People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 05

February 02, 2014


AIKS Deplores FDI in Farmland


THROUGH a statement issued from New Delhi on January 23, 2014, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) gave expression to its deep fury and protested against the move of the UPA government to open up the sale or acquisition of agricultural land to foreign direct investment (FDI). The AIKS said it would resist this treacherous move against the sovereign interests of the nation and its people tooth and nail, by joining hands with all progressive and democratic sections of the people. The Congress led Manmohan Singh government is all set to allow foreign corporates and realtors to put the country for auction, which is highly deplorable.


The AIKS said letting the foreign realtors buy agricultural land would lead to speculative land acquisition and hording. The main argument of the forces which are advocating the entry of FDI in farmland is that it would help raise funds for development and that the farmers would thus be benefited. This, the AIKS said, is totally baseless and would actually ruin the peasantry and agricultural production in the country.


At present FDI is banned in farmland. The opening up of farmland for the FDI will make the land a precious commodity for private profiteering of the corporate houses and realtors, and it would thus go against the interests of the peasantry and agricultural production. It will be detrimental to the food security of the country. The AIKS said this move is part of a larger agenda of pushing up the neo-liberal ‘reforms’ and opening up the entire economy of the country to foreign corporate forces. It will have larger implications on the sovereignty of the nation, the organisation warned.


The abominable interest of the UPA government behind this anti-nation step is very much evident from its decision to form a three member cabinet committee that includes the urban development minister Kamal Nath, finance minister P Chidambaram and commerce minister Anand Sharma to examine the issue. The corporate houses and bureaucracy have been lobbying with the UPA government to take an early decision on this crucial issue before its tenure ends.


The AIKS has called upon the peasantry all over the country to raise their voice and join hands with all sections of the people to defeat this anti-peasant move. The AIKS also made an appeal to all political parties to take firm stand against the move.




Subsequently, through another statement issued from New Delhi on January 24, 2014, the All India Kisan Sabha also demanded that the Narendra Modi government of Gujarat must stop the forced acquisition of 920 square km of land in the state, most of which is agricultural land. For this purpose, the BJP government of Gujarat is hell-bent on evicting 15,000 farming families spread across 22 villages, without either providing adequate compensation as per the law of the land or considering the willingness of the affected people. The aim is to benefit the Dholera special investment region (SIR) project.


The Gujarat SIR Act 2009 puts the entire area under the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development Act 1976 for developing infrastructure. But the SIR contravenes the Land Acquisition Act 2013 passed by the parliament which mandates the government to pay four times the market rate and insists on assent from the village panchayat. The Modi government is, however, not ready to ensure adequate compensation for the affected farmers and is forcing the farming families to surrender their fertile land to industrialists and real estate developers.


The government has served notice under the SIR Act 2009, demanding from the farmers the handover of possession of their land; otherwise the SIR authorities would evict them from their land. The farmers are not willing to oblige and have been pointing out that the compensations at the government rate as of 2011 are far below the market value today. The farmers are also not willing to accept the clause of the SIR Act 2009 about allocation of 50 percent of land elsewhere. The reason is that the land being allotted comprises saline plots in the coastal region where nothing can be grown.


In Gujarat, farmers are facing continuous attacks from the Narendra Modi government. Recently, strong protest was mounted against the state government’s move to force some 5,000 farming families of the Sikh community in Bhuj district of the Kutch region. They were asked to vacate their farmland and hand it over for real estate speculation and corporate profiteering. These families from Punjab and Haryana were relocated in Bhuj in 1965 at the behest of the then prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, but they were hounded as ‘outsiders’ under the BJP regime under Modi. The AIKS has extended all support to the Sikh farmers and is striving to get issue raised in the parliament.


The AIKS has strongly condemned the anti-farmer and pro-corporate business policies of the Narendra Modi government and has assured that it would extend all support to the agitation of the farmers in Dhalora region, in their fight to protect their farmlands.