Friday, March 1, 2024

Land Bill & Rahul Gandhi: Politics As The Stand Up Comedy

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By Anang Pal Malik

The economic data from the 2011 census was recently released. According to it, 75% Indians still depend on agricultural land for their livelihood, and live in abject poverty. At Independence also, 80% Indians were dependent on agriculture, and lived in abject poverty.

Immediately upon Independence, we adopted socialism as our governing economic philosophy. Planning Commission was constituted to plan us into industrialisation, with industries mostly owned by government, as mandated by socialism. Indira Gandhi in fact seized private factories and industries, and made them government owned. Those still fortunate to have been left in private hands, were saddled with bureaucratic regulations which strangulated most out of existence.

Industrialisation picked up with forced partial liberalisation of 1991, but most of the sectors stayed under bureaucratic thumbs, and therefore only the high tech sectors too intricate for the bureaucrats to regulate could grow.

But socialist Congress was back in 2004, and set out to undo all the good of the previous decade. Most handy came the fraud called Global Warming/Climate Change, using which, new super bureaucracies and super judicial bodies were created to crush fledgling industrialisation of India.

During the last ten years of UPA rule, Congress not only did not grant Green clearances to some of the big industrial projects, it reviewed the clearances already granted and cancelled them. So Congress has been doing all that it can do, to keep Indians dependent on agriculture, and keep them poor. That explains the census data.

Its singular achievement was the Land Acquisition Act of 2013. The Act has made land acquisition in India nearly impossible. So whatever little industrialisation was possible in the ugly shadow of all those Green Laws, and equally sinister permission, clearance, license regime; even that was made difficult to achieve.

The NDA government which took office in May 2014 is now trying to undo some of the most draconian provisions of the Act of 2013. Of course, it should have completely repealed the Act of 2013, and should have restored the old Land Acquisition Act, but even this partial attempt is a step in the right direction.

But Rahul Gandhi, the latest heir of The Dynasty that has kept India wretchedly poor, but at the same time themselves are living a grand life that would made kings of yore envious, has taken the field to oppose the proposed changes in the Act of 2013. Perhaps The Dynasty is terrified of Indians growing rich, and as a result, stopping voting for it.

And how is he opposing the proposed Land Bill? By adopting the tactics perfected by that another new Leftist ravaging Indian political scene: Arvind Kejriwal. The tactics can be summarised as follows: Never be quiet, always keep speaking, level false allegations against opponents, make false claims, misinform, disinform, abuse the rich, condemn industrialists, project your opponents as the helpers of the rich and enemies of the poor. Do all this everyday in the morning. The media will run with the lies, and opponents will be busy refuting the false allegations through the day. Never join the discussion. Speak solo. Next day in the morning level allegations using different words, and let the media take over. In short, politics as the Stand Up comedian act. People will laugh, they will clap, and the opposition will be booed, and booted out. Indians will stay wretchedly poor, and The Dynasty will stay safely ensconced in the palatial homes of Lutyen’s Delhi.

So Rahul Gandhi is openly and flagrantly framing the issue as if the government is planning to seize land from the all farmers, and hand it over to the rich. That the famers will be left with no livelihood, and the industrialists will put factories on it which would employ nobody.

In reality, to completely industrialise India, land in single digit percentage of the total land only is required. The farmers are starving because land holdings have fragmented to the extent of becoming a burden, not a source of livelihood. Children of the farmers are desperate to get modern industrial jobs because only then they can hope to have a decent life.

But Rahul Gandhi is flying through the country, as the biggest hit of an Stand Up comedian act. And the clumsy Central government is so inept that it is not able to counter his plain and blatant lies. Losers are the unfortunate 127 crore Indians.

(To read earlier articles by Anang Pal Malik on the proposed Land Bill, click here and here. -Ed)


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