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

land acquisitionSubscribe to land acquisition

Dynamics of Caste and Landlessness

The effects of land acquisition processes and poor urban planning on Dalits and the marginalised landless population are analysed. How minor changes in laws and policymaking processes can change or prevent future policy issues by addressing landlessness-borne issues in consistency with sustainable development goals and social inclusion is examined. This study aims to understand the complexities and transitory socio-economic problems underlying urban development planning. It finds that poor and marginal landless village residents, who had little to no idea about the land acquired for a public purpose, undoubtedly faced the most unfavourable outcomes in the course of rural to urban development.

The Singur Movement

​ Land Dispossession and Everyday Politics in Rural Eastern India by Kenneth Bo Nielsen, London and New York: Anthem Press, 2018; pp 221, £70, hardcover.

Creating a ‘21st Century World’: Will Metro Systems Create ‘Smart Cities’?

By inviting private capital and adopting an urbanisation plan that caters to the affluent, India’s upcoming metro systems will not be a public good aimed for the masses.

Politics of Pollution

The Godavari Mega Aqua Food Park, which is expected to come up in Tundurru village in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, is being resisted by the local residents. This resistance stems out of the local populace’s concerns regarding the pollution that would be caused by the upcoming factory, and its adverse effects on the health, natural resources and livelihoods of the people. The use of violent repressive measures by the government to quell the protests against the project posits the upcoming industry as a product of the state–corporate nexus, with no concern for the health, well-being or prosperity of the people it claims to serve.

Dynamics of Land Acquisition

The Supreme Court’s judgment on 31 August 2016 to return the acquired land to farmers with compensation in Singur, West Bengal brought euphoria to the displaced farmers in Barnala district, Punjab. Since no project has been initiated on the acquired land in Barnala after 10 years, land acquisition should be cancelled by the Supreme Court taking suo motu cognisance. This article highlights how, in a high-handed manner, farmers’ land was grabbed by the politico-corporate lobby under the guise of land acquisition.

The Empire, Its Law and the Bankruptcy of Anthropologists

Anthropologists in India are ill-equipped to engage in a fruitful dialogue with the government as regards the acquisition of land effected under the Land Acquisition Act of 1894, even after 70 years of independence. With land being one of the most vital life support systems of the poor populations, anthropologists should generate a solid database on the biocultural impacts of land acquisition. Ironically, the Anthropological Survey of India has not yet been able to produce scientific data on the biocultural impact of land takeover, particularly on food insecurity and its consequent impact on health and nutrition.

Land Acquisition

Empirical work by researchers increasingly finds that farmers are willing to sell their land if the price-compensation package is "acceptable." This article takes an introductory review of different frameworks like accumulation by dispossession, political society/civil society, reversal of the effects of primitive accumulation; and double movement in the context of land acquisition. With farmers wanting to move out of agriculture in a big way and looking for alternatives, there is a need to accept the farmers' willingness to be partners in the developmental processes. At the same time, largely due to the protest movements and the concomitant violence, the state is becoming more accommodating of the demands for better compensation. In such a situation, a covenant between the state and land needs to emerge.

Guaranteeing Title to Land

Land is the most valuable natural resource whose planning and development offer major prospects for increases in output and incomes for the people, especially for those who are near or below the poverty line. For efficient land planning and optimum use, it is essential that there be clarity and certainty about title to land. In India land records are in very poor shape and there is maximum litigation in rural and urban areas about ownership. It has been estimated by reputed agencies that India loses 1.3 per cent economic growth annually as a result of disputed land titles, which inhibit supply of capital and credit for agriculture. It is therefore exceedingly important that a fundamental change is brought about in the way land records are maintained. The conversion of the present system of presumptive titles to land into conclusive titles is the only sensible solution of this problem. Bold political direction alone can bring about reform of this magnitude which will bring our country in the mainstream of a worldwide trend, enhance the marketability of land, reduce the stupendous social cost of litigation and give a boost to agricultural production and urban and industrial development.
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