This refers to the editorial and the series of reports on Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi courting arrest on the issue of land acquisition in Bhatta-Parsaul village, Greater Noida and the subsequent farmers' agitation (May 12).
The UPA is in government at the Centre and came to power on the slogan of supporting the aam aadmi. But why is it not serious about addressing the problems faced by the farm community and farmers? The biggest threat the country's farmers face today is the indifferent attitude displayed by the political class to their problems — farmer suicides, agitations over inadequate remuneration for produce, rotting foodgrain and a the lack of a balanced view on the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
Sai Pawan Anugula,
The editorial is right in highlighting the need for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati to be prudent in the matter of land acquisition. The opposition parties are fishing in troubled waters forgetting that in other States ruled by them, there is similar discontent being expressed by farmers. Unfortunately, there are no proper guidelines for the acquisition of land and payment of compensation, which should be just, adequate and on a par with the market value of the land.
The brutal handling of the farmers' agitation is unfortunate. But it is obvious that with the Assembly elections in U.P. just a year away, the opposition parties are vying with one another to be seen as friends of the farmer. What is the fate of the recently introduced PFRDA bill in Parliament? What about the pending bill of 2007 which proposed amendment to the colonial Land Acquisition Act of 1894?
Syed Sultan Mohiddin,
What happened in Greater Noida will be repeated all over India. Indiscriminate land acquisition in the name of infrastructure development is an offshoot of the neo-liberal policies followed by governments in India. Ms Mayawati has only done what other Chief Ministers have done in the name of development. Mr. Gandhi must exert pressure on the Central government to amend the Land Acquisition Act and revisit the SEZ Act.
Where are we to get our food from if we go on converting lush paddy fields into concrete jungles or express highways?
Rettavyal S. Krishnaswamy,
The new slogan in Greater Noida should have been “1894 LAA must go.” This colonial legacy of land acquisition must vanish. As Jawaharlal Nehru pointed out in his “Tryst with Destiny” midnight speech in the Constituent Assembly: “The service of India means, the service of the millions who suffer.”
The statement uttered by Mr. Gandhi reminded me of the revolutionary Ernesto ‘Che' Guevara and his “The Motorcycle Diaries,” where the legendary Che realised that “determination and conviction can be enough to change one's self and others…” The young leader has still miles to go though. He could have asked the government to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the Land Acquisition Act.
Col. C.V. Venugopalan (retd.),
The farmers' agitation in U.P. has turned into a drama of sorts with each party trying to politicise the issue. A young political leader cannot say, “I feel ashamed to call myself Indian” when there are farmers in other parts of the country who are in a similar plight. Farmer suicides in Andhra Pradesh are an example. Mr. Gandhi should also assure the farmers that an all-party meeting would be convened to discuss land acquisition. Right or wrong, Ms Mayawati followed the rule book before carrying out the arrests.
Mr. Gandhi's remark is interesting as we must look at the circumstances that led him to make such a statement. It is a fact that the political class is ill-treating farmers.