[Marxism] Statement against Government of India’s planned military offensive in adivasi-populated regions

Politicus E. epoliticus at gmail.com
Wed Oct 14 09:43:11 MDT 2009

I am happy that Bhaskar and I have finally begun to approach a
resemblance of agreement on a particular political issue, although I
have little doubt that there shall be much divergence of views also.

With respect to Roy, the less said the better.  In any event, below I
enclose an extract from an article by Anjan Chakrabari pertaining to
this question of Mamta Banjerjee and "anarchist forces."  The truth of
the matter is quite the opposite of what Roy asserts.  This article is
published in Radical Notes, which is no doubt yet another
"single-agenda anti-CPI(M) lobb[y]" (n.b., sarcasm).

The full article is at http://radicalnotes.com/content/view/116/39/


The Unending Saga of Land Acquisition in West Bengal: When Enemies
Make Strange Bedfellows
5 October 2009

 Anjan Chakrabarti

How should land be taken from the peasant for the process of
urbanisation (real estate, infrastructural development, etc.) and
industrialisation? This has remained one of the enduring questions in
the West Bengal political scenario for the last few years. This is not
surprising considering the fact that 'land acquisition' remains one of
the indispensable conditions of existence for securing, facilitating
and expanding capitalist organisation of surplus along industrial
lines.(1) Henceforth if industrial capitalism is the goal, then 'land
acquisition' as an issue is set to hog the limelight in the
foreseeable future.

Two apparently contesting positions on land acquisition have
correspondingly surfaced, one forwarded by CPI(M) and the other by the
Trinamool Congress (TMC). The first argues that land be acquired
directly by the state who then should deal with the developers while
the second argues that it should be bought directly by the developers
themselves. Interestingly, a third model of land acquisition has come
to light in West Bengal whereby the state uses private agencies to
acquire land from the farmers and then buy it back from those agencies
for purposes it deems fit. This is the Vedic village model that caught
negative attention with the case of land acquisition in the Rajarhat
area of West Bengal. Scanning the three models of land acquisition I
argue that, for all their suggested differences, they provide diverse
kinds of conditions of existence for creating and expanding capitalist
organisation of surplus. In the process, the models of land
acquisition for the purpose of industrial capitalism signal different
routes for facilitating uniform development logic of transition from
agrarian society to an industrial capitalist society. In contrast, I
contend that the language of resistance against land acquisition in
West Bengal with its refusal to comply with the centrality of
industrial capitalism suggests the possibility of a different and
perhaps fourth model. This suggested way though entails adopting a
fundamentally alternative way to envisage the relationship between
agriculture and industry as compared to the above mentioned three
models; it also calls for rethinking the present model of top down
governance that prevents people from exercising the power to take any
effective decision and action regarding their lived social life.

Moreover, our discussion reveals that TMC's much vaunted model of land
acquisition underlies a change in the strategy of ushering in
industrial capitalism in West Bengal without in any manner contesting
the logic of industrial capitalist development that one may argue was
what the tumultuous protests against land acquisition in West Bengal
signalled. That is, in proposing a switch from a state sponsored land
acquisition policy to a market sponsored land acquisition policy, the
TMC model calls for altering an important condition of existence for
creating, securing and expanding the capitalist organisation of
surplus. This is important to recognise because the much hyped 'MATI'
slogan of TMC can be mistakenly misrecognised as a standpoint against
the logic of capitalist industrial development. We want to argue here
that nothing can be further from the truth. If its land acquisition
policy is any indication, TMC's position, notwithstanding its
'pro-peasant' and 'pro-poor' rhetoric, would have the effect of
charting a different strategy for securing the march of industrial
capitalism at a time when the social movements have de-facto put a
halt to the current model of state sponsored land acquisition. It is
thus not accidental that the TMC including its supreme leader are now
going all out to convince the industrial captains (the capitalists)
about the effectiveness of its path and that its stance in no way
represents an anti-industrialisation or anti-capitalist policy.
Evidently, it does not. It is in fact favourably disposed towards


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