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Road to the promised land?

india Updated: Aug 22, 2009 00:09 IST

Kaushik Basu’s article Not losing the plot (The Visible Hand, August 15) assumes that land acquisition merely means setting up industries and, if left to market forces, industrialisation would get held up. Will it not be a better option to consolidate land holdings for collective farming, which is also fairly labour-intensive? In such cases, the owner-farmer could be the stakeholder. This will eliminate the need for land acquisition and will increase land productivity, helping both farmers and consumers in the long run.

D.R. Gulati, via email

I don’t completely agree with Kaushik Basu when he states that many projects wouldn’t even take off if landowners were given a free hand. When it comes to acquiring land for industrial purposes, it’s best to leave matters to the buyers and sellers. Government intervention should depend solely on the merit of the project. Instead of stirring unnecessary controversies with regard to land acquisition, the government should consider whether or not the scheme would help farmers.

Ashok Kumar Ghosh, via email

The way in which Kaushik Basu explained the concept of land acquisition to readers was exemplary. It’s important for the government to intervene in every deal that’s struck between an industrialist and displaced farmers to ensure the latter get their due. Setting up industries in rural areas will help the overall development of villages, provide employment and reduce the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Kulbhusan Sharma, Delhi

Ad-ding to public woes

It was astonishing to see numerous advertisements in various newspapers commemorating late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary, with taxpayers’ money being spent on the same. At a time when the nation is reeling under severe drought and hunger deaths are on the rise, these ads only reveal the sycophancy of Congress party members who can go to any limit to appease party seniors.

Sunil Kadian, Gurgaon

Broad-minded to empty-minded

The BJP’s reaction to the Jinnah controversy evoked by Jaswant Singh’s book only showcases the hypocrisy prevalent in our otherwise broad-minded society. Expelling Singh from the party goes against freedom of expression. While Jaswant Singh’s remarks should be examined objectively in the light of historical facts,
it’s also true that if someone were to write a book without any bias or prejudice, many more skeletons could tumble out of the cupboard.

Devendra Narain, via email