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

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Capitalising Caste in Yadadri

Capital and caste are identified in this paper as dominant factors shaping the land market in a rapidly growing Telangana redevelopment project of the Hindu religious Yadadri temple town. The rampant dispossession of small and marginal farmers, labourers, workers, shopkeepers, street vendors, autorickshaw drivers, Dalits and marginalised communities are discussed in this paper through the process of “accumulation by dispossession.” Engaging with the framework of capital and caste for understanding contemporary Indian political economy, this paper elucidates the process of agricultural land meeting real estate economy in a suburban religious town.

The Story of Land Acquisition in Bhangar, West Bengal

One crucial factor among many that led to the victory of Trinmool Congress in the West Bengal elections in 2011 was the violence associated with land acquisitions in the period when the Left Front was in power. An attempt is made to see if any lessons were learnt out of the Nandigram–Singur episodes. A case study of land acquisition in the Bhangar area of West Bengal is presented by putting forth the entire story of what happened from January 2013 to March 2020. The intersecting dynamics of local politics, local land mafia, the rents arising out of land acquisitions, and the state-level politics are also analysed. It is found that the villagers are willing to sell their land if they get a “proper” compensation. It is hypothesised that possibly a “learning state” is evolving in West Bengal, which could aid its industrialisation.

Understanding Fair Compensation

Fair compensation remains the sole ground for challenging the authority of the state on the contentious issue of land acquisition, by those affected by it. The issue of fair compensation is looked at, through a theoretical lens of Rawls’s conception of “justice as fairness” by critically analysing the amendments to the land acquisition acts and understanding the different methods adopted by the legislature and the judiciary for calculating a “fair” market value of the land. Although different methods are adopted to determine this value, the fact remains that they cannot reform land markets in India.

The Land Pooling Scheme in Andhra Pradesh

The Land Pooling Scheme employed by the state of Andhra Pradesh has procured nearly 33,000 acres of agricultural land to implement the master plan of its new capital city Amaravati. This article explores the intervention made by the LPS as an alternative to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, and the various discourses associated with its implementation in AP.

 

Acquiring Land in India

The Political Economy of Land Acquisition in India: How a Village Stops Being One by Dhanmanjiri Sathe, Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan (Imprint by Springer Nature), 2017; pp xvi + 204, price not indicated.

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.

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