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

Articles by Dhanmanjiri SatheSubscribe to Dhanmanjiri Sathe

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.

Land Acquisition and Beyond

Farmers have a complex relationship with their land: losing it means losing an entire way of life. A survey of the original inhabitants of Maan, a village near Pune where land was acquired for an information technology park and industrial estates, found that the process of acquisition was both attractive and scary for the farmers involved. Almost 70% of the respondents were willing to sell their land under different conditions. They were bitter about the escalation of land values after acquisition. What farmers want is a share in the future appreciation of land.

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.

A Drought of Reporting

Coverage of important issues like droughts and natural calamities is often very different in English-language and local-language newspapers. P Dhanmanjiri Sathe 


Land Acquisition Act and the Ordinance

This note tries to capture what has been attempted in the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 and the ordinance to amend it that has been hitherto promulgated thrice. It discusses in detail the provisions on public purpose, social impact assessment, compensation, and rehabilitation and resettlement.

Implications of Land Acquisition for Dalits

This paper tries to capture the externalities that arise from land acquisition and the consequent development that occurs on the acquired land. A case study of Maan village close to Pune in Maharashtra attempts to see if the externalities arising out of the development of land show a caste bias. While the economic condition of the Dalits remains inferior to the non-Dalits, there is no difference in the benefits that have accrued to the Dalits and the non-Dalits due to the externalities. There has been a positive movement in favour of the Dalits as far as issues related to dignity, discrimination and dependence are concerned. They are mainly dependent upon non-governmental jobs, which give them an escape out of the earlier feudal relations but the kind of jobs that they engage in possibly keeps them frozen in traditional caste identities.

Vicissitudes in the Acquisition of Land: A Case Study

After touching on a few issues related to the increasing cost of land in the country and hence input costs, this article examines the case of Maan village near Pune in Maharashtra. There has been a sea change in the attitudes of landowners to land acquisition and compensation. Three phases can be identified in this saga and the landowners are now not only coming up with alternatives, but are also more confi dent about demanding what they want. They have become business savvy in their dealings with the authorities

Can the Female Sarpanch Deliver?

This study examines the impact of mandated reservations for female sarpanch (elected heads of gram panchayats) on perceptions of service delivery and women's democratic participation. Using survey data from Sangli district in Maharashtra, it finds that the availability of basic public services is significantly higher in female sarpanch villages compared to the male sarpanch villages when the former have been in the job for three to three-and-a-half years. Indeed, reservations have had a significant positive impact on the democratic participation of women in female sarpanch villages though the positive effects in terms of service delivery and democratic participation will take some more time to materialise.

The 'Corruption' of the Human Development Index

When student enrolment fi gures are infl ated so that private "grantable" schools can receive larger fi nancial allocations from the government, will that not infl ate India's Human Development Index? An examination of surveys in Maharashtra.

Farmers in a Quagmire: The Wages of Unconcern

Agrarian Crisis and Farmer Suicides edited by R S Deshpande and Saroj Arora (New Delhi: Sage Publications), 2010; pp 436, Rs 895.

Political Economy of Land and Development in India

Land has emerged as one of the bigger constraints on development in recent years. Particularly contentious is access to "appropriate land", which the non-agricultural sector requires for its expansion, and which is scarce because the State is not creating conditions conducive for farmers to sell their land. This article discusses the different phases in land acquisition since Independence, issues of adequate compensation, and the space this has created for different kinds of activism by members of civil society.

Sustaining Agricultural Trade

An examination of the trends in agri-trade for the post-liberalisation period for India shows that agri-imports have grown at almost double the rate of agri-exports. However, due to the initial higher levels, agri-exports continue to be higher than agri-imports by one and a half times for 2003-04. The implications for agri-trade from the vantage point of foreign exchange have become quite limited, but the impact on domestic agriculture has been deepening. While over the years policy has focused relentlessly on non agri-exports, the share of India's agri-exports in world agri-exports is higher than the similar share of India's total exports in world total exports. When the top 15 agri-exports are considered, we do not see any discernible change in the composition, though commodities with a lower share show higher rates of growth. India seems to have avoided abrupt disruptions in its agri-trade patterns.


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