Saturday, August 16, 2008

Attacking women : Easiest way to kill a struggle?

The news from Chengara (ചെങ്ങറ) is depressing. Women are being abducted and raped, men kidnapped, in addition to over two weeks of cutting off food and other lifeline supplies to people who have been protesting peacefully for more than an year now.

[See: ചെങ്ങറ: 4 യുവതികളെ പീഡിപ്പിച്ചെന്ന്]

Even worse, all this is not making news. It seems CPM goondas are doing all this, so one expects the likes of Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi to cover this as sensational news. But they are silent. Are they just scared? Or plain bought off? Or the managements have personal interests in protecting these people and finishing off this struggle?

Indiavision reported the abduction and sexual abuse on women on last Sunday 10th August. When I saw no mention of this in next day's major Malayalam newspapers, I searched for Chengara" on Malayala Manorama online edition (English version). It returned zero results. "Nandigram" returned 100 results on the same page.

* * *

So is there a parallel between Nandigram and Chengara?

The similarity is that both have CPM on the wrong side. The difference, in Nandigram it is people who have land who are struggling to keep it, whereas in Chengara, it is the landless who are at struggle.

Which makes it difficult to understand their demand for many of us. Many of us who can connect to Nandigram as an emotional attachment of "man with land". (The time is not 1957 when we had some sort of land reforms in Kerala. Make no mistake, we are living in a time when the power centers of this nation are ruled by the land mafia.)

* * *

What is this struggle all about?

Over 5000 families of landless Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalised people started this protest on 4th August 2007 claiming 6000 acres of land (you read that right -- six thousand acres) that is illegally kept by Harrison Malayalam Private Ltd in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala. Around 24,000 people from different parts of the region have moved to this area, with tents with poles and plastic sheets.

* * *

Why should they be given land? We do not have enough land to give everyone..

I would not blame someone from a relatively better-off household who thinks like this (that is, if they came to know about it). But I hope we try to go beyond this and try to find out why these people would risk their lives in a life and death struggle like this.

Dalits and Adivasis are the sections of people who were denied any right to land in the land reforms that said "krishibhoomi krishikkaaranu". That applied to the farmer, but it excluded those who worked at the fields. Needless to say, it also excluded others who were at the lowest end of the society.

"The Sadhu Jana Vimochana Samyuktha Vedi (SJVSV), the collective that leads the struggle, has opted for the land take-over as strategy remembering the tradition of the great leader Ayyankali, the militant dalit leader whose mission was to ensure liberation of dalits from various forms of slavery, right to agricultural land, as well as right to education in Kerala," says an article that appeared in The South Asian.

Add to it the fact that the land kept by most rich land owners have been encroachments traditionally, this becomes an even more severe power inequation. Many of them managed to get some legal right to their land with the power they had, and some did not even care that much. (Apparently the land where this struggle happens was leased to Harrison Malayalam and the lease expired in 1985. No rents have been paid to the State ever since).

That is where a state intervention is required to ensure justice and right of living to those who are living in the "margins", so to speak. And it asks us to rethink the way we are used to looking at things. Labeling anyone who comes out in support of this struggle as a "Maoist" will not help.

* * *

Some links in Malayalam:
Mathrubhumi news
ചെങ്ങറ ഭൂസമരം ഉയര്‍ത്തുന്ന ധാര്‍മ്മികപ്രശ്നങ്ങള: a blog post with links to some writings on this issue.
Randaam bhooparishkaranam viplavavayaditham ennu Pinarayi, Manorama news today without mentioning the word Chengara.

Videos:
Indiavision: Women attacked in Chengara


Chengara land struggle: a report

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

The news of rape is shocking.

However, the government's contention is that the people who are fighting already have lands elsewhere.

I feel the struggle should be extended. Let us split up Infosys and give ownership of the company to all its workers.

sudeep said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for one of the most sensitive, insightful and intelligent comments I have come across in recent times. But it was on very much expected lines, as I mentioned in the post itself. However, you find the news of rape shocking.. so I feel there is some space for continuing this conversation.

This struggle for land may not be one with an immediate solution in sight, and it calls for serious social and political stock-taking of the welfare society of Kerala. Instead, the state, CPM and Harrison thugs are trying to intimidate the struggle with the help of Police.

When Sapan Ganguli and CR Neelakandan Namboothiri are attacked on their way to the protest site, we find it worth at least a press report but worse attacks on poor Dalit groups never make it to news anywhere.

For CPM it is also a matter that affects their "ownership" on all struggles in Kerala when anyone other than them take up any struggle. In this case, there is an additional personal interest for the party, as these thousands of landless families expose the dark side of their much celebrated land reforms. So it is expected of them to attack it in all possible ways, calling the struggling people "land mafia" and those who support it as "Maoists". Athu uppu thodaathe vizhungano?

For last two weeks, the Harrison employees, with the help of local thugs, are out on a war with the protestors. Denying mobility, denying the right to protest, denying the right to live. Probably alarmed at the protest going on relatively peacefully for an year now.

This is not between Infosys and its employees -- this is between a rich and powerful encroacher who have the media and the state in their pocket and thousands of poor encroachers.

A friend who managed to visit the site said that a woman gave birth there a week ago. Hundreds of women were praying while she gave birth. There are two more women who are full pregnant. I mean, they are not having it as easy as yo think to take over Infosys.

അടകോടന്‍ said...

ഇവിടെ, പിറന്ന മണ്ണില്‍ ഒരു തുണ്‍ട് ഭൂമിക്ക് വേണ്ടി മനുഷ്യന്‍ കിടന്ന് നരകിക്കുന്നത് പലരും കണ്ടില്ലെന്ന് നടിക്കുന്നു....
മറ്റൊരിടത്ത് വല്ല ഭിംബമോ കൊടിയോ നാട്ടി അതിന്‍റെ പേരില്‍ ഏക്കര്‍ കണക്കിന് സ്തലങള്‍ കൈയ്യിലാക്കി കൊണ്ടേയിരിക്കുന്നു...
അത് മഹാ സംഭവങളാകുന്നു.

'ആരാണീ ഭൂമിക്കവകാശി'

Ajith said...

I cant believe this sort of thing happened in Kerala. What is the difference between bihar and our land now. Where are those pseudo intellectuals and Newspapers which boast of circulation.

This clearly shows the double standards of CPM, who has deviated far away from their ideologies. This is definitely another Nandigram.

I noticed one of the anonymous comments saying these people already have lands elsewhere. Well do u think anybody will risk their lives for land and why do they have to run the risk of their ladies getting raped and their kids struggle for food if they have lands already.

There is no doubt that human rights are violated here. Where are those comrades who preached socialism.

Anonymous said...

Whenever a party has an unthinking cadre, who is willing to do anything at the bidding of the leadership, these things will happen. If the government cannot take possession of the land that it owns, how can they can even talk of a second land reforms.

Land reform per se is unethical and morally untenable. My own ancestors were poor landless labourers who survived by climbing palm trees to reap toddy. When they made little money out of their labor, they bought some land and moved into farming. Due to their hardwork and enterprise, they prospered and purchased more land. One fine day, the land reforms act were enacted, and the government realized that those who owned land beyond a limit were janmis. Their land was seized and distributed to people who were tenants -- where tenancy could be established by a mere oral contract (vakkaal karaar). Generations of hard work and labor were lost to many families.

I don't want to even get into the consequent loss in agricultural productivity because of small land holdings. Even if all the results were exceptional, how can you justify taking hard earned land from someone and giving it to someone else by force?

If you think government taking away farmer's land for building the narmada dam is unethical, and that those farmers have an unalienable right to the land they own (a cause which I support), you have no right to deny those same rights to another set of people -- just because the amount of land they own is slightly higher or they form a different economic strata to whom you have no sympathy.

What is your position on the second land reform that VS has been espousing?

sudeep said...

സമരം അസാധാരണമല്ല കേരളത്തില്‍. സമരത്തെ നേരിടാന്‍ ഉപരോധവുമായി എതിര്‍പക്ഷം, അതാരായാലും, രംഗത്തു വരുന്നത് പക്ഷേ അസാധാരണമാണ്. എന്നാല്‍, ചെങ്ങറ സമരത്തില്‍ ആ അസാധാരണത്വവും അതിരു കടക്കുന്നു. ഭൂസമരം നടത്തുന്നവരെ പട്ടിണിക്കിടാനും ചികില്‍സ നിഷേധിച്ച് ഇല്ലാതാക്കാനും തൊഴിലാളി യൂനിയനുകളെന്ന പേരില്‍ ഉപരോധം നടത്തുന്ന ഹാരിസണ്‍ മുതലാളിമാരുടെ ഗുണ്ടകള്‍ക്കൊപ്പം ഇപ്പോള്‍ ചേര്‍ന്നു നില്‍ക്കുന്നത് സാക്ഷാല്‍ കേരള പോലിസാണ്. ഹാരിസണ്‍ തോട്ടക്കാരില്‍നിന്ന് പിച്ചക്കാശ് വാങ്ങുന്ന യൂനിയന്‍ നേതാക്കളെക്കാള്‍ ഒട്ടും താണവരല്ല തങ്ങളല്ലെന്നാണ് പോലിസ് പ്രഖ്യാപിക്കുന്നത്.

സമര ഭൂമിയില്‍നിന്ന് ആരെയും പുറത്തിറക്കില്ലെന്നാണ് ഉപരോധക്കാരുടെ പക്ഷം. തല്ലിയും ഭീഷണിപ്പെടുത്തിയും ഒളി കാമറ ഓപ്പറേഷന്‍ നടത്തിയും സമരം പൊളിക്കാനുള്ള ശ്രമം പരാജയപ്പെടുകയും ഒരു വര്‍ഷമായിട്ടും സമരം തുടരുകയും ചെയ്തതോടെയാണ് ഉപരോധം തുടങ്ങുന്നത്.. Rasheed writes at Kavithakkoridam.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand why unethical land reforms should be supported.

3.6 said...

good that you put different information about chengara in one place. many people are looking for something like that. maybe you can keep adding more things later -

Renni said...

Dear Anonymous,

The middle class elite with enough entitlements (land, house/flats, job with monthly salary, health insurance, deposit in banks, stocks/shares, pension, and other property/resources) will not be able to understand the plight of the landless adivasis and dalits. And hence their struggle for the right to property (and hence dignity) will seem to be unethical.

You may please go through these urls to know why they should fight for the right to property.

http://www.ambedkar.org/News/SRKerala.htm
http://kafila.org/2008/06/14/beyond-just-a-home-and-a-name/
http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1821/18210490.htm

Renni said...

The links mentioned above

Special Report on Kerala Tribals: Landless in their own land

Beyond just a ‘Home and a Name’

The Adivasi struggle

sudeep said...

Renni, Thanks for the links (and for replying to anonymous).

To the other anonymous (whose ancestors lost hard-earned land to reforms):

1. Do not make sweeping statements out of exceptions. How many toddy cutters made "little money" and got enough land to be called a janmi? Who were the people who lost land in the reform? How did they get that land? Try to address these questions first before making a senti story of a poor toddy cutter or Abkari broker.

2. Narmada struggle is not about "farmers" losing land. It is about the tribals having to move out of their natural habitats where they lived out of forest and river.

Do make one visit to the Narmada valley and come back, we can talk then. Or to Chengara, whichever is more convenient for you.

sudeep said...

Bindhulakshmi wrote in from Netherlands (four days back):

..thanks for sharing the news through your blog and video link. theres no way to get the news otherwise...as u said it's reported no where!!

sudeep said...

An excerpt from one of the links that Renni posted:

..People from many districts of Kerala – Alapuzha, Pathanamtitta, Kollam, Kottayam, Idukki, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kasaragod – have reached Chengara – large numbers of folk who have no land, who live on the streets, who lived paying rent in small rooms. They are not spending their lives there shouting slogans for all twenty-four hours; they lead lives as families, husbands, wives and children. The husband goes out seeking work outside the plantation; he returns with a few days’ earnings from manual labour. The next week, it may be the wife who goes out seeking work. So the 7000 families here live from their labour alone..

..people from all castes and creeds are to be found among these 7000 families. I think there are no Nambutiri Brahmins , but there are Nairs, Syrian Christians, Muslims, members of the Scheduled Castes, Dalit Christians, Adivasis, and all others. But about 90 per cent are Dalits and Adivasis..


(from a speech made by leading Dalit activist and intellectual, Sunny M Kapicadu, at a night-vigil organized in support of the ongoing land struggle in Thiruvananthapuram on 7 March 2008).

sudeep said...

Anivar Aravind updates:

Subject: Chengara: Some Positive developments

Discussions with ministers yesterday marks a significant victory of
struggling people.

1. The government is forced to enter into a discussion
2.The government recognised that the struggle is waged by landless people.
3. the government deplored the blockade by goons and ensured that they
will take steps to remove it and conduct health camp.
4.The government commenced steps at meeting the demands.

this doesn't mean the demands are realized. We should continue our
vigil and support so that yet another time, the government is not
allowed to backtrack.

against these developments, we have postponed the 23rd protest in
front of secretariat. The efforts are on to support the struggle with
food. Also, to make the march on 30 th a success.

From today's Hindu
------------------
1. Efforts on to end Chengara Dalit Land Struggle

2. Krishna Iyer writes to VS

3. Chengara struggle: Vedi leader hopeful of 'decent settlement'

Anonymous said...

Okay - I don't have statistics to prove that most of the people who lost land were people who earned it. Neither do you, to prove otherwise. So, let us for a moment ignore who is making a sweeping generalization.

But, in the case that a person has indeed earned money and bought the land (as opposed to vettipidikkal), do you agree that is unethical to take that land away from him and distribute it to others?

sudeep said...

Boss, it is not a matter of generalization. Land reforms have happened all over the world based on statistics.

It is possible that one person in thousands would have got a bad deal, but that does not make an argument.

sudeep said...

In addition to the points made here, I have posted excerpts from an e-mail discussion in response to another comment at an older post, Chengara and Deshabhimani's turn as Manhappathram.

I request those who are interested in going deeper into the class question of the struggle and the workers' blockade to go through it.

sudeep said...

Updates (from a group that managed to meet the people at the site):

Issues: 1) Starvation (to the extent that they may even physically attack those who are doing the blockade, as hunger cant be tolerated beyond a point),

2) they have not met their leader nor got a message directly from him for several days (as Laha Gopalan is the key to a lot of things and many of us know that the goonds may even kill him if he tries to go inside),

3) Fever of several types + viral skin infections (that have been taking rounds for a long time now due to the rubber insect bytes) - to the extent that almost every adult has it,

4) children not able to go to schools has really agitated the parents,

5) Onam is coming and there is nothing to celebrate with - not even rice, forget getting anything special, and all the routes through which food could be bought in have been closed by the goonds AND 6) continuing sexual and other physical harassments by the goonds and TUs (apparently these have been going on for a long time and has not stopped even after the TUs agreeing not to indulge in such stuff - a promise they made to district collector)

Positives: 1) They are as prepared as they can be, whether to commit suicide or to kill one before getting killed themselves - as and when the TUs attack them with goonds (I do not know whether to put it as a positive, but its their determination and I don't want that to be analysed through my orientations),

2) There is a good collective leadership that has emerged inside - both women and youth,

3) They are optimistic that the goonds and CPM will never be able to choke them or smoke them out,

4) Even in the midst of starvation and hunger, they are making plans for ONAM celebrations inside - children's programme, cultural progs, etc.

Anonymous said...

In land-starved Kerala, the largest landowners are the government, the Christian plantation owners and the Church. Every time that the CPM has been in power, grabbing of government land by the party workers used to be seen. The party is now no longer of the poor; it is now a party of contractors, brokers and businesspersons. The CPM thus having moved away from the downtrodden, new forces like the Muslim Solidarity, Catholic Infam and foreign-funded environment organizations moved in to rescue the poor. The Sadhujana Munnani that has started the Chengara land-grab is one such saviour-outfit of dubious origins.

Harrison Malayalam Plantations runs the Kumbazha Estate under a lease agreement from the government. The lease has expired. The land has fallen back to the government. The local party leaders wanted to distribute this land among party members to be identified as ‘landless’. Before they could get to this, outfits like the Sadhujana Munnani beat them to it.

The squatters in Chengara are not all landless. Even the leader Laha Gopalan has admitted to owning land elsewhere. Their demands are very humble. They each want one acre of land and Rs. 50000/- to cultivate it.

Kerala has the highest density of population in the country, about 1000 people per 240 acres of land. This works out to one person for every 24 cents of land. This calculation is for the entire land irrespective of its terrain as liveable or not.

If the land is to be liveable, it has to have its rivers, backwaters and hills exempted in the calculation of permissible human occupation. It is agreed that only 60 percent of land in the State is thus available to humans to live in. The actual permissible density is only one person per 14 cents of area. As such, all land in the state is housing real estate. The land demands of the Chengara squatters are therefore, ridiculous and their motives dubious.

Some of the princes of the Church support Chengara. To them, a CPM leader asked whether the clergy would be agreeable to the landless’ squatting in Church estates in the Chengara fashion.

I have 5 cents of with a 900-m2 house in it. It carries a burden of 14 lakhs debt also, which I propose to settle through a Reverse Mortgage where the Bank would take over the property when I die.

Going by the Chengara philosophy, any landless might in the future demand my land because he is landless. What then, is civilisation all about?

Anonymous said...

Excellent points Anonymous. Neither CPI(M) goondas nor the Chengra agitators care a hoot about property rights. According to them, questions about ownership, usage of property, etc are to be settled using samaram and majority opinion. Not based on sound principles of property rights and justice. The apologists of chengara agitators like Sudeep have so far given no moral justification for the struggle apart from the idiotic algorithm given below:

Some lease for Land L taken by person A from Govt G has expired. So, we, group C, should get land L.

Anonymous said...

Sudeep's logic about statistics is excellent.
Let us apply it to a different point.
It seems like the majority of the chumattu thozhilaalis restort to gundaism and demand nokku kooli - So, let us put all of them in jail. If some odd guy is innocent, and got a raw deal, that is fine..

Excellent way to think about justice.

Anonymous said...

Sudeep -- If you have purchased your car on loan, please let me know when you repay the loan. I don't have a car and I want it. Otherwise, I will start an agitation in front of your house. Of course, the fact that you OWN the car is not important.

sudeep said...

See an informative film that discusses the historical context of the land struggle in Chengara, directed by C. Sharatchandran.

For anonymouses:

The car loan would take five years. You need not wait till then -- you start an agitation and live on the road for one week in front of my house, I will give it to you.

Those who understand the logic of this struggle as "Some lease for Land L taken by person A from Govt G has expired. So, we, group C, should get land L" will not understand the logic of women giving birth in the open, or of cholera spreading at the site, or of a question of life and death. They are there because they have no better place to go to. (You would not have the balls to stay on the road for seven days because you have the comfort of your house and family that you don't want to give up.)

Anonymous said...

haha - no where to go! The squatters in Chengara, by their own admission have land elsewhere. Also, if I don't have any money, do I have a RIGHT to YOUR money?

sudeep said...

Sorry I did not get the joke -- so I can't share that haha.

And there is a slight difference between nowhere to go and no better place to go.

About RIGHTs, I don't think a child does not have right to education/food/shelter/whatever just because she was born on a roadside (or railside) chawl. And I don't think one has any more RIGHT to all these just because he/she was born to a well placed household or because their great grandfathers were born to castes that owned all the land.

My mom and dad did not have college education. They did not have the choice to decide whether to go for engineering entrance or for medical entrance. I don't think "that is how it is" or "that is how it should be".

Many people at the Chengara struggle site don't have any land, some have 2 cents or 3 cents somewhere. (You can get to hear them in this film.)

Have a look at the energy levels of the kids who are shouting slogans. (Especially the closing scenes.. the cute young one shouting Ayyankali Zindabad.. Jai Jai Jai Bheem). I think they deserve a better future. Not by someone's mercy or charity. It is their right. Right to live with dignity. That is what they are demanding land to cultivate. it is a RIGHT that is difficult to understand for you and me (as I mentioned in this post itself).

Another World said...

the logic of anonymous should be applicable to HArrison as well. HArrison has no right on the land. Insead of quitting they are encroaching the land. They should be thrown out first. one should understand this logic first. After graduating from the first std. only you can go to the second std. after all it is a meritorious world!!
so, the anonymous whose logic has been sponosred by Harrison should regularly attend coaching classes to get pass mark in the entrance exam to join the Harrison land grabbing course.
best wishes

anonymous3 said...

hey another world,
You are an idiot. Harrison has every right as it is formed by our great nairs, menons and syrian christians combine to grab land and expoit the people. Without doing so how can we the elite class can show our real culture and skin colour. so anonymous is right. he has every right to start agitation in front of sudeep's house. let us all support it

Smrti said...

Thanks for bring this out. more and more of such attempts are needed now.

Anonymous said...

SC wants law to protect owners from squatters

NEW DELHI: This Supreme Court move will bring cheers to those who have lost their house or land to squatters. On Tuesday, the court said it wanted a change in the law that gives ownership rights to the one who has usurped a property by squatting by taking advantage of the fact that the owners were have had little time to inquire about their property.

Terming the ousting of real owners from their property by squatters as a serious human rights violation, a Bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and H S Bedi has requested the Centre to take a fresh look and suitably amend the land laws that recognise "adverse possession" as a means to acquire title over a property by ousting the real owners.

The apex court was at loss to understand how the law could place a premium on dishonesty by legitimising possession of a trespasser and compelling the real owner to lose his title simply because the owner has not taken back his house or land within a stipulated time.

"There is an urgent need of fresh look regarding the law on adverse possession. We recommend the Union
of India to seriously consider and make suitable changes in the law of adverse possession,” said the Bench rushing a copy of its judgment to the law ministry and legislative department for appropriate steps in accordance with law.

The case that prompted the court to do so related to a real owner losing out his title to a squatter. The Bench — despite the existing law — restored the property to the real owner, saying the trespasser had miserably failed to establish his title over it and said it was a pity that law recognised "adverse possession" as a means to take over property from a non-alert owner.

Writing the judgment for the Bench, Justice Bhandari said: "The law of adverse possession which ousts an owner on the basis of inaction within limitation is irrational, illogical and wholly disproportionate...The law as it exists is extremely harsh for the true owners and a windfall for a dishonest person who had illegally taken possession of the property of the true owner."

The concern of the court was that law, which is meant to do justice, could not be seen to benefit a person "who in a clandestine manner takes possession of the property of the owner in contravention of the law."

Though right to property has been deleted from the list of fundamental rights and has been reduced to the status of a mere legal right, the apex court termed it as an important human right.

"The right to property is now considered to be not only a constitutional right or statutory right but also a human right," the Bench said, while observing that claim of adverse possession had to be dealt with keeping in mind this important right.

sudeep said...

You think this will make it easier to throw out the squatter Harrison from this estate?

Anonymous said...

Yes - This should make it easier to throw out Harrison from the estate.

Just to make things clear -- I don't have any sympathies for Harrison. If the lease has expired, the property should go to their rightful owners (The Govt). What I oppose is the premise that land purchased through legitimate means can be taken away as micha bhoomi under the land reforms act to be given to the landless. That is robbery. Also, I don't agree with the restrictions to buy land (One person can hold atmost x acres of land). Money is fungible -- If it is not land, it will find other assets. These restrictions on land ownership is the real reason for the agricultural crisis in Kerala. It is just not profitable to do agriculture at a small scale. Food prices are kept artificially low to help the poor (because they should be able to afford it) -- and the amount of food that can be produced by small holdings is not sufficient to cover the costs (investment) + living expenses.

Is there some common ground here?

Anonymous said...

When somebody trespasses into your land, squats there and demands it for himself; and the intellectuals and the others join him, how would you feel?
Harrison land is the property of each and every Keralite.

Again, when the Chengara squatter gets 5 acres anywhere in Kerala, he becomes as rich as any higher middle class. No government employee , and few Gulfers, can hope to have 5 acres of his own in Kerala, at the current rates.

Moral of the story is that if you have muscle power, you can take anyone's property.

The orchestrated campaign of the paid intellectuals has clearly been financed by some big group.

sudeep said...

Dear Anonymous,

One, you say you don't have any sympathies with Harrison but you make it look like a bunch of thieves (in 'honourable' chief minister VS's words) encroaching Harrison's land. Then you say the "right" owner Govenrment should get the possession.

You never had a problem when Harrison encroached it for all those years and this became an itch for the middle class of Kerala only when these "worms" started this struggle. It is clear where your sympathies are.

The second anonymous also echoes the official CPM voice of this campaign being "financed by some big group". None of the cruel human rights violations happening in the name of "economic blockade" not making it to the "big group"-backed Manorama, Mathrubhumi and the likes are probably because that big group is not as powerful and the money not enough to buy off the Estate owners and the media that lie in their hands.

Anonymous said...

Sudeep Wrote:
You never had a problem when Harrison encroached it for all those years and this became an itch for the middle class of Kerala only when these "worms" started this struggle. It is clear where your sympathies are.

What kind of argument is this? When I say Harrison is wrong and the land should go to the Govt, you retort: 'You never told this before worms started the struggle' I didn't say this 3 years back because I didn't know about this 3 years back. For that matter, did you talk about Harrison before you knew about their lease expiry? When you don't have any arguments to make, you always retort with:

Your sympathy is with the big guy. So, whatever I say is right. Why don't you examine your own biases? Can you find a moral reason to justify the fact the land should go to the squatters as opposed to the government? Or, are you just supporting the squatters because they are not the big guy?

sudeep said...

It is not about "whatever I say is right". Let us go one by one.

When you quote the news about Supreme court's comments about squatters, without mentioning anything else, what it implied (when posted as a comment to this post) was that these "squattering protestors" should be thrown out.(not Harrison).

You have the right to deny any such implication, but fortunately or unfortunately, that is what it meant, and everybody who reads this (including you) know that.

Two, about the land going to the "real owner", the "government"!

Almost all of the land all over India should go to "the government" in that case. Goverment becomes owner only because they are the "default" owners of land. Most of the landloards of this nation have all either "inherited" land that their forefathers claimed as their own (because of their caste, status in the society, closeness to those who ruled..) or encroached the land themselves.

Almost all of the rubber plantations in Kerala are on such encroached land, which was later legalized through "pattayam". So there has been legal precedence for "encroachers". I guess you do know about all this. They had not been called "squatters" because they were not from the "worm" class.

That is why I tell it is clear where your sympathies are.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, we live in a country where despite a lot of restrictions, property rights are more or less accepted. So, these thieves will be thrown out and hopefully the govt will be able to give the land to the real needy. I am not surprised that this samaram has not received much support from mallus. Unlike the so called intellectuals, they have some brains.