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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On Nandigram

There is a lot of confusion regarding the issue in the media. Because of conflicting reports, I have been unable to form any concrete opinion one way or the other. I have no reason to believe either of the parties are angels.

As is my disposition, I cannot take an extreme view of the issue. Also, it must be pointed out that all of this tragic stuff could have been avoided if property rights were sacrosanct in India. There was a proposal to do away with the eminent domain concept, but, ironically, it was the Left who had opposed Indira Gandhi at that time. Thus it came to pass that the sharecroppers were left with a limited right to till the land, but now own it outright. So, in a way, it is the bad karma of the Left which has come to haunt it now. Unfortunately, it cannot accept that, because private property rights I guess go against the very basic tenets of communism. If they had their way, all land would be government owned.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the post, there is a lot of confusion right now. However, Greatbong writes a balanced piece in his blog. It says everything I wanted to say about it, much more lucidly.

The solution to the Nandigram issue is not simple. What is simple is the lesson to take from it--make right to property a fundamental right, and not merely a legal right which is subject to be overturned at the whim and fancy of any government. It will ensure we don't have a festering would like Nandigram in our midst ever again.

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