PM Narendra Modi will do “Mann Ki Baat (Heart Talk)” with Indian farmers tomorrow. There he will try to convince them about the benefits of Modi Government’s new Land Acquisition Bill — The benefits which either farmers have not fully understood or the political rivals haven’t allowed them to understand.
Only tomorrow it will be known, to what extent PM Modi manages to convince the farmers — the key party to Land acquisition Bill.
I think, PM’s address to the farmers will be more like a marketing pitch. This became evident by the logic being offered by BJP spokespersons in the last couple of weeks. Whenever these spokespersons start losing an argument, they start offering a logic: If Industries are set up, wouldn’t the land prices increase too.
I find this untenable and remote reasoning. As Farmers are agriculturists, they are not property dealers.
That said, the new land acquisition bill doesn’t look farmer friendly. It appears to have only one Objective: Provide cheap land to the Businesses.
Why I think so? As the very reasonings offered by BJP Government seem to contradict themselves. Let I give you an example.
One of the public purposes for acquiring land is Low cost housing or affordable housing. This is part of PM’s promise to have house for every Indian by 2022. To fulfill this promise, the Government has to build at least 5 crore houses in the next eight years. These houses should also be affordable. This means that if land is not acquired at low prices, then building affordable houses will not be possible. If these affordable houses are to be built by Private builders, then it becomes more likely that the land is acquired at cheap rates.
Remember that, Building 5 crore houses will require an astronomical amount of money. An amount which is nearly impossible for even a Nation.Thus, on the face value, PM Modi’s promise of giving every Indian citizen a house by 2022, seems just a populist slogan and the land acquired from the farmers will simply go to land banks, which will eventually be sold to Businesses for purposes other than Public.
Let I give you another example.
Suppose BJP Government thinks it perfectly normal to acquire land to create land banks, which in turn can be given to Corporates to set up industries and logistical infrastructure. If that is the case, then how many real jobs these industries will create by displacing the farmers. By real jobs, I mean jobs which have real salaries (not the low fixed salaries offered in contract jobs).
PM Modi’s “Make in India” concept may appear grand, but how will it succeed?
From where all the resources — land, skill, technology etc. will come from?
Will India be able to manufacture products at costs less than China? Asking this as China is already making its people work at parasitic wages in its manufacturing units. How else, China manages to clog Indian markets with very lowly priced ‘Made in China’ products!
The very reasoning behind manufacturing as India’s growth driver and job creator, seems weak. If Mr. Modi’s “Make in India” initiative plans to carve out a “High Quality Products” market for itself, so that it doesn’t have to compete with China, then it’s obvious that all those displaced of their lands will never get a job in such manufacturing. For two reasons: one, they will not have the skills to get the jobs; and two, even if they are taught the skills to get absorbed, only a small section will get the jobs. Thus instead of giving employment, more Indians will be displaced by the concept.
To conclude, we are being told that India has vast untapped resources, in terms of land, water and manpower. Actually this is a lie.
India has limited resources. India may be a big country, but it has a big population too. That’s why it’s important to think extensively over issues which eye those resources. We are being told that farming in India is not contributing much, when the fact of the matter is, the sam agriculture manages to produce enough food to feed the billion people.
Do think over the and acquisition Bill. Even when you’re not a farmer. We are still much connected to agriculture. No matter if indirectly.