Government reveals its real purpose behind the land legislation

Submitted by cgpiadmin on Sat, 01/09/2012 - 21:20

The Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation & Resettlement Bill 2011 is expected to be approved by theCabinet in the last week of August by its new name - The Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement and Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition (RCRRTLA) Bill 2012. The tabling of the Bill in Parliament is reported to have been deferred to give more time to the members of the Cabinet to review the Bill. In particular, the Minister for Rural Development, Jairam Ramesh, was reported to have sought time to consult with the Minister of Commerce, Anand Sharma, with respect to the implications of the Bill for SEZs and other special manufacturing zones.

The LARR Bill of 2011 was tabled in Parliament in September 2011 and soon after, it was referred to a Standing Committee. The Standing Committee submitted its report and recommendations to the Parliament on May 31, 2012. The government has to consider these recommendations, accept or reject them and table the amended Bill in Parliament.

One of the key recommendations of the Standing Committee was that the government should not be acquiring land for companies in the private and the PPP sector, under the guise of "public purpose". This has been the demand of a majority of the people across the country.

However, the government is reportedly rejecting this recommendation of the Standing Committee. Successive governments have stuck to this stand because this is what is in the interests of the bourgeoisie. Minister Jairam Ramesh has clearly enunciated the stand of the government at this point – the state must intervene on behalf of the capitalists. Minister Anand Sharma has endorsed this. According to him, government’s role cannot be confined to public purpose!

Following this information that the government has rejected the recommendation of the Committee, there has been a huge uproar and mass opposition across India. People from Narmada, Koel Karo, Singur, Nandigram, Sonbhadra, Chindwara, Bhavnagarm, Kalinga Nagar, Kashipur, Raigarh, Srikakulam and mining areas in central India, Koodamkulam, Jaitapur, Haripur, and Gorakhpur and many more, assembled in Delhi to express their opposition to the stand of the government on this key recommendations of the Standing Committee. The people’s opposition to land acquisition by the government is based on their own experience. The rapacious use of Land Acquisition Act 1894 by the government to secure land for ‘development’ projects has caused over 100 million people to be displaced from their land, livelihoods and homes. In just 5 years 2000-05, more than 17 lakh hectares of agricultural land has been diverted for non-agricultural use. Promises of compensation have been betrayed, and measures to rehabilitate the displaced have remained empty words. This is why the people are demanding, “…that the government has to first declare about the land already acquired, used and the fate of those who lost their livelihood. There can be no talk about new land acquisitions unless we talk of the historical injustices”

The Land Acquisition Act 1894, which is the legislation being applied till date, vested the then colonial state with the power of Eminent Domain - a power by which the state enjoys "sovereign control over all property in a state, with the right of expropriation". Post 1947, the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 has conferred upon the Central and State governments this power to acquire land "for public purposes and for Companies and for determining the amount of compensation to be made on account of such acquisition". Amendments in 1962 and 1984 to the said Act also made it very clear that the government can continue to acquire land on behalf of companies. This has been the stand of the Indian bourgeoisie right through and the rejection of the recommendation of the Standing Committee's recommendation on the matter is one more step in that direction. It is expected that the new Act will ease acquisition for some “national manufacturing” and “investment zones” and the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor.

It is clear that any amendment to the colonial Act or even a new Bill is only in name. It will have the same orientation; that of making land easily available at very little cost to capitalist monopolies at the expense of the right to livelihood of thousands who will be affected. The larger social priority of adequate agricultural land for growing food for the people is left in the shade.

By renaming the Bill, it is as if the government is pretending that it recognizes the right to compensation of those affected. Whatever the name, the people are going by their own experience of so-called rehabilitation and compensation. In any case, the basic issue remains–the government is acquiring land for the capitalist monopolies, under the guise that it is for public purpose, at the expense of the interests of the vast majority. The people are very clear about this and any attempt to gloss over this will be met with militant opposition.

Tag:    Defeat Privatisation    Land Acquisition Act 1894    Resettlement and Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition (RCRRTLA) Bill 2012    The Right to Fair Compensation    Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation & Resettlement Bill 2011    Sep 1-15 2012    Political-Economy    Rights     Popular Movements     History   

PARTY DOCUMENTS

These Elections are a FarceInterview with Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of Communist Ghadar Party of India by Comrade Chandra Bhan, Editor of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

Click to Download PDFInterview with Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of Communist Ghadar Party of India

by Comrade Chandra Bhan, Editor of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

History of Ghadar PartyA Presentation of Communist Ghadar Party of India

100 years ago Ghadar Party was formed by Indians in the US.It was historic milestone in our anti-colonial struggle.

The goal of this party was to organise a revolution to liberate our motherland from British servitude and establish a free and independent India with equal rights for all. It believed this to be the necessary condition for our people to hold their heads high anywhere in the world.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

Call of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 30th August, 2012

Working class representatives from all over the country are gathering on 4th September, at a time when a titanic struggle is going on in our country. The struggle is between the majority of toiling and exploited people and a minority of exploiters. It is between the majority whose labour expands wealth and the minority who enjoy the fruits of wealth creation on the basis of their private property and positions of power.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

Call to the Working ClassDefeat the program of privatisation and liberalisation!

Fight with the aim of establishing workers’ and peasants’ rule!

Call of the Central Committee, Communist Ghadar Party, 23 February, 2012

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

Necessity for the working class to take political powerThe initiating speech, at the working class conference on the Way Forward held on 23-24 December 2011, was made by comrade Lal Singh, on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India. The document entitled the necessity for the working class to take political power has been edited based on the discussion in the conference and is being published according to the decision the Central Committee.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)