ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Ranjit Sau

A Ballad of Singur: Progress with Human Dignity

The idea behind the car factory in Singur was one of using market principles of growth to transform a predominantly agrarian society. This idea, envisaged by the state government, failed because it did not take into account the important aspect of the value of land to peasants and the dignity it accorded to them. The opposition to the car factory, on the other hand, never had a concrete alternative in mind and did not understand the necessity for peasants to also benefit from individual progress, a process of development that is possible only through industrialisation.

Second Industrialisation in India: Land and the State

Industry today faces an acute shortage of land to set up factories and it has to draw upon farm land. Because the very news of a proposed industrial project site breeds speculation of a boom in land prices, no one wants to sell. While there is no better agency than the government to acquire land for industry, protest is inevitable due to the logic of the situation. This is a classic case of the irresistible (industrialisation) dashing against the immovable (millions of peasants and artisans confined to their station). The knot can be broken by opening a window for the latter. This note shows how.