Sunday, September 24, 2006

CPI(Marxist) -Big Broker for capitalist interests

Naam he Joker, Kaam he Broker -
CPI(Marxist's) new age mantra.

CPI(Marxist) -Big Broker for capitalist interests

Condemn the efforts of the CPI(marxist)government of
West Bengal to seize the land of peasents and farmers !

by signing the online petition below.

Background Information on Singur

Singur is a thriving farming community in the West Bengal State of India. Its 20,000 habitants, mostly small peasants, agricultural workers and small traders will be displaced soon in the name of "development" as Tata Motors is set to take over their land.

More than 4000 peasant families as well as agricultural labourers, unregistered sharecroppers, cottage industry workers and local small business people are living under the threat of imminent eviction from their 1253 acres of land and their livelihood is endangered with this move of the West Bengal government.

The State has ordered the peasants to immediately stop sowing rice and to accept the State's decision of farmland acquisition and the following eviction. The government plans to acquire land through the Land Acquisition Act, then would be leased /sold out to Tata Motors, a giant Indian corporation, at a subsidised rate through the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.

The selected land for acquisition is a fertile multi-cropping agricultural land. Its lush and multi-crop land yields 8,000 to 9,000 tons of rice, wheat, vegetables and jute per year. The decision of the State Government to acquire this land surprised the peasants and many other Civil Society activists as Tata could easily be set up in other locations in the state where adequate non agricultural land are available.

The Chief Minister offered the Tatas unarable land in West Medinipur for setting up the manufacturing unit, but the latter preferred this agricultural land and the supposedly pro-people Left Front government in order to oblige the influential multinational company surrendered meekly to this compulsion. Besides this, the acquisition of such a huge land area signifies that the Tata may turn these lands into a 'Real Estate' venture in the near future like the other Indian companies did.

Moreover, no adequate compensation or rehabilitation package has been offered to the affected. Only one time monetary compensation is promised, which the peasants think is way below the market price. No economic rehabilitation is offered to 20,000 peasants whose livelihoods would be directly affected, neither any compensation is offered to those agricultural labourers, sharecroppers and others who depend on these lands indirectly and would also be deprived of their livelihoods.

Peasant women would be severely affected as in most cases lands are not recorded in their names and they would not get the compensations themselves. Moreover, it must be noted here that no compensation will be appropriate for such damage as the peasants have practised only agriculture over generations and are rendered unskilled and inadept for other occupations. Thus, they will lose their access to food producing resources i.e. land and would be exposed to hunger and starvation. In fact, the whole process of alignment of the compensation package is not transparent, meagre and there is no participation of the affected people in this process.

It is important to mention here that acquisition of 1253 acres of fertile agricultural land in Singur, is part of the larger plan of the State Government to acquire 43000 acres of land (mostly agricultural) for industrial purposes in the state.

Acquisition of 1253 acres of land in Singur will destroy food security of 20,000 people who depend directly or indirectly on these lands. Even the trivial compensation promised by the Government overlooks those who indirectly depend on these lands for food security e.g. agricultural or unregistered share croppers, workers of local cottage industry, people locally engaged in small business etc.

Please take action by publicising this issue and by signing to this online petition. A copy of the petition letter will be automatically sent to the Chief Minister of West Bengal, West Bengal Human Rights Commission and to the United Nations Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

Sign the petition by clicking here

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