Ever since the inception of the Land Acquisition Bill in India, I have been following news reports and blogs about the same. Mainly because, this bill is a classic battle between the autocratic corporate sector and the farmers who have helped sustain the Indian economy for so long.
India is an agrarian country and farming and farmers form the backbone of this economy. Then why is that each time there is something that needs to be done for them, we find that the government obscures harsh measures in the name of development. The Land Act has been amended so many times, yet the final draft fails to impress the masses.
Not only the general public but it is the collective observation of all the think tanks that it threatens to disturb the delicate farming balance in the country, post which it will be hard to sustain the huge population and we will once gain return to the 1960’s with famines threatening the sustenance of homo sapiens in the country.
As for me, going through the bare document of the original act which was proposed way back in 2014, the best part was the clause of Social Impact Assessment. That would have made sure that a realistic analysis of the impact of this so called “development” be conducted on an yearly basis. The doing away with this clause by the present government puzzles me, for their basic motto during elections was rolling out “Acche Din” for the common masses. This was something that had been found missing in the dynastical political setup in a democracy. Moreover, this step is being taken in the form of an ordinance for the third time. Even more so the worst part is that it is being rolled out without securing the necessary support from the Opposition.
In a democratic setup like India the main reason for pioneering the clause of Opposition was to maintain a healthy check on the ruling government for we live in a country which champions in diversity. It still needs to be seen as to why the present government is neglecting this most important cogwheel in the democratic functioning.
As for me, I am a city dweller and the encroachment of farmland by corporates will not affect me directly. However, we all belong to the human race and have the basic necessity of food to sustain, which is certainly going to get affected and hence this bill affects each and everyone in the country. Besides, The last time such a huge step was taken was back in the year 2013-2014 when the Food Safety Ordinance was promulgated. However, in absence of proper infrastructural support and well thought of implementation, it is lying in the rots till now.
I am only a concerned tax payer who wants to make sure that the public money is put to good use and not wasted in this majoritarian political measures. Its high time the “Mango People” raise their voices for its a government of the people, by the people, for the people, and We are the People.