Thursday, January 31, 2008

Open Mike 1 : Land Acquisition and Land Reforms (links)

[1] Shruti Rajagopalan's article "India's Property Wrongs" in The Wall Street Journal. This article gives a history behind how India came to have its current version of land laws in the constitution, and presents an interesting viewpoint into the Singur and Nandigram scenario. Shruti is a former research associate of the Public Interest Legal Support and Research Center.

[2] Land Research Action Network's backgrounder on India's Land Reforms. LRAN is a network of researchers and social movements that work towards promoting the right of individuals and communities to land. The backgrounder (in two parts online, or a single PDF) details the history of India's land reforms and its various issues and challenges. LRAN has studies on many countries. Links here to Brazil, South Africa, and Venezuela. This page has link to all the countries they've researched on.

[3] The Great Betrayal: Indian Land Reforms by Venu Govindu. Venu Govindu reviews Siddharth Dube's Words Like Freedom : Memoirs of an Impoverished Indian Family 1947-1997. Artcile in India Together. Other articles in India Together related to land issues are here.

"Give me Land" is a BBC four-part series on struggles for land - it covers South Africa, India, China and Brazil.

[5] "Ninth Schedule: What the Supreme Court judgement means" an article by Indira Jaising in Rediff on the January 11, 2007 Supreme Court judgement. Indira Jaising is a senior Supreme Court lawyer.

[6] Agrarian Reform for a Liberal Pattern of Society? Karnataka's Land Policy and the New Dispensation. By Ronald Herring of Cornell University. (pdf link) To quote from the Abstract of the article:
It is puzzling how much the discourse of development has backed away from the seemingly central question of rural poverty: land. Elaborate rules concerning its distribution, rights, regulation, protection, utilities have multiple development objectives, but poverty alleviation, individual liberty and community revitalization have long been on the stated agenda throughout India -- with radically varying levels of effort and effect. The Karnataka Land Reforms Act [Amended] that came into force on March 1, l974, is in line with the vision of the founders. Its pattern reflects -- more so than in West Bengal, which is widely lauded for its agrarian reforms -- the conclusions of the Congress Agrarian Reforms Committee of l949 and promoted over time with variable enthusiasm by Union governments. Such agrarian reforms have been considered among the most important mechanisms for achieving a socialist pattern of society as indicated in the Preamble and Directive Principles of State Policy (Part IV) of the Constitution. Elaborate and careful policy thinking by the founders connected classic agrarian reforms with poverty alleviation. What happens to land policy as liberal economic policy replaces “socialism” as directive principle? There are widespread claims -- both normative and empirical -- of "reversal of land reforms" in various parts of India under pressure of new export strategies, globalization, and multiplication of sub-subsistence holdings over time. What are the implications of reforming the reforms for poverty alleviation under new conditions?

[7] Various articles on Land Tenure, Agrarian Structure, and Land Reform by Professor Frithjof Kuhnen. (html and pdf links to the articles on the page.) Dr. Kuhnen is a professor of Rural Development at the University of Göttingen.

[8] Impact of Agrarian Reform on Poverty by Celia M. Reyes on the reforms in the Philippines. (pdf link)

[9] World Forum on Agrarian Reform

[10]India together articles on Land Reforms and acquisition