By Anang Pal Malik
Liberty and private property, in a sense, are one and the same thing, because not only one can not exist without the other, but people who do not value Liberty can not keep private property for long, and those who do not have private property can not be free for any length of time. And Rule of Law is also possible only in a society that holds Liberty and private property sacred. Men who possess private property have a direct stake in maintaining Rule of Law, they become its best protectors. And only in a society in which individual citizens want to keep Rule of Law, the Rule of Law survives. Because, law enforcement resources are always limited, and infractions of law are always in plenty.
Therefore a single measure that destroyed private property rights of the people of present day Bihar, Bengal, and Odisha- the Permanent Settlement of Bengal of 1793-has so thoroughly damaged the social compact of the society in these states that they have not recovered to this day. The Permanent Settlement of Bengal of 1793 effectively made the Zamindars the owners of the agricultural land, dispossessing the individual cultivators. In those days, land was the only property that generated income, and with the loss of land, people in these states lost Liberty also, effectively passing into slavery and bondage. And it was all legal. So the people in these areas lost all respect for law, and interest in the Rule of Law. Exploited and starved, they were slaves without the benefit of classic slaves as private property, in whose case at least the owners tried to keep them alive as they wanted to keep this “property” of theirs safe.
For the people of these states, the only way to keep life safe was to escape from these areas, and that is what they did, and are doing to this day. First they started to go to the newly industrialising areas around Kolkata, and even to the far off lands like West Indies, Mauritius, and Fiji, and after Independence; as the Leftists destroyed industries in West Bengal; to the industrialised areas of Maharashtra, and now increasingly to Gujarat. They also form bulk of the agricultural labour in Punjab, Haryana, and Western UP. Now, increasingly, they also take up jobs in industrial areas in National Capital Region of Delhi.
But why are they traveling outside for work even now? After all, India officially abolished the Permanent Settlement of Bengal of 1793, i.e. Zamindari, in the first decade after Independence, and returned the land to the cultivators, the rightful owners from whom the land was confiscated in the Permanent Settlement of Bengal of 1793.
Actually the Zamindari in these areas was never abolished. The bureaucrats in-charge of overseeing the abolition of Zamindari were themselves the children of the Zamindars, or were bribed by them, and so the whole exercise to abolish the Zamindari was reduced to a farce. Therefore the mass of population remained without private property and so unfree. So the Rule of Law could never be established in these areas. The problem was compounded by the socialists who got power in these areas. They did not want private property with the citizens in any case. In fact most of the politicians themselves were the Zamindars, and simply wore the mask of politicians to enjoy undisrupted power. Those who came from humble background also perpetuated the system because it delivered them riches no industry could have done.
Therefore masses in the states of Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha continue to be without private property, and therefore without Liberty, and therefore without any stake in the Rule of Law.
Absence of the Rule of Law in these states mean that even the modern private property-factories, businesses, and trade- is not created in these states, simply because these forms of private property are not safe in these places. Without these modern economic activities, there are no jobs available locally, and therefore people from these states are forced to travel outside for work.
There are large concentrations of the migrants from Bihar in Delhi and Mumbai.
And so we have politicians of Bihar regularly holding meets of people of Bihar in these places, claiming to be the guardians of the rights of these migrants. So the persons who have created the conditions which forced these people to migrate out of Bihar are ironically claiming to be their benefactors!
Leftists control the education and media in India. So the concepts of Liberty and private property are never taught to Indians. Media also makes sure that the migrants are never able to connect the dots. And therefore migrants themselves accept those who have ravaged their state as their benefactors. Migrants and those who still live in Bihar in wretched poverty never realise that the only reason they are forced to migrate for work, to live in still more wretched conditions and away from their families, are those socialist politicians who now claim to be their champions; and that they could have had all those jobs close to their villages and towns. All that was needed for a modern economy to flourish in Bihar was Rule of Law and absolute respect for the private property, something that was to be achieved by those politicians who now hold “Bihar Pravasi Meets” in Delhi and Mumbai. After all, Bihar would have been the best place for labour intensive industries, and would have easily beat the places like Bangladesh and China in labour rates. The people of Bihar could have stayed with their families, in their own homes in their villages and towns.
The fraud on the people of Bihar continues. Politicians who have made Bihar unliveable continue to claim to be the champions of the migrants of Bihar in the rallies in Mumbai and Delhi. Leftist control on education and media means that the people of Bihar are never able to establish connection between Liberty, private property, Rule of Law, and economic activities which generate jobs. So they continue to vote for the different sets of the same thugs who take their own prosperity through loot of public exchequer to be the solution of the problem of Bihar. And then are forced to migrate to far off places to eke out a living. Torture starts at the stations of Bihar itself, as they somehow force their way into sardine cans called general coaches of the trains. Traveling in inhuman conditions, living in inhuman conditions, they gather in Delhi to listen to the thugs championing the cause of the migrants of Bihar, travel back in the same horrible train coaches, and vote for the same thugs. And of course the Bihar politicians also love to become Railway ministers, to make those travels by the migrants better, but never trying to make the travels unnecessary.
So the politicians of Bihar promise to deliver the whole package to the migrants of Bihar-better travel conditions, better living conditions in Mumbai and Delhi, better Rights as migrants; except the only thing that would make the migration unnecessary, and that is the Rule of Law in Bihar itself.
Bihar is the microcosm of India. As the colonisers left, the Leftists took over India. They continue to trash private property rights, and therefore modern economy has not developed in India. And so Indians continue to migrate out of India, and the politicians then travel to London and New York to champion their cause. Indians of course never try to learn the cause of their own dislocation, as we gave up the love of reading hundreds of years ago. And so even the Non Resident Indians who are otherwise technocrats in most cases continue to be economically illiterate, and therefore could find only a Leftist-Arvind Kejriwal- to support when they tried to do something about their motherland. And like the people of Bihar would therefore continue to get the same results: a broken economy, and therefore lack of jobs at home.
Redemption of Bihar is possible only the way redemption of India is possible: taking the place back from the Leftists, inculcating the love of Liberty and respect for private property in the people, and as a result getting the Rule of Law, and therefore flourishing of modern economic activities which create jobs close to home.