Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Bengal, once upon a time was one of the most advanced industrial states of India. Slowly it lost its preeminence position. During later part of seventies of twentieth century almost all important Houses deserted Bengal. The militant trade unionism made the situation worse during first part of Eighties. The left front slowly realised that without industrialisation the growth of the state would not be possible.The new Chief minister adopted new economic policy despite strong philosophy of communism and was successful in attracting number of well known industrial houses. But suddenly acquisition of land from TILLER OF THE LAND created social problem. Most of landowner agreed to sale the land but a few were opposed to the idea. Reason? The land were fertile enough for cultivation and they felt that industry could be set up in non fertile places. A conflict arose between rural society and the Government . The party in power actually gave the right of the land long back and thought rural population would listen to whenever the party dictates. The party was wrong. They did not do their home work initially. They had taken people for granted

In the meantime other opponent party grab the opportunity. The failure of the party in power to convince a section of rural population provided opportunity to opposition to oppose the acquisition tooth and nails.

In the meantime work of the project set up in the land have progressed well.Neither opposition was willing to leave the opportunity to pin down the party in power nor the state Government was in a position to leave the grand project. An impasse was created in the project site when blocked was created and workers were threatened. No industry can survives under threat, continuous fear of annihilation and violence. The demonstration was outwardly peaceful but inwardly felt threatened. The owner of the prestige project Tata decided to call it a day since it was not possible ensure safety of workmen and engine rs on the site. If the project fails to start production it would give a wrong signal to outside world. No industrialist would be willing to come over to the state. The growth of the economy would be jeopardise.

Now the question arise should opposition create so much pressure that none can set up manufacturing facility in the state? Is such movement desirable? what should be done ? The governor of the state has rightly intervened and wanted to resolve the impasse. But can the matter be solved if both the parties stick to their stand?

I only hope the day would come when matter would be sorted out. Perhaps law would be created to Di-requisition the land. Really unwilling worker would get back land if not at the project site but at the nearest village.Proper compensation package would be introduced and plant will start functioning with renewed vigour. This is a prime project which might change the face of Bengal. The success of such project would trigger other industrialist to come into the state. This is an opportunity not to be missed by Government, opposition and saner section of the population. Any comments???

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