Saturday, August 30, 2008

Singur, Rathan and Mamtha

Work on Tata Motors' Nano car project ground to a halt on Friday, the sixth day of a siege laid by Trinamool Congress, after the company decided against operating any shift due to problems encountered by employees on Thursday night. The big question is "So what?" When the elected people who were supposed to answer this question on behalf of the state asked the same question to the people, it just brought out another dark hole of our big democratic nation! Could any educated individual understand the emotion in which Amar Sing stated "if Tata got offers from other states, let them go".

For people who are not aware of whats happening, lets do a quick recap - Tata declared its prestigious project NANO, the cheapest car. The plant was decided to setup in Calcutta. They were initially given 600 acres of land which then was made to 1000 acres by the state government. Trinamool Congress cadres led by their chief Mamata Banerjee have blockaded the plant, being set up for manufacturing the world's cheapest car, since August 24 demanding return of a portion of farmland allotted to the project. Supporters of Khet Majur Samity, a forum of farmers, led by Anuradha Talwar allegedly prevented the workers from leaving the premises till late last night. Mamatha's demand was to give back the extra 400 acres of land to farmers.
It's appreciable to see someone taking side of the poor farmers. Its good to know that there are people who still fight against capitalists like Rathan, the government and the system - all for the poor, the disabled and the landless.

But is there a catch?

Lets analyse..
First, Mamtha says - The farmers never wanted to SELL their lands! Did you just read "SELL"? So it was not a seizure, the govt BOUGHT land from the farmers even though they never intended to sell.

Second, Mamtha started the agitation with all the support of the farmers [uneducated farmers who believe that the plant would generate ZERO employment and the work would be all done by Computers and not human beings] Making the poor people believe that there was no employment generated would have been the easiest play for Mamatha :-) These people who haven't seen a world outside Singur and haven't listened to hyped up media would hardly understand the benefits of starting an industry - the employment generated - both direct and support industry. The roads would be developed, the support industry ranging from tea shops, daily wagers, cleaners, unskilled labours, drivers and what not would make the Singur a better place to live in. The per capital income would grow. There would be educational institutions coming up. The gradual growth would definitely see hospitals and other service industries growing generating more employment. But of course Mamtha surely doesn't see it all!!

Third, a big question - a valid one too. mamtha is concerned about the farming industry. If the farmers loose their land, where would they cultivate? What would happen to the biggest necessity called food?

Do we have an answer?

On one interview Mamtha plays smart by declaring that she is ready to talk if the government would give back the 400 acres land to farmers. She said, the govt could in turn give another 500 acre low-lying land which lays near to this project site. She says this land is ruled by her party [municipality] and if the govt does not give it to the plant, she would not allow any multi storey buildings come up at the said place! Wo.. what a woman!!

Hold-on.. did we just get an answer to the big question we asked. Its obvious that mamtha loves the poor, the farmers. Her war is one of those ideological ones raged against the "corrupted" , "capitalist" government! Agreed! So instead of taking the already starving farmers out of their jobs, asking them to stay back for agitation which earns them nothing but starvation, why don't she, with her government, the municipal officers, work on giving this so called 500 acres of land for farming? I am sure that would allow TATA to stay back, the farmers get their land, the industry grows and so does Singur. Everybody is happy. Or are they? The obvious unhappy thing that would happen is that Mamtha would loose a weapon which could win her a seat in the ministry. Of course CPI[M] led government would get the credit of bringing in the industry and all the development that follows. Why should she ever do that? Love for farmers definitely doesn't demand promoting her political rivals!!

One question lingers. Why is she doing this? I am sure you've got enough brains to help me get an answer! :-)


Vin said...

will try even though my IQ is < 20, since politicians r easy to understand...their thoughts, words and actions are all in one track always: how to secure my seat for eternity??? Kissa kursi ka :)

i find ur blog quite keep me posted.

Anil Sawan said...

youve got a point there vin.. :-) its been ages that i havn blogged.. lasy week i started reading "" and suddenly got inspored!! deleted all the blogs i had and was back on track with this one :-)

Sen said...

well, i dont understand much politics, I have jotted down the things the way I see it...

1) When they say that the goverment bought the land from unwilling farmers, dont imagine that the farmers were paid grand amounts that will keep them from starvation... on the contrary the compensation on offer is always so paltry that to survive even for a year would be difficult... the affected people are normally fed a cock and bull story that their land is being accquired for a social cause which will bring economic prosperity in the long run and they should not be materialistic...In this case I read somewhere that an enhanced compensation would be welcome by the affected farmers... But no one is talking about that!!!
2) Secondly, as farmers normally live near their land I am sure that have also lost their ancesteral homes which must have been with the family for centuries, how do we place a price tag on memories and emotional ties ?
3) It is all very easy for everyone to say that it is bad for the economic development of the state, country etc...but the educated world is just looking at the capitalistic educated conglomerate that is interested... talk to the poor who are affected and I am sure that it will be a different picture all together... If I understand correctly TATA was happy to have the 600 acres of land to begin with...and Mamata is willing to offer another 500 acres for ancillary industries in the vicinity instead of the 400 acres of disputed land... why dont TATA take up the offer...make peace with the influential ally who will definitely make life easy for them in the state... and everyone is happy ??

Anil Sawan said...

nice way to look at things sen. but i am still not convinced.. alrite lets say the "luv" for the farmers win. what next. the farmers will continue cultivating. they would soon vanish from the politicians "to-do" list. they would soon see cameras rolling out of Singur.. They suddenly feel the grip of lonliness haunting them.. For so long Singur has been the hot fav for all media and one day they would all say bye to the people there.. Famers would remain farmers, their children would become farmers, and hopefully if nature doesnt hit hard on them, they would earn for their survival. Yes, their ancestral home as u call them [if you have seen them on tv] the small huts [dont know if we could call them so] which stays intact on the mercy of mother nature would remain.. No industry would ever prefer to start their stall there. There would be no new ventures coming up. The possibility of education for their children would be a dream. there would be no new hospitals. the land would be neglected by the very own mamtha.
sen, have you visited any industrial area? have you talked to the employees [mostly locals] there? i have never heard them say that the industry had taken away home from them.. every big industry develops the space they occuppy.. atleast the industries ive seen.. ITI, BHEL, Keltron, Steel plants to name a few..

sen, i dont say that the farmers should be thrown away from the land they occuppy. As far as i follow it, they are paid reasonably good money, atleast the current value of money... and they could always move on.. with the industry , they could grow.. i know its easy to say.. but for them who have seen ups and downs through out thir life.. who have fighted against odds to survive, this wont be impossible! atleast i hope the party which was formed for the laborours wouldn have thought of ditching their own people...

Sen said...

well...I know I am being stubborn... but my point is ...I an not saying that Tata's say "tata" to Singur... by all means stay...use the land on offer for setting up the industry... if the schools, colleges and hospitals come up in the land Mamata has offered would the farmers be debarred from using them ??
I think not !!!In an ideal world it would be a scenario like finding a middle way where everyone think they have the biggest piece of cake... drastic steps are uncalled for ... dont you think ??

Anil Sawan said...

i guess i am not sure of anything in this world of blizzard surprises :(

gowthami said...

when tata approached the farmers y dint they say tat they were not wiiling to sell their land?and now i dont understand y they want their land back?

Anil Sawan said...

tata aproaching farmers and farmers giving land -> the entire deal has many versions to itself gowthami; only God and the Tatas know the entire truth!