you still have any doubts, watch CNN or CNBC. Better still read the New York Times; the US Government has decided to enter the real estate business on a gargantuan scale.

    Civilized countries respect people’s absolute right to their lives and properties. Countries that pretend to be civilized, and thump their chest by showing their democratic credentials which hide the fact that they are effectively indulging in majoritarianism, will deal with such rights in an arbitrary manner. India is a pretender. So is the US.

  • you12  On October 4, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Great analysis in the last post. Although I have only one question. How will you be able to provide equality in terms of opportunity and income in a LF capitalism.

    And Does Lf Capitalism mean things like Universal health care,unemployment insurance can’t exist?

  • you12  On October 4, 2008 at 9:01 am

    And who will keep a check on the powers of the corporations?

  • Aristotle The Geek  On October 4, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    This is what Aristotle said about democracy and equality – “Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects; because men are equally free, they claim to be absolutely equal.”

    People are not born “equal” when it comes to their intellectual capabilities or survival skills. They are free, yes. But they are not “equal” in the manner that egalitarianism wants them to be. Laissez-faire capitalism eliminates the use of force (mandatory reservations in educational institutions is force; government enforced smoking bans is force) from all human relationships. People who work, get rewarded based on their contributions; people who don’t, get nothing. Equality won’t be “forced” upon people. And yes, universal health care, unemployment insurance (the dole) won’t exist in LFC. But charities can take over the job of helping those in need. If the government stops stealing 40-60% of my income by imposing 10 different kinds of taxes, I might even start donating to some deserving causes.

    “And who will keep a check on the powers of the corporations?”
    The government. But consider this. Do you have more to fear from the Tatas or Ambanis or Microsoft or XYZ Inc. or from the laws that governments enforce after being lobbied by special interests? In an LFC system, the role of government will be so tightly defined that every action of its would be deeply scrutinized. Citizens will be free to do everything that is not expressly disallowed. Governments on the other hand will only be allowed to do those things that a constitution expressly permits it to. It would be a constitutional republic – the rule of law, not the rule of men.

  • Asit Guin  On April 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    History of Bengal after independence is divided into two periods; period of famine (1947 – 1977) and the period of delayed success (1977 – till date). There was famine in 1959, 1966, and 1974. Famines were mainly due to non-cultivation of land under jotedar ownership. Agriculture is not much profitable for them. After 1977, due to land reform, food production is up and famine problem is solved. There was one potential famine in 1978 (due to big flood), but panchayat and co-ordination committee avoided a famine like situation. So the new period of delayed success started. Haldia is delayed by 12 yrs, Bakreswar by 8 yrs. Singur will also come one day after some delay like Haldia. DELAYED SUCCESS IS BETTER THAN FAMINE.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On April 24, 2011 at 1:24 am

      I don’t see this issue as one of demand and supply of food etc, but as one of property rights. So-called success is meaningless if one doesn’t have the right to dispose of one’s property in the manner of one’s choosing.

  • asit guin  On October 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    What happened to tapasi malik case? Regarding Tapasi Malik case, we have reason to doubt that what really happened and whether lies are practiced or not? Her parent’s role is suspected. They are hiding some facts. CBI once released sketches of the four prime accused in the case related to Tapasi Malik in Singur. Releasing the sketches, CBI Superintendent of Police A K Sahai had said, “The sketches have been drawn on the basis of the interrogation of people and they will be distributed all over the country.” Though the CBI declined to disclose details about the accused, it announced a cash reward of Rs one lakh for anybody who could provide information about them. Where these sketches had gone? Tapasi’s father and brother might have had something to do with her murder. Tapasi’s unnatural death was cloudy and complicated. The CBI has become suspicious of the statements made by Tapasi’s father Monoranjan and brother Surajit. They did not own any plot of land at all. Nor they did till any land anywhere. Monoranjan was a member of the rural poor of the Singur village of Bajeymelia who eked out a living through selling fishes from a pavement stall and he had indeed lined up before the block level offices of the state government requesting for a job. But, Monoranjan and Tapasi were dubbed by commercial media as leading activists of the save agricultural land committee. Both Tapasi’s father and brother have something to hide with her murder.

  • asit guin  On November 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Let us collect the data regarding number of farmers in Bengal and area of cultivable land available. Per capita land for the farmers is clear proof that Bengal can no longer support this many farmers by this much land. So, half of the farmers have to change profession and one percent of the farming land has to sacrifice for industries. Left front’s action in detail may need revision, but their overall policy is mathematically correct. There was no farmer suicide in Bengal in last 34 years. Who will explain it? The 34 years is the story of Bengal success in agriculture. When govt initiated the process of industrialization based on agri-success, enemies of Bengal spoiled it.

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