March 31, 2015
The pace of land acquisition, which has been taking place in India since Independence, increased after liberalisation. In more cases than not, it has been successful, that is, both buyer and seller have been satisfied with the outcome. But today, land acquisition is being portrayed as next to impossible. This perception is not based on reality and needs to be changed. The farmer is wrongly being portrayed as extremely emotional, irrational and unwilling to part with land.
A dispassionate look at the facts would clear some misconceptions. First, according to the National Sample Survey Organisation, in 2005, 40 per cent of farmers did not want to engage in agriculture. This figure would have increased substantially over the last 10 years in the face of farm distress. Logically speaking, a large number of farmers should be willing to accept a viable alternative — the operative word here being “viable”.