Hunger for more, or more of hunger : Incessant grabbing of productive farmland for more industry is a recipe for disaster

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Article courtesy: Tehelka
Author: Devinder Sharma

Incessant grabbing of productive farmland for more industry is a recipe for disaster.

Rural India is on the boil. What we have seen in Greater Noida, Aligarh, Agra, Allahabad and Mathura in UP or Mansa in Punjab or Jaitapur in Maharashtra or Mangalore in Karnataka are mere representations of what’s happening far away from the glare of the national media. Pitched battles are being fought across the country by the poor who fear further marginalisation when their land is grabbed by the government on behalf of the industry. Even a state like Madhya Pradesh, which otherwise seems relatively calm and untouched by the turmoil, has seen violent protests against forcible takeover of land. In five years, the clashes have multiplied from 67 in 2005 to 252 in 2009.

The builder-industrialist-politician nexus, often held responsible for landrelated agitations, finds a new player now. Ever since economists began telling us that land is an economic asset, which unfortunately, is in the hands of the inefficient, there has been a scramble by industry, driven by real estate, to procure as much as possible.

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