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Old 15th September 2008, 11:13   #451
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Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
This is a picture from "Pratidin" a Bengali daily from Kolkata, which appeared in its edition on 7th Sept 2008. Shows Tata Indigos of W.B. ministers assembled at Raj Bhavan for the meet with the Governor.
Attachment 49490
And what exactly is that supposed to mean? That Tata have paid off the ministers with Indigos?

I see 2 Indigos, 1 Esteem and 1 Qualis in the picture. Does that mean Maruti and Toyota are into the racket as well?
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Old 15th September 2008, 13:47   #452
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Completely agree. India is a free country and nobody should be able to grab property that belongs to a person. Fact that the person is farmer or city dweller does not make any difference.
(Humn! I lost whatever I typed and trying to retype again without spending too much time)

That is a tricky statement. I used to ponder over it a lot of times. Who owns the land of this earth? Ok, narrow down that question to who owns the land of a country? Individuals or government? Theoretically, there is no single person like a government. It is a shrunken representation of the entire population of the state or country. Assuming the people of the country own the land, it would be safe to say that government owns the land. Government as a unified unit has the authority to do whatever it wants (again theoretically as it is the people).

Government allows an individual ownership through something like khata or pata certificate (whatever they call to identify the individual ownership). What happens when there is a major chunk of land that is not covered by these certificates? Again, government owns them theoretically. But there are undocumented owners in every village or farm, which are known to people who have dwelt on it over a long period of time. According to them, their knowledge of ownership is more authentic than any official ownership government would claim.

Who owns lands that are not fully utilized by any specific individual, but dwelt by a group of tribes over years? Government again? These tribes hardly know what government is and they lack a sense of representation by the government. Still, government is empowered to declare their land as protected forest land, wild life sanctuary, blah blah and the tribes can be banned from hunting, etc. etc.

What makes the government think that they have so much authority over the original owners by virtue of having dwelt over long period? As I said, the entity "government" is a non-existent individual that virtually represent (almost) the entire population. If it thinks that it is in the interest of the population, govt (i.e. the population) does not have problem. The miniscule minority voice will be overridden.

So, it is still "might is right" in a very systematic way. The mighty country can take over any smaller coutry or state. The mighty government can take over any individual land. I used to give this extreme example: "who owns Adaman and Nicobar islands?". According to me, whoever have been living on that land are the owners. Those were the tribes who are almost extinct now. India colonized that land and systematically got rid of those tribes in a more natural process. Right or wrong? Very difficult to say. From the lens of an Indian, there is nothing wrong with it. By my little brain says that we stole their land. Humn!! If I were a public figure, there would have been a demand for apology from a billion by now

But on a serious note, the statement that "India is a free country and nobody should be able to grab property that belongs to a person" is a very vague term not followed by anybody. Anyway, in this context, government is taking over the land by paying back what it thinks is the price within its own authority. Yes. Government can even take over my land even after giving residential permit and construction permit. Of course I will feel bad about it. I will protest it. But does that change the equation between right and wrong? No. Might is still right.

Last edited by opendro : 15th September 2008 at 13:49.
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Old 15th September 2008, 15:14   #453
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government is taking over the land by paying back what it thinks is the price within its own authority. Yes. Government can even take over my land even after giving residential permit and construction permit. Of course I will feel bad about it. I will protest it. But does that change the equation between right and wrong? No. Might is still right.

Again being a free country govt is getting a taste of this "might" in terms of votes. Left parties lost elections in areas near Nandigram (Similar land grabbing fiasco).

Villagers in Bihar/Jharkhand successfully staved off a power project on their land.

Govt in Maharashtra flatly refused to help Reliance in land acquisition.

And ultimately there are talks to bring a law that says:

If a private business wants to acquire private land, it has to acquire 70% land on its won. Govt can help with rest 30%.

At least in some place democracy helps....
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Old 15th September 2008, 20:54   #454
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An impression is being created here by some that poor farmers unwilling to sell their land have been forced to part with it. Well, haven't they been compensated appropriately? If not, then why doesn't Mamta ask for more money as compensation for farmers instead of saying no to Nano plant. Only human life can not be valued in term of money but non-living things like land, gold, car etc. can be valued. If the farmers or Mamta feel the amount paid is not enough then let them hit the streets demanding more compensation. Can't India's second richest business house afford to pay for 400 acres when even nameless faceless petty politicians are buying hundreds of acres of land?

One more thing. All those city slickers who think village farmers are innocent, they need to think again. Some of these farmers are more cunning, crooked and wily than their city counterparts. I have seen these guys up close. Village politics will put city politics to shame any day. These guys ask tomorrow's prices today and when buyer agrees, they will ask for day after tomorrow's price. It's like one blank cheque they keep re-writing the amount on. The industrialist will have to constantly do the catching up. They are not thankfull to the buyer that because of his project their land value has multiplied several times over. I am not saying the business guy is doing charity here. He will probably earn several times over but how does that matter to the land seller? Shouldn't he be happy that he got 5/10 years' later land value today?
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Old 15th September 2008, 23:52   #455
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Crooks or Saints, land is their property. And that should not be taken against their will.

And land acquisition is like any other business problem. Those who can't solve it don't deserve to be in the business.
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Old 16th September 2008, 04:08   #456
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Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
Crooks or Saints, land is their property. And that should not be taken against their will.
The law of the land states that your property can and will be acquired by the Goverment when it is required.

And this is not the first time land is being acquired by the Government - this happens throughout the year in different parts of the country.

Whats so different about West Bengal?


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Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
And land acquisition is like any other business problem. Those who can't solve it don't deserve to be in the business.
I'm sorry - land acquisition is a sarkaar activity. If they cant acquire land they dont deserve to be in Government.

As it turns out, they did acquire the land. Legally. And the acquisition was upheld by the High Court.

The fact is that the land was acquired, but a certain political party resorted to violent agitation AFTER the land was acquired because it chose not to agree with either the government or the high court.

Tata Motors did not suspend work at Singur because they did not get the land. They suspended work because they were NOT being allowed to continue business.

They were prevented from carrying out work in land that was legally allotted to them by an "agitation" which was obviously bankrolled well enough to have spent a conservative estimate of Rs.10 lakhs per day in FREE FOOD for everyone who participates in the agitation. This estimate does not include FREE TRANSPORTATION to site for the 'agitators' or other regular "agitation/protest/morcha" expenses that political parties regularly incur. That agitation stretched well over 10 days - go figure where that Rs. 1 crore plus came from.

Farmers agitation, my foot!

Last edited by Steeroid : 16th September 2008 at 04:10.
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Old 16th September 2008, 05:28   #457
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ok, here's my 2c. The CPM and its allies are autocratic to the core and their ideology derives from other great communist powers - ex-Soviet Union, China, Cuba etc. They always believe that they have god given right to make all the "right" decisions and then the people they represent should not stand in the way - if they do, use force by all means and force your way through (most prevalent in China in recent times) - no need to explain it to people, consult them, give them a semblance of hearing and care, leave alone an option.
This is what the WB CM made a mistake in though he is a progressive and honourable man - he gave high compensation but it was like putting up an exam result sheet on some notice board (w/o appearing for the exam). X and Y and whatever, your lands are acquired ! No consulation, no participation - no aim to reach out to the villagers. And if thre are protests, political or otherwise, the party decided to use its local muscle and treated it as a minor issue easily squashed.

@Steeriod, some of your points are valid. But this is a farmer's and landless labourer's agitation - without the support of grassroots, there is no chance in hell for an oppn party to stand up against the all powerful CPM hegemony. Please reflect in the widespread electoral defeats for the CPM and left front in Singur, Nandigram and many other places. Of course, other interests and vested ones as well will join - that cannot be prevented and political parties are no saints. But its wrong to say it did not have strong local echo.

BTW, having scored the political points, MB/TMC had a chance to be a hero of the masses, but unfortunately, she does not know when and where to translate protests to solutions that help the farmers and other folks. She is too emotional and adamant. In the end, she will lose more unless the compromise solution allows the Tata Nano factory to fructify - sad day for the state and the country if its spiked :-(
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Old 16th September 2008, 06:17   #458
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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Shouldn't he be happy that he got 5/10 years' later land value today?
Ok, lets not get carried away with this. A farmer selling his land at a price point which is 4, 5 or even 10 times higher than the current value may seem like a no-brainer deal for us but for the farmer it is like killing the golden goose. Not only is the farmer losing the farm, but also the village where generations have lived. Now he has a tonne of money but no land to cultivate and no job (most cases, not every farmer gets the job in factory). If the farmer is wise, he will put the money to good use, but statistics tell us that 80% of farmers blow away their money within 2 years on booze and other stuff and end up in slums. This is one of the reason for resistance to land aquistion.

Having said that, there are people who are willing to take the compensation and a job along with that and sell their land voluntarily. If majority sell their land voluntarily, then it makes sens to forcibly aquire the land from those that are not willing. If a project need 1000 acres and 800 acres are voluntarily sold and 20% are holding up the sale of other 80%, then it makes sense to forcibly aquire that 20% land. A minority cannot hold a big project to ransom just because they have property bang in the middle of the project area. All this ofcourse after making sure that the land is absolutely necessary for the project and not for building a golf course for the executives.
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Old 16th September 2008, 06:42   #459
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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post

I'm sorry - land acquisition is a sarkaar activity. If they cant acquire land they dont deserve to be in Government.

As it turns out, they did acquire the land. Legally. And the acquisition was upheld by the High Court.

The fact is that the land was acquired, but a certain political party resorted to violent agitation AFTER the land was acquired because it chose not to agree with either the government or the high court.

Tata Motors did not suspend work at Singur because they did not get the land. They suspended work because they were NOT being allowed to continue business.

They were prevented from carrying out work in land that was legally allotted to them by an "agitation" which was obviously bankrolled well enough to have spent a conservative estimate of Rs.10 lakhs per day in FREE FOOD for everyone who participates in the agitation. This estimate does not include FREE TRANSPORTATION to site for the 'agitators' or other regular "agitation/protest/morcha" expenses that political parties regularly incur. That agitation stretched well over 10 days - go figure where that Rs. 1 crore plus came from.

Farmers agitation, my foot!
Do you even understand what you are saying!!!

Ok for a change how about instead of farmers land, govt should just go ahead and acquire land on which your house is built! And also of thousands living around you. Give all this to industrialist. You are left homeless or whatever is none of govt's problem apparently. And also let me do some maths for you. Lets say you live in Noida (just an example. I live in Noida and I know the rates here). Sarkari rate is like 8 or 9000 per sq yard while market rate is 40000+ sq yard or even more. But when the govt will take it you'll get 8000 or 9000 per sq yard. So if you have a kothi in 200 sq yards, you'll get a handsome amount of 18 lacs for your kothi!!! Good luck finding another place to live for 18 lacs these days!

Point is do you understand what is happening! Tatas might be good and have good intentions for people in their hearts but not all industrialists are like them. Most of the politicians are inherently corrupt and are hand in gloves with opportunist and exploitative industrialists (mostly builders). Take the case of Mayavati in UP! She has forcibly acquired so much land in UP (for SEZs or roads etc) and given it to her crony J P Associates! (remember Taj corridor case?) If this sort of a thing becomes a precedence then tomorrow these greedy will just go about acquiring any land at will and give it to builders... its already happening all around us...

And I am not a supporter of MB. Probably she is bankrolled for this agitation by Tatas competitors (Maruti, Bajaj etc.) But protests in Bengal are not a singular incident. They have happened in UP also, in Jharkhand also, in Orrisa also, in TN also! So there is a problem there, cannot deny it as a stray incident.

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Last edited by ported_head : 16th September 2008 at 17:04.
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Old 16th September 2008, 09:21   #460
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Do you even understand what you are saying!!!
I do, very much - kindly go through the history of this thread. However, I am not interested in a line of conversation that goes along the lines of whether or not people know what they are saying.

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Originally Posted by Mayavi View Post
If the farmer is wise, he will put the money to good use, but statistics tell us that 80% of farmers blow away their money within 2 years on booze and other stuff and end up in slums. This is one of the reason for resistance to land aquistion.
You have a point, but can you hold up everything else just because people are not responsible enough to handle the compensation they receive? I'm afraid not.

Last edited by Steeroid : 16th September 2008 at 09:23.
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Old 16th September 2008, 09:28   #461
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Originally Posted by joslicx View Post
Lets say you live in Noida (just an example. I live in Noida and I know the rates here). Sarkari rate is like 8 or 9000 per sq yard while market rate is 40000+ sq yard or even more. But when the govt will take it you'll get 8000 or 9000 per sq yard. So if you have a kothi in 200 sq yards, you'll get a handsome amount of 18 lacs for your kothi!!! Good luck finding another place to live for 18 lacs these days!
Have you ever thought how such a situation came about ?
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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
Well, a lot of the gap between current market value and the amount the govt pays is caused by the people themselves. Most Land deals involve only a fraction of the actual cost being quoted on the sale deed, and the rest of the money changes hands off the record.
The governments system of land valuation does seem reasonable(at least when we lost land due to road widening), but if it fails because everyone else undervalues their land to avoid taxes,Is it the governments fault?

Last edited by greenhorn : 16th September 2008 at 09:30.
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Old 16th September 2008, 09:39   #462
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Singur land acqusition is upheld even by high court. Isn't what Mamta doing amounts to contempt of court? Court's are quick to book one for contempt of court but in this case even Courts are helpless.

Tata should pull out of WB immediately. What are they waiting for? Tatas heve got everything to lose when project gets delayed. As for Mamta, it doesn't cost her a dime to stage dharnas, bandhs, protests. It will be bankrolled by some business house who would later have a favourable CM to look after their interests when she comes to power. That is how things work here.
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Old 16th September 2008, 10:24   #463
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Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
Crooks or Saints, land is their property
Wrong. Myself growing up as a village boy, I always used to think like you think. It is my land. I can grow ganja if I wish or Sandalwood for that matter. If there is a gold mine below my land, it is mine. I can make a garbage dump if I wish. I can pollute the air which is not owned by anyone, etc. etc.

BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT ALL THE NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE COUNTRY BELONG TO GOVERNMENT (WHICH IS NOTHING BUT PEOPLE IN SINGLE UNIT). LAND IS ALSO A RESOURCE. GOVERNMENT CAN TAKE IT BACK WHENEVER IT WISH.

As somebody pointed out, if the government is unpopular, people can vote them out being in a democratic country. But in general such small sentiments are overridden by larger or influential interests.

Having said that I will not comment in this Singur case as I don't have enough ground realities. I just wanted to comment on other legal assumptions people are making.
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Old 16th September 2008, 10:41   #464
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I agree with opendro
the other issue I wanted to find out about is, how many of the farmers working the disputed land actually had legal rights to it, as opposed to squatter's "rights". does anyone know?
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Old 16th September 2008, 11:28   #465
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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
Whats so different about West Bengal?
As I mentioned earlier, same thing has happened in Bihar,Jharkhand, Orissa, Tamilnadu,Maharashtra in last 3 years.

In WB, unique thing is, workers from ruling party were handling "acquisition" on the ground. Something that did not happen in other states.


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I'm sorry - land acquisition is a sarkaar activity. If they cant acquire land they dont deserve to be in Government.

As it turns out, they did acquire the land. Legally. And the acquisition was upheld by the High Court.
Law is determined by people. It is not written in stone. And relevant updates in law should be put in coming sessions of parliament.

ANY law that takes away rights to property for such purposes must be repealed.

At least my vote goes for that. And if others feel like it (and vote in the first place) it might happen.

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Originally Posted by Steeroid View Post
The fact is that the land was acquired, but a certain political party resorted to violent agitation AFTER the land was acquired because it chose not to agree with either the government or the high court.
Agree, MB is doing it for her own benefit. And she would have misguided/promised_the_world to farmers to convince them to join.

But that does not take away ground realities.
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