Have we forgotten Singur ?

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Sabir, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Have we forgotten Singur ?​


    Today is 4th October , 2009. Exactly one year ago 3rd October, 2008 Tata declared their decision to shift Nano project from disputed land of Singur, West Bengal. For several months this project and Singur had remained a focal point in national politics and later it proved to be very costly for ruling Leftists in West Bengal. Now after one year I think it is time to look beck once to evaluate who has gained and who has lost from all this controversies.

    When Tata moved out from Singur it was considered as a victory of protesters lead by Trinomool Congress suprimo Mamata Banerjee over the CPI(M) lead government of West Bengal. It gave Miss Banerjee a status of messiah of poor and farmers. Perhaps they started believe that if government tries to take their land in name of development it is only Mamata who can save them. Several projects after that witnessed mass protest against land acquisition. Mamata Banarjee recovered her lost popularity (in previous election her party was wept out by sweeping victory of CPM) and popular Chief Minister of West Bengal , Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharia (whom Mr Ajim Premji once declared as best CM in India) got an image of a monster. Soon that reflected in ballot box and CPI(M) had been knocked out by opposition parties throughout the State in next Assembly election. So it is not hard to gusess who gained and who lost politically.

    What happened to the land owners? There were approximate 11,000 landowners in that disputed territory of Singur (997acre). Aproximately 9,000 of them collected compensation cheques from Government offices. Others demanded their land back. The land less peasants who were solely dependent on the land became the main force in the agitation as the Nano project was a threat of losing jobs for them. One point to remember that the agitation in Singur was revived just before two months of proposed lunch of Nano car. In between Nandigram took the lime-light from Singur. By the time Fertile land of disputed area had lost its character due to development works to raise the height of the low paddy field and a large factory was towering on it. According to the experts the land would never be used for agriculture again. But protesters were adamant on their demand. And after one year, there is no factory, nor the land is fit for cultivation. Neither agriculture can give jobs to people nor the factory. And I have doubt whether the land can be returned to the peasants legally. I don’t know whether Mamata Banerjee have time to go there or other activists like Medha Patekar, Arundhuti Roy etc. At least I can’t see in news papers (included pro-Mamata media too) Didn’t they protest for the farmers to get back their land? The farmers still haven’t got their land back. Then why they are forgotten? Certainly the farmers gained a big zero from the dispute.

    Such disputes can be avoided if the Government works with some long term objectives. Take the example of West Bengal itself. Most of the districts surrounding Kolkata has very fertile lands. If lands are acquired from these areas that will give birth of controversy. Again because of proximity to Kolkata (city and port), air-port, road connection and other infrastructures, industrial interests also coincide here. It dose not mean that industry is not creeping in here. Thousands of smaller units have been set up in these districts without controversy but none of them is near to Nano project in size. In the districts in west like Bankura, Purulia, West Medinipore etc (where lands are not fertile) , Industries can be set up but no infrastructures available there. The Government neither has the financial capacity nor any long term plan to build up necessary infrastructures there. Anyway, Tata Motors would have not been ready to wait 10-15 years for getting developed land. So it is better to came back to the topic. Mamata got what she wanted, But the protesters got zero. Tata moved out of Singur losing several hundred crores ,red fort of CPI(M) collapsed in West Bengal. What we got after everything? If Gujrat now claims in filmy style , “ Mere pass yeh hai , woh hai ,Nano hai, Tumhare pass kya hai?” WB can answer only, “ Mere pass Didi hai”. After all she is the only one who emerged as the winner.
     
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  3. corpus

    corpus Regular Member

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    if 9000 landowners took cheques and there r only 11000 landowners how can this project grind to a halt with such a minority against it. democracy has always been modeled to be the greatest good for the greatest number. so if 9000 ppl were for the project no way 2000 ppl could have ruined the thing. thats not democracy...

    i believe the reporter got his facts wrong........
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The burecracy by the Bengal government has sent a very bad message to Indian big buisness-we will make it difficult or almost impossible for you to do buisness in this state. Bengal had a strong industrial base in the past, kolkatta being the center of the british raj. But the combination of communists,burecrats,unions and a declining work ethic has resulted in the loss of industries in bengal. The damage to bengal is difficult to measure, TATA built their plant in gujurat but the impression that this gives big buisness in India would put bengal at the bottom of the list for any future project.
     
  5. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    LOL...Here the reporter is me and the fact is accurate surprisingly. I am a localite here. The main force behind the agitation was not the land owners (many of them are wealthy and servicemen, many of them settled in Kolkata or outside) but the landless peasants who were totally dependent on land. Compensation package to the land owners was not bad either. But people were not convinced about the future prospect.
     
  6. corpus

    corpus Regular Member

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    i did not intend to critisize the reporter. the facts merely did not make sense... i am myself a bengali and a liberal commie supporter to boot. however the events in singur IMHO was more due the the govts inability than that woman's agitation.
    it was the govt's duty the understand and educate the ppl over the possible consequences and prospects...... which they did not do leaving a voidd which tat woman filled........
     
  7. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    True, WB Govt failed totally about conveying the message. My only regret is that Jyoti Basu stayed there for long with out any progress (so without much controversy). It is Buddhadev who started moving a bit but got stiffled with controversy. But can one ask Mamata or Medha Patekor why they dont visit there. There objective to get the land back to farmers is not fulfilled yet.
     
  8. corpus

    corpus Regular Member

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    getting land back is out of question. its illegal to give acquired land back. protests can only get you this much. getting land back will involve not only a legal battle but also a rectification of land laws at present. which of course there is no chance.
     
  9. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Tatas ready to return Singur land if compensated
    PTI
    Kolkata, September 1, 2009


    Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata on Tuesday said the group was ready to return the land leased to the company in Singur if it was compensated for the investments made.

    "We do not want to sit on the land. We will return it if the state government compensates us for the investments made there," Tata said.

    Tata Motors was given around 1000 acres on lease at Singur for setting up its Nano car plant. The company had to shift the car's production to Gujarat last October following an agitation led by the Trinamool Congress.

    Tata Motors had earlier announced that it had made an investment of around Rs 1,500 crore in Singur.

    Tata said the group had no plans for Singur at the moment. "We are ready to cooperate with the state government if it has any plans with the land," he said. "West Bengal remains close to our hearts. Whatever happened has happened. One incident is not major in the life of a corporation."

    Regarding the group's cancer hospital coming up at New Town near Rajarhat, Tata said it was expected to be inaugurated by March 2010. "This is one indication about our contribution to this part of the country," he said.

    Tata said the hospital would keep half the beds free for patients and have a state-of-the-art cancer research centre. "It will make West Bengal proud," he said.

    Tatas ready to return Singur land if compensated: India Today - Latest Breaking News from India, World, Business, Cricket, Sports, Bollywood.
     
  10. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    as a principle, india should adopt a policy where arable agricultural lands are not given away for industries unless they are sugar, food processing etc.. which depend on the agricultural products themselves. otherwise it will cost india dearly and it won't be long when india will face 'food security' issue. however GOI with the help of the state govts. should encourage the industries to set up shops in arid zones by creating infrastructure relating to water, labour etc and offering incentives like tax holidays to the prospective companies.
     
  11. sky

    sky Regular Member

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    i work for JLR part of tata motors, no big company will allow themselfs to be held hostage like tata motors were at singur.West bengal won a prestigious inward investment project for themselfs, then mamata came along and ruined it.

    Ratan tata made his feeling's clear time and time again,but once the nano plant was built,mamata must have felt to be in a strong position.How wrong she was. The nano project is a bit like the model t -ford was in america last century,a car bulit for the masses.mamata's loss is modi's gain.I feel sorry for the people of west bengal and the damage done to it, as a investment destination.
     
  12. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Problem is that governments cant see anything beyond five years. So dont expect they will take long term projects to build up infrastructures in arid areas to attract future investments ( which may come after a decade). Your suggestion is good I agree, but for a Stale like West Bengal situated on the Ganges plain where 90% of land consider very fertile, it is difficult to implement. Crps like sugar cane is uncommon here. Potato does not hold very big prospect like sugar. And presend condition of jute industry you know.
    West Bengal has highest population density in India. Unemployment of semi-skilled and unskilled labour already becoming a headahe. If the State can not sacrifice some of its land for industry, the future is very scaring.
     
  13. corpus

    corpus Regular Member

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    it does not always work so simply.. india is still a developing country and struggling to provide up to date infrastructure in even developed regions... providng infastructure in arid(which r also extremely poorly developed areas) is not only extremely costly but also difficult. secondly an industry looks for two other things.. manpower, road/rail connectivity, which again may not be available , especially manpower. finally if wat you r sayin is implemented only parts of the country will get industraialised while other parts will not. that cannot be govt. policy....
     
  14. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    they have to shed their socialist planning.
    that is why i said they should adopt agri based industries.
    i gave the example for illustration. you should plan industries according to the produce.
    small scale industries and food processing industries is the answer. lot of employment plus a support chain.
    i did not say in a strict sense. suitable changes agreeable to the populace can be worked out. ofc it needs patience.
     
  15. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    i never said it is simple. don't see also like that.
    it is already happening. jharkhand, chattisgarh were backward when they were with their previous states. now in a short span they have come up.

    w bengal has the highest population density. manpower is not an issue. mamata is called railway min of bengal.. bengal is well connected from any angle.
    industrialisation does not mean only cars and trucks. they should be based on the local logistics.
     
  16. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    You missed a point - a big industry like automobile can pave the way for hundreds of related small scale industries by feeding them with orders. I am from a city called Howrah in West Bengal which was known as Shefild of India. Now most of its small scale engineering works has been closed as they are not supported by any large industry. We need large scale industry too.Food processing industries alone can not solve the problem.
     
  17. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Mamata offers to compensate Tatas for land at Singur--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kolkata, Sep 9 (PTI) Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee tonight said she was prepared to compensate the Tatas for the 1000 acre that had been leased out to them for the now-defunt Nano factory at Singur.

    "I will pay for the 1000 acre of land," Banerjee said on Tata Motors' chairman Ratan Tata's recent statement that the Tatas were prepared to return the land at Singur if it was adequately compensated for the investment made.

    Banerjee said she had already held talks with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and a railway coach factory would come up on 600 acre and the remaining 400 acre would be returned to farmers who had been unwilling to part with it.

    She said the Railways would lease out land to private entrepreneurs to set up industries in a joint venture model.
     
  18. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    sabir, i do not dispute that. but it will be at the cost of food. even agriculture is an industry in itself. why don't you look it from that angle. nothing has been lost.
     
  19. corpus

    corpus Regular Member

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    one cannot only have agro based industries all round... moreover a small scale industry does not produce the income per unit area of land like large industries.
     
  20. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Agriculture can be considered an industry but a sick industry I should say atleast in India. If we can utilise the fertile land we have we would never to think about food security. We are top producers of many products but check the productivity ( Protuction per acre) it is nowhere near the developed countries. In some cases even Bangladesh and Thailand can put us in shame. Now consider the 'job security'. Can you expand agricultural lands to provide job for coming generations?
     
  21. ppgj

    ppgj Senior Member Senior Member

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    you are seeing my posts in a very narrow sense. it can be any industry but suitable to the local logistics. read my posts again. i gave an example of food based industry for regions which have arable land. different areas can have different industries. my bottom line is not at the expense of food. and this is not just for bengal but for all states.
     

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