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Old 31st August 2008, 15:39   #271
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I was looking at Mamta's track record. It doesn't look all that impeccable. Over the years, she has done a lot of things unbefitting of a true champion of peoples' causes. A little research on the internet would point you to reports from diverse sources highlighting this.
Some good references available here: Mamata Banerjee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I saw on the news channels that she has spoken out against Tata Tea and Tata Retail today. Guess she's convinced now that the Tata group represents an axis of evil!

I also came across this interview with the ex-chief of the WBIDC, who handled the land acquisition for the project. Irrespective of whether the guy's shooting from the lip or from the heart, this provides one perspective on the issue.
Tehelka - India's Independent Weekly News Magazine

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Old 31st August 2008, 16:49   #272
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I saw on the news channels that she has spoken out against Tata Tea and Tata Retail today. Guess she's convinced now that the Tata group represents an axis of evil!
If this is true, then the fight is not between WB govt Vs MB (farmers ?) Vs Tata. It is between industralization and petty politics.

She wants something else that's why she is instigating people there. I read on today's TOI that some people from MB camp is already supporting the Tata project. The cracks in her agitation is appearing. Wait for a week and you will see only MB and her party workers stranded protesting against this project or other projects of tata in that state.
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Old 31st August 2008, 16:58   #273
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Interesting interview there on Tehelka, but what caught my attention was this:

We need jobs for nearly six or seven million unemployed. About 75 percent of those jobs will come from the services and manufacturing sector. Bengal needs a 100m sprint if it wants to catch up with the rest of India.


The game is much bigger than just the farmers. The entire economy of a state is at stake here, which involves more numbers than what is being debated here. Seriously - what are you going to tell all those unemployed: Go to Singur and start cultivating rice? Especially when what we need on the agricultural is LARGE farm holdings, rather than a few thousand more fragmented paddy fields?

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Old 31st August 2008, 17:01   #274
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I think Mr Tata made a major mistake when during the launch of Nano in Delhi he publicly said his engineers wanted to name the car - "Despite Mamata or Inspite of Mamata" and finally settled on Nano.
According to insiders this statement really enraged her against the Tatas.

Another point to remember in all this - the Tata group never gives any money to any political party under coercion. Not a single rupee. I am not saying they should have paid xx to yy. You are free to assume whatever you wish.

But all said and done, she is getting support from the farmers because what she is saying finds a ready audience and she has a point. You can't forcibly take away fertile green land from farmers by showing an Act formed in 1894 and paying compensation according to that formula of 1894 and then give the land away to private enterprise.

Whether Mamata personally loves farmers and believes in all she is saying is a completely different question. Most probably she doesn't. She is a politician first and last. She will say and do whatever she thinks will get her votes.
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Old 31st August 2008, 17:20   #275
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You can't forcibly take away fertile green land from farmers by showing an Act formed in 1894 and paying compensation according to that formula of 1894 and then give the land away to private enterprise.
1. The original acts may have been drafted in 1894, but this does not mean that there have been no amendments to the same. I am not qualified to comment on this, but several of our legal friends may want to point out the various amendments by different courts to this act from time to time - you may find the latest amendment is actually as of 2008.

2. These laws apply across the country, wherever land is to be acquired. What is so different about this particular case? If what you say is true, we should be witnessing agitations all across the country every time a new initiative is taken to entice industry.

Dont tell me that land for Reliance's ultra-humungous refinery in Jamnagar simply appeared out of the sea to set up a plant, or that the land for MRPL in Mangalore was magically carved out by Parasuram specifically for industrialization.

Land exists, and it will be utilized from time to time in the manner that it benefits society the most. Who paid compensation to all the Bengal Tigers in Singur when their jungle was forcibly taken away without compensation for agriculture? They were even shot dead and their skins hung for the walls of houses in different parts of the world.

Why are the terms 'Farmer' and 'Agriculture' holy cows? Even when they do nothing? I've witnessed a similar 'agitation' by local farmers when the government proposed a new road in our ancestral village - NONE of the fields were tilled or ploughed for years together, but they all suddenly became poor farmers whose land was being forcibly acquired by the evil government as soon as the acquisition began.

Guess what they wanted? They wanted their land to be derecognized as agricultural land so they could sell it for housing and commercial purposes, following which they 'grudgingly' accepted the compensation from the government for the road. And what was at stake there - just about 3 foot from either side of an existing pathway!

It does not matter if the farmer has never used his land. It doesnt matter if he's drunk away thousands of rupees in government aid. It doesnt matter if the government has repeatedly waived off agricultural loans (witness the amount waived earlier this year - thats a few years GDP) availed by these farmers.

There is no accountability in that sector. Yet they are the first to be glorified and made martyrs of.

I am not against farming, and in fact come from a family with a larging farming background. What I am against is manner in which people use the term 'farmer' and 'agriculture' to defend their stance, believing that there can never be an arguement against these holy cows.

That is shameful - many of those speaking so ardently for the farmer have no idea what farming is about, have never been on a farm before. For them it is a convenient and unquestionable bolster for their otherwise thin arguements, nothing more. They keep talking about the farmer's livelihood and have a romanticized view of an idyllic farm, without really understanding that there really is NO livelihood for those with small land holdings. It is only the larger farms and especially those with cash crops that actually make money - the rest of them live in poverty as small-scale agriculture is a loser's business. Why do you think they dont farm their lands? They're probably better off NOT spending money on the land itself, than in drowning money in time, labour and material for a thankless crop.

Ask yourself - WHO gains from all this strife. The farmer, or the politician.

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Old 31st August 2008, 17:58   #276
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Default Singur farmers don't want Tatas to leave

Here's an interesting read...from rediff.com.


Singur farmers don't want Tatas to leave

August 23, 2008

In a fresh twist to the controversy over the Nano car project in Singur, farmers whose land had been acquired for the plant have said they do not want Tata Motors chairman Ratan Tata to pull out, a day after he threatened to leave West Bengal.
Marginal land owner Debaprasad Das whose 0.75 acres was taken for the project, but who had not taken his cheque as he had supported the agitation against land acquisition, said he wanted industrialisation.
"People would be disheartened if the Tatas left," Das said.
"Many Krishi Jami Raksha Committee workers are working in the small car project. We want the factory to come up as it would improve our situation," he said. Another marginal farmer Manik Das of Baraberri Purbapara whose land too was acquired for the project said the Tatas should not pull out of Singur. However, Das who is also a member of the Trinamool Congress dominated Zilla Parishad said, the project should not come up on fertile land.

Singur farmers don't want Tatas to leave

The above note (in slide 2 & 3) further adds that MB informed the farmers to take back their lands now which was given to tatas earlier at the then rates, as it would fetch more money and hence farmers are asking back the land. After the tatas has started the construction, the land prices has shot up much more than it was then and then they would become millionaries within no time.

Now, do we really need to know who is instigating the farmers to agitate and take back their lands...

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Old 31st August 2008, 18:09   #277
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For people wanting to refer to the Land Acquisition Act of India, here is a start.

New Page 1
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Old 31st August 2008, 18:23   #278
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Default Singur land can't be returned legally: West Bengal govt

Singur land can't be returned legally: West Bengal govt-India-The Times of India


Quote:
KOLKATA: Sharing the anxiety of Tatas, West Bengal government on Sunday said it is "legally" not possible to return the land acquired under the acquisition law, while hoping that the corporate giant will not withdraw the small-car project from Singur.

"The way Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool Congress President) is demanding, it is impossible for the state government to meet her demand. Legally, it is not possible to return the land acquired under Land Acquisition Act," West Bengal Industry Minister Nirupam Sen said, while quoting a ruling from the Supreme Court.

"The issue was also taken to the Calcutta High Court and it said that land acquisition was as per law," he said, adding that there were no legal provisions to return the land once acquired by the government under the acquisition law.
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Old 31st August 2008, 18:38   #279
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Listen to what Ms. Banerjee has to say on Singur and her protests. She is on Walk the Talk on NDTV 24x7 right now. The program was recorded on 11-August-2008.
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Old 31st August 2008, 18:43   #280
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Default Mamta's Solution

From the ToI Article:

Quote:
Mamata Banerjee said, "There is a one line solution. Everything will be settled if the ancillary units are relocated to the land on the opposite side of the small car unit."
Must be difficult to relocate the anicillary's from a fertile land its now on, to an unfertile land.
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Old 31st August 2008, 22:27   #281
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Much has been said about Ratan Tata to be admired. I think that it is pretty tough to combine business success with good ethics. Sorry, but I still don't see good ethics here. Industrial land is Industrial land. Pay the price; budget it in the project; get on with the project.

No. It has no value if there is not a market, there is no "x". It has one value if a farmer wants to buy it from a farmer, another if a housing developer wants to buy it, another if an industrialist wants to buy it. How come the rules of economics cease to exist here? Everybody wants the best deal, everybody has a right to the best deal. Yes, of course the price of land should shoot up if some huge project, residential or industrial or commercial, come up.
Then MB is leading real estate businessmen - why call them farmers?
This will change the whole perspective: it is no more an issue of farmers losing out land, livelihood, sentimental attachment etc.; it is now just a case of a real estate businessmen taking TATA to ransom for a better deal.

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Old 31st August 2008, 22:40   #282
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Quote:
Then MB is leading real estate businessmen - why call them farmers?
This will change the whole perspective: it is no more an issue of farmers losing out land, livelihood, sentimental attachement etc.; it is now just a case of a real estate businessmen taking TATA to ransom for a better deal.
I can go with that.

What I can't go with is the absolute insistence that they shouldn't get one.

Steeroid, I think you are basically into the idea of a capitalist system? In which profits can be made? You wouldn't object to businesses and individuals making large profits, given the opportunity?

All speculation on my part of course, but if it is true.... Why are so utterly determined that these farmers, real estate businessmen, or whatever we call them, should not have this opportunity.

It almost seems personal: whatever did they do to you? I can't see any logic in it. Whatever may be wrong with capitalism, it does not specify that one side may make heaps out of a deal whilst another side may not.

Of course, it does nothing to prevent them if they can get away with it!
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Old 31st August 2008, 22:44   #283
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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
These laws apply across the country, wherever land is to be acquired. What is so different about this particular case? If what you say is true, we should be witnessing agitations all across the country every time a new initiative is taken to entice industry.
Acquisition of land for creating a road, railway line, educational institution, hospital etc - in short a social infrastructure for larger public good - is one thing. Acquiring land to hand over to a private company to set up a factory is a completely different matter.
Jobs will be created agreed - but Tatas have steadfastly refused to promise any jobs to anyone.

Farming is not sacrosanct or holy cow. Farming is not very profitable either. I know all that and please don't assume I know nothing about farming. Thousands of Indian farmers commit suicides every year and I know why as well.

But if farmers (or whoever) don't want to sell their land at a particular cost then their will should be respected.

CPM is talking about "discussion" now. They should have discussed things much before. The chief minister had said back then we have 235 MLAs and they have 30 and therefore we will do whatever we think we should do and there is no need for any discussion.

This is arrogance. It has no place in a democracy.

I almost sound like a rabid Mamata supporter - which I am certainly not . But I do hate the communists of Bengal.

Incidentally Singur will ruin Mamata forever. She is a loser if the Tatas win. She is a loser if the Tatas pull out. She cannot win either way.
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Old 31st August 2008, 22:44   #284
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glass View Post
Then MB is leading real estate businessmen - why call them farmers?
This will change the whole perspective: it is no more an issue of farmers losing out land, livelihood, sentimental attachment etc.; it is now just a case of a real estate businessmen taking TATA to ransom for a better deal.
Exactly. This is what rediff.com is also reporting in their article. As the land prices has sored now after tatas has built the factory, she wants tatas to return the land to farmers so that they again can resell the same at a higher rates and give some cut in that to MB.

If tatas had not come there, the land prices would have been much lower than what it is today.
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Old 31st August 2008, 23:12   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
Acquisition of land for creating a road, railway line, educational institution, hospital etc - in short a social infrastructure for larger public good - is one thing. Acquiring land to hand over to a private company to set up a factory is a completely different matter.
Isn't an Infy or Tata Steel as good for the society - I would think it is, private or public.
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