Why is the Left giving up Singur's arable land for Tata's cars?

  • 14/01/2007

Why is the Left giving up Singur's arable land for Tata's cars? The Hindu of December 13, 2006 published a write-up on Singur on its op-ed page: "Some facts, please' by cpi(m) politburo member and leading intellectual Brinda Karat. She was countering what she called a smear campaign against the cpim) over the acquisition of land for the proposed Tata Motors project at Singur. There are some more facts, however, that I would like to bring to her notice. But before that I would also like to thank her for having brought some key issues to the fore. My own rejoinder is partly based on the "Factsheet on the Tata Motors Project in Singur Compiled by the West Bengal Government', and sent by e-mail by the Delhi branch of the cpi(m), a few days ago. Other facts that I will mention have been compiled through long and laborious research. (I can furnish sources if necessary).

I would like to take up the points as Ms Karat raised them.

She says that the government has letters of consent from the owners of 952 acres (385 hectares, ha) of land (of the 997 acres [403 ha] required for the project at Singur), expressing their willingness to sell their land. Twelve thousand farmers, including marginal farmers and share-croppers, have received their due compensation and the rest are waiting for it.

This would mean that the government now needs to acquire only 45 acres (18 ha) for the project. And it is for these 45 acres that 20,000 police personnel, drawn from six districts, were deployed in Singur on December 2. These police personnel turned on women, children and old people with sticks, tear gas and rubber bullets, to disperse the crowd gathered to resist the