Land Acquisition Bill – It Is Better That We Act Now

Land Acquisition Bill - It Is Better That We Act Now
Credit: Blogipleaders

A rally convened to highlight the concerns of distressed farmers gained notoriety when a farmer, who, it turns out was not so distraught committed suicide in full public view. Politicians from the opposition clamored to extract maximum political mileage from this sad incident even as they simultaneously denied doing the same. The cacophony surrounding the incident has blurred the real issue at hand. Loud and unruly voices have taken over pragmatism, thereby veering the discussion on the land bill down the lane of rhetoric. The unfurling of the entire episode reflects, not our society’s anxiety but its deep rooted depravity and selfishness.

For long the nation has been plagued by a lack of political consensus on core issues. Political parties across ideological lines have pursued zealously only their personal vested interests. Politicians who are busy fulfilling private ambitions have time and again sidelined issues of critical national importance. Satisfaction of self interest, it seems, is a greater priority on our neta’s to do list and it may not be surprising if serving the people features at the bottom or is altogether missing. Our resilient country once again witnessed such a futile attempt at chasing individual glory when Rahul Gandhi gave a banal speech on the land bill in parliament.

Listening to the reluctant Congress Vice President give yet another dull speech, one can only wonder how much wool has been pulled over the averse leader’s eyes by his advisors. The speech, riddled with misinformation, can serve as a tutorial to future congress leaders on how to blatantly lie whilst standing in the most sacrosanct institution of our democracy. Seeing the imprudent leader accuse the government of being patrons of a corporate mafia was particularly amusing. It seems that Rahul G is suffering from amnesia. Not too far in the distant past, his party henchmen under the guise of empowering the downtrodden sold off our country’s natural resources at throwaway prices in exchange for bribes. Even a man of below average intelligence can join the dots and look through the hypocrisy which the party is peddling amongst our countrymen.

Amidst this entire rabble rousing it is imperative for the debate revolving around the Land Bill to be understood in the context of what our government is trying to achieve. The people gave the present government a mandate which was enshrined in the principles of progress and development. For any country to achieve growth it is important to defreeze its dormant resources, central to which are land, labor and capital. The land bill which the government is hopefully all geared up to promulgate will be the primary step which our country will take towards an era of progress. Ease in availability of land for vital projects concerning defense, rural infrastructure, housing, industrial corridors, and capital infrastructure will boost our dormant economy, helping not only city folk but millions of farmers as well.

For the congress it is presumably difficult to stomach the actuality that the world has great expectations from India and international agencies are rallying behind us to show remarkable growth rates. This may stem from the fact that the party and its ancillary organizations (National Advisory Council and affiliated NGO’s) have always made a living by marketing the country’s poverty. Watching our Prime Minister advertise India’s skilled demographic dividend sends shockwaves through their spines and they consider it to be nothing short of sacrilege.

Every developed country has at some point seen a move from an agrarian to an industrial economy complimented by a robust service sector. We as a polity have reached our critical juncture to make a conscious choice of drifting away from an agrarian economy to a more durable industrial one. It is high time for the government to walk its talk of development and progress. The Prime Minister must show his political clout and muscle the legislation through in the larger interest of the nation irrespective of contrary opinions, because expecting a democratized debate on the issue with a party possessing shaky ideological foundations will yield no profits. A strong political posturing at this stage will culminate in the fulfillment of fruitful efforts of inviting investment from across the world. It is better that we act now, lest we reminisce this time two decades later with tears and a pinch of hurting nostalgia, imagining what the scenario would have been had our political masters acted at the ripe moment.

Rohan Shridhar is a law graduate and legal activist from the state of Himachal Pradesh

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