DEVELOPMENT VERSUS DISPLACEMENT DILEMMA IN WEST BENGAL: UNRAVELING A GANDHIAN SOLUTION
Słowa kluczoweIndustrialization, Development, Displacement, Panchayat System
The tendency to equate economic growth with industrialization has in the recent past started a violent and bloody movement in the Indian state of West Bengal. The movement that started against forced acquisition of agricultural land for industrialization in Singur gradually spread to other parts of the state of West Bengal including Nandigram. This movement acquired explosive proportions with the intellectuals, civil society and anti-left political parties throwing in their weight behind the displaced peasants who lost their land. Ultimately it became an albatross around the neck of the Left leadership and sunk the political fortunes of the thirty-four year old Left Front government in 2011 state assembly elections. The Singur and Nandigram tragedy are only one among the many agitations that have exploded in various parts of India in recent past. These protest movements have kicked off the development versus displacement debate in India. The killing of protesting peasants in Singur and Nandigram by the trigger happy police not only exposes the political myopia and inhuman indifference of the so-called pro-poor Left Front Government of West Bengal. But it also goes on to show that the political process in India is increasingly getting hijacked by the logic of the market which sees displacement only as an appendix to development. What we need today is to reinvent the principles laid down by Gandhi to usher in a just and equitable economic order. The Gandhian model of economic development is based on the simple yet profound principles of altruism and egalitarianism. This article would focus on the reasons behind the inception of a violent movement in Singur and Nandigram, the fundamental flaws in the development model of the erstwhile Left Front Government of West Bengal, and end by providing a Gandhian solution to the development versus displacement dilemma in the state of West Bengal in India.
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