Sunday, December 3, 2023

Land Acquisition Bill, Narendra Modi, And India’s Ruling (Mafia) Elite

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By Anang Pal Malik

1. India’s population through out eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was less than one fourth of what it is today. That is, on per capita basis, during those years, each Indian owned four times the land he owns today. Still Indians migrated in search of livelihood to far off places- West Indies, almost all countries of the African continent, Fiji. Every few decades, people used to die like flies in droughts. Starvation was a permanent feature of life, and except in few big cities, nobody ever had any surplus he could call wealth.

2. Of course Nehru-Gandhi Family has not been in farming since the time records are available. Their knowledge of farming comes from being conducted around in Potemkin tours through the fields. But quite a few of our major political leaders come from small farming families, even from the landless labour families. Lalu Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sharad Yadav, Mayavati, Deve Gowda, Chautalas, the list is long.

3. According to 2011 census, over 75% of India’s population still lives in the villages, in abject poverty, dependent as it is on agriculture which now supports four times the people it was supporting a hundred years ago.

4. Over 65% of the land under agriculture in India is still exclusively rain fed. Therefore every monsoon failure means famine like conditions for the people dependent on it.

5. In the US, the country that produces largest quantities of almost all food crops, and other agri/dairy products, only 1% of the population is working in agriculture.

With these known facts, any sane human being would assume that India’s ruling elite must be feverishly working to industrialise India. But no, actual actions of India’s ruling class are directed in exactly opposite direction-to keep India firmly non-industrialised, subsisting on primitive agricultural economy, that largely depends on rain to give that one crop.

It is essential that here we take a tour of what Indian ruling elite has actually wrought instead.

6. Chief Justice of India refused to attend the meeting of NJAC, a body set up under a law passed by the parliament. This he did at a point in time when the law had not been stayed by any court of law. But he just refused to obey a law passed by the parliament, in his administrative capacity, and nobody raised a finger.

7. India’s Telecom sector was one of the success stories of Indian Liberalisation. It was major engine of job growth. It was first hobbled by scams which were made possible by arbitrary licensing policy, which the Prime Minister of the day allowed under his watch, and then a cure was found for the scams that turned out to be worse than disease. It was decided to auction the spectrum. All that the auctions meant that future earnings were sought to be taxed now. The result has been that all Capital from the sector has been sucked out (and thrown down the drain to fund electoral freebies), leaving Telecom firms, including State owned BSNL and MTNL, struggling for Capital to expand, or to even maintain working Capital. Telecom services in India are now third rate, affecting communication and business very badly. Matters have not been helped by the Courts which every now and then get towers dismantled because of some or other PIL.

8. The Nehru-Gandhi Family never tried to give India the required road network. Vajpayee government made an excellent beginning. But as soon as The Family came back to power, road building was systematically destroyed, bankrupting major construction companies, creating huge NPAs for the banks, and bringing road network back to road jams and broken roads. This sector was also a major driver of job growth which also died down with it.

9. Indian Left always taunts India that like a colony, India exports ore, and not the finished products. But when in major sectors- steel and aluminium- big investments were planned in manufacturing plants in India itself, hell was raised by the Left. The Family was duly roped in in leading role, and all the investments in these two sectors have been killed, leaving India an ore exporter, as usual. Rahul Gandhi in fact takes pride that he blocked the aluminium plant that would have transformed aluminium industry of the world. With these plants were lost lakhs of industrial jobs, both in upstream and downstream. And of course message to potential investors was loud and clear: do not indulge in the folly of planning industrial investment in India.

10. The Family did not stop at that. It led India into believing in the fraud called Global Warming/Climate Change, duly assisted by its hangers on, and has as a result put into place so called Green Laws and Tribunals, which are working overtime to kill the already comatose industrialisation drive in India. Purely subjective, open to arbitrary interpretation, “laws” have been put in place, and result in all cases is one- stopping the economic activity, rendering lakhs jobless and back to villages to subsist on ever shrinking land holdings.

11. NOIDA in Uttar Pradesh sits on the land that was barren for all practical purposes. Villagers of the area eked out living through selling milk. The area is now industrialised, and feeds entire UP from its tax revenue. This small area gives UP revenue equal to that from the rest of the State. And the residents of the villages whose land was acquired to set up this industrial area are enjoying the prosperity which their forefathers must have thought was possible to kings only. The example of NOIDA should have given the Indian ruling elite the idea that industrialisation is the only way to create wealth and lift everybody out of poverty and make them rich  beyond all imagination. But instead the ruling elite is milking this area for bribes. To get an electricity connection in this designated industrial area, you need to pay Rs 5000 per KVA of connection you applied. For example, if you want 1000 KVA connection, you need to pay Rs 5000000 in bribes. This is for one department, and you may have to deal with a dozen or fifty departments depending upon the type of industry you want to set up. People who now try to set up industry in NOIDA curse the day they decided to do so. And even after all the bribes have been paid and production started, some “Green” agency may simply walk in, and shut the factory for good.

12. India is one of the most threatened countries in the world. Therefore, one would expect that Indian ruling elite would take care that at least the military is always equipped properly. But not only the domestic defence production has not been allowed to develop, imports are always difficult to materialise, and when they do, they are promptly cancelled at the first allegation of corruption. With the result that military is always short on arms and ammunition. Perilously short. In fact, and as a result, when wars break out, men have to sacrifice their lives where proper equipment would have sufficed instead.

13. In a Republic, it is one of the basic requirements that the recruitments to civil service, that is, to all posts under the government whose salaries are paid for from the public exchequer, and all posts of Public Sector Undertakings and other autonomous or semi-autonomous bodies which receive funding from the government; are done through open competitive examination not possible to abuse, after posts have been advertised in the widest possible manner . And it was so till a couple of decades back. But even this sacred covenant with the citizens has been successfully destroyed by the Indian ruling elite. So called posts of advisors have been created appointments to which are made arbitrarily, think tanks have been created which though funded by government, are more like personal fiefdoms of the elite in which appointments are made on personal choices. Posts for “experts” have been created which are filled by the faithfuls. Even the brand new party that is in power in Delhi state, which came to power on the promise of honesty and transparency, is happily distributing jobs and government bungalows to party faithfuls. And of course integrity of recruitment examinations themselves are now worse than that in banana republics of the world. Vyapam is just one scam in one state, scene is exactly same across all states. Papers leak, copying is allowed, and then arbitrary marking is done in interviews, so that persons only from the target segment of the population are selected, or those who have paid bribes. And this is done in most open and brazen manner. For example, in UP Mayavati government decided that for the recruitment to the post of constables, the physical tests and interview would only be only qualifying, merit list would be based only on written examination. Present government changed it to written test as qualifying, and merit list to be based on physical tests and interview, leaving the door wide open for favouritism and corruption, with nobody in a country of 127 crore people challenging this blatant destruction of the integrity of recruitment process.

14. In fact, government jobs are now distributed around like personal property of the elite. If in a case of untimely death for any reason, sufficient noises are made in media, or agitation is launched, offer of government job to the next of kin is now a standard operating procedure. A journalist died an unfortunate death in Madhya Pradesh, he was from Delhi, and therefore Delhi government promptly offered a government job to one of his family members. Why? No reasons were given. If it was done to alleviate the suffering of a family that lost an earning member to untimely death, over 400 persons die in road accidents in India daily. Why are their family members not offered jobs by the government? Which death warrants a government job to the next of the kin, and which doesn’t, we are not told. Same is for ex gratia  payments. Ex gratia payments in case of untimely deaths in India now vary from zero to one crore, depending purely upon how much noise has been made in media, and how much the party in power hopes to gain from the ex gratia payment.  Such arbitrariness was always thought to be possible only for the Lords of serfdoms, not to an elected government in a republic. But this is going on, with nobody raising a finger at this blatant misuse of public money.

15. Once a man is in power, exercise of power is independent of the process through which he acquired power. But in a Constitutional Republic, as against a tyranny, it is thought that he would be bound by the laws which are same for everybody, and if he transgresses, Courts and press will restrain him. But in India both, the Courts and press, have become an happy extension of the ruling elite, not independent watchdogs they are thought to be. Courts uphold unconstitutional and arbitrary laws and actions, citing some “public Good” judges have come to know of, and in fact try to administer the country whenever opportunity presents itself. The press is now in fact not an extension of ruling elite, but its integral part. Editors are tied to politicians and bureaucrats through ties of kinship, or make sure that they toe the line that benefits the owners, who themselves are cronies of those in power. Or even worse, they promote the political ideology they follow, suppressing, mutilating, playing up news as it suits their ideology. They have now in fact gone to the extreme of broadcasting lies as news, to promote ideology or party they like. For example, in West Bengal and UP, there are almost weekly, if not daily, communal riots, but they are never reported because messiahs of secularism are ruling these states. In UP, Bihar, and West Bengal; roads have disappeared, electricity has disappeared, industries have disappeared, jobs have disappeared, education has disappeared, law & order has disappeared, vote banks are enjoying open immunity to law, but media never reports on these states because, again, messiahs of secularism and socialism are ruling these states. In the discussions on TV, all the panelists are carefully selected which subscribe to Leftism, so that audience never comes to know that competing ideas exist. In newspaper columns, all writers uniformly promote the Leftist worldview: Big Government, Welfare State, Government ownership of businesses, if not ownership regulation and licensing, need for business killing Labour laws; so that readers never realise that alternative worldviews not only exist, but are being practiced with very good results. Analysis of financial/economic crisis in India and elsewhere is got written by the columnists who present only the Leftist spin on every issue. An elected government not liked by the Left is sought to be undermined by playing up in media routine things as life and death crises.

It was in this environment that Narendra Modi got elected Prime Minster of the country. The ruling elite employed all tricks, dirty and clean, legal and illegal, moral and immoral, honest and corrupt; to block him from becoming the PM. But fate made him the PM, in spite of the entrenched ruling elite of India, of which Delhi bosses of his own party are very much part. Modi sincerely wants to industrialise India, because as the Chief Minister of Gujarat he saw how industries transform lives. And he knows that to set up factories land is required, a simple truth that seems to elude the ruling elite of India. And so he decided to undo the stupidity that is Land Acquisition Act of 2013. The Land Acquisition Act of 2013 should never have been passed, but that was passed to please the Gods of NGOs which were running the previous government. That Act has effectively abolished concept of land acquisition from India. Because acquisition with consent is purchase, not acquisition. That Act also introduced in law a fraudulent concept called Social Impact Study, further making any acquisition all but impossible, Modi wants to partially roll back these primary school essay type concepts frozen as law. Ideally he should have repealed the Act of 2013 in toto, but looking to the seat arithmetic in parliament, he decided to change only the most restrictive provisions. And all hell has broken loose. The whole ruling elite of India has ganged up against him, including in his own party.

There are seemingly two reasons for the opposition to the Land Acquisition Bill of Modi. One, the ruling elite is mortally afraid that if India gets industrialised, it may no longer vote for the looters and corrupts living grand on taxpayer money. For example, The Family that is spearheading the opposition to the Bill, goes to New York for medical treatment, holidays in London, and has five big bungalows dedicated to it in the costliest locality of India, all taxpayer funded. That is, it is enjoying all the fruits of a modern economy, while doing its best to deny the same to the 127 crore people of this country. Second reason is that if Modi is allowed to work, the permanent ruling elite of India, the mafia gang, may get truly unseated. Fiefdoms in bureaucracy, judiciary, press, of regional satraps, of family ventures masquerading as political parties, all are in grave danger of disappearing if Modi gets to work unhindered during the five years voters have given him. Otherwise, how can even politicians from villages and farming families not know that there are no land holdings left which can ensure a respectable livelihood to most families in the villages? That 1, 2 or 5 bighas left to most of the families in villages can not support a single family, but if factories are put up on that land, the same 1 bigha can support hundreds of families? The Leftists controlling academia, press, and the narrative in the country of course would oppose Land Acquisition Bill, because they hate any prosperity. For them, it has to be an impoverished mass, to be ordered and overseen by them as the ruling elite. And mass of the urban Indians that controls culture and writes on social media is economic illiterate enough, and oblivious of realities in the villages, to know that India has run out of agricultural land holdings with size enough to ensure livelihood to those who farm them. And therefore immediate industrialisation can only save Indian economy. Because no country can survive with 127 crore people without livelihood.

And therefore a vicious campaign of lies and smears has been launched against the Land Bill. Day after day, newspaper columns and TV discussions retail same lies, disinformation, and misinformation, so much so that even a tough mined leader like Modi at times seems to have been psyched into backtracking on Land Acquisition Bill. He must know that if the ruling elite of Delhi sees signs of breaking in him, it would double down on pressure, on campaigns of lies and smears. Because issue for the ruling elite of Delhi is not the Land Acquisition Bill, but its own survival. If Modi gives in on the Bill, they will find something else to beat him with. For them the country doesn’t matter, in fact doesn’t exist. All that exists for them is their fiefdoms in which they loot, amass wealth, live grand, distribute jobs and freebies to vote banks, nurture crony Capitalists. They know that Modi threatens this world, and therefore has to be stopped at all costs.

The permanent ruling elite of India is not leaving anything to chance. It recently drafted Amartya Sen, the economist pretender, who has come up with a brand new theory, that India is trying to industrialise with an unhealthy and uneducated population, which is not possible. Nobody is allowed to challenge him in media that the West industrialised when modern medicine and mass modern education did not even exist. That the health services and education we see in the industrialised West now are the results of industrialisation, not the cause of it. And so he is happily moving across TV studios and newspaper columns parading lies, and this false statement as a brand new theory.

Modi is alone. Alone in trying to do what is good for the country. But he must plod on, because that is what his duty to his motherland is calling him to do. That is what voters elected him for. Any compromise with the mafia that is permanent ruling elite of India will finish both-Modi and the country.

(To read similar earlier posts, click on the titles below:-Ed)

1. Engineers With Rs 10000 per month Salary, Farmer Suicides, Land Acquisition Bill, And Future Of India

2.Of Land Acquisition Bill, And Economic Illiteracy Of Educated Indians

3.Mr Prime Minister, Scrap The National Green Tribunal Before It Scraps India

4.Mr Prime Minister, Separate Economy and State

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