Monday, September 01, 2008

What is the relation between.....

Both are pictures of popular leaders who refuse to acknowledge the birth of a new era that has come.

One did not recognize that the Manchester of the East was looking at a bleaker picture and proceeded to call an 18-month long strike that hastened the demise of an already sick industry. Datta Samant, a massive strike, at the beginning of which an estimated 200,000–300,000 mill workers walked out, forcing the entire industry of the city to be shut down for over a year. As the strike progressed through the months, Samant's militancy in the face of government obstinacy led to the failure of any attempts at negotiation and resolution. Disunity and dissatisfaction over the strike soon became apparent, and many textile millowners began moving their plants outside the city. After a prolonged and destabilizing confrontation, the strike collapsed with Samant and his allies not having obtained any concessions. The closure of textile mills across the city left tens of thousands of mill workers unemployed, and in the succeeding years the most of the industry moved away from Mumbai, after decades of being plagued by rising costs and union militancy. The just have to walk around the mill areas of Parel and Worli. The mills stand there like ghosts from another era. And those that have been redeveloped are now housing posh offices and malls.

and the other.....Didi as she is called by all, refuses to let industrialization come to West Bengal. Somehow she thinks that returning the land that the Tata's acquired from unwilling farmers is a solution. Does she really think that the unwilling farmers would be able to return to agriculture in the then fertile now barren land? Surrounded by paint shops, forging shops and assembly line? May be Tata Motors will have to create a new designation, Farmer, Farm Labourer for those who will be farming in those areas that are within the gates of the factory.

And what makes the farmer unwilling. Well to look at it one way, the Govt. acquired the land paying a price of about 13-17 lacs an acre. ($32500-$42500 an acre) thats about Rs. 321/sq m ($8 a sq m) or 29.8 a sq feet. The price paid to the farmers for a plot of land in the middle of nowhere the size of a tile in your room is about 30 rs. That is huge amount by any logic. Now the unwilling farmer contents that in any case if the factory comes up, the land has to be acquired. The price of land will shoot up. So the farmer has the opportunity to sell the land at 3 times the present price. No wonder such large numbers are supporting didi's protests and her intelligent argument that Tata's need only about 600 acres, return 400 acres to the farmers. Left to her, the factory will have a paint shop, then a rice farm, then the body shop, and forge, then maybe another farm.

What if Tata's move out of Singur? West Bengal gets tagged with an industry unfriendly status. The only thing left for educated, unemployed youths is roke bose adda maraa aar prem kora....after all who needs industrialization....we are happy, lazy beings.


Daffodils said...

One had some character...!

Anindita said...

I think Ms Bandopadhyay just wanted cheap political mileage.