Janus’ Musings

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Choice

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Further to my previous post, while the dispute in Bengal rages on land and fair compensation for Tata’s Nano factory, Anand Giridhardas has another superb article on what this means from the farmer’s point of view.

I am guilty of thinking this was much ado about nothing – some farmers agreed to sell; they get money for the land. They can’t change their mind. Certainly those whose land was taken away without their consent deserve it back – but the main issue remains, we in the cities think the farmers are getting a good deal and they should grab it. As Anand says:

In the prosperous cities, they sneered: Don’t they get it? They want land, not money? But the urban sneerers were early adopters. They may not realize it, but they live on a grid of advantages. They have bank accounts. They know how to invest. They have the ethic of thrift and saving that moneyed families pass down the generations.

The late adopters live in an economy of land, a universe where barter still operates, where status and prestige and security still come from the earth, and where the choice to join an urban, moneyed existence feels ever less like a meaningful choice.

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Written by janusmusings

September 15, 2008 at 11:41 am

Posted in Asia, India

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