I read with great alarm the article in the July 15-31, 2014 of MEL entitled `Land Acquisition Law 2013 to be amended: Halt the capitalist offensive to forcibly acquire lands of peasants and tribal people’.
It is of significance that the same individual, who is also a long time friend of the big bourgeoisie, having served as the President of the BJP, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, should hold the portfolios of Road Transport as well as that of Rural Development. In the chaos that is prevailing in the countryside, with the destruction of agriculture during the period of privatization and liberalization and reorientation of the Indian economy since the end of cold war, one of the key arenas for the bourgeois offensive has been that of land acquisition. Based on colonial era laws, the bourgeoisie has tried to mount its offensive, but has met roadblocks from the concerted and united resistance of the peoples, peasants as well as tribal peoples of India. With the innate tendency of capitalism to expand into regions where it has not made headway in the past, the system now tries to force itself into sectors of the economy that have been relatively untouched.
In order to rise as a big power, there has to been maximum exploitation and plunder of the peoples of India itself, and this can only be facilitated by increasing domination over all resources including physical resources. This requires increase in energy production through hydel projects, irrespective of environmental of human costs, massive mining projects, irrespective of the same costs as above, increasing mobility through construction of roads to facilitate transportation. Needless to say, the Minster will do his best to facilitate all the above, by pushing through
unpopular projects with the support of legislation, courts and security apparatus. This `authority’ will be challenged by the `condition’ of those who will be adversely affected, who have no faith that their surrendering their lands and rights will fetch them any benefit at all. This will be the arena of the upcoming conflict.
I am writing also to support the principled positon of the CGPI on the question of land laws. Such laws must protect the rights of all and ensure safety and protection of all, and that the bounty of the land would be there for all to benefit from. This can happen only when the workers and peasants form the bulwark of the country. I am writing to express the hope that such a day is not far off.
S. Nair, Kochi