Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


the indian corporate juggernaut is on its way to become a new form of East India Company.
says kasturirangan on indiatogether in this very interesting article - the indian mercantilist empire.

indian companies are buying/leasing vast tracts of land in africa:
Indian companies have already invested 4.2 billion dollars in Ethiopia. The land being leased out is even more mind-boggling. The smallest figure that I have read about is 30,000 acres; another article mentions a seventy-five year lease of 700,000 acres of land to a single Indian concern.
of course, this is a sophisticated form of land grab as the local farmers will be at the receiving end.
not only the indians, but a whole host of chinese and middle east companies are doing the same.

within india the land acquisition has been ongoing via SEZ and other subtle mechanisms:
The tribal regions of India are being denuded of their forests and their people dispossessed of their lands by various industrial concerns. Vedanta Resources, based in London but run by a billionaire of Indian origin, is being accused of a land-grab in Orissa. I can't get the exact figures, but just one aluminium mining project alone runs to about 1500 acres, and even that isn't the entire story. A university named Vedanta University and run by the same mining group, has been awarded 6000 acres of land in Orissa along the Puri-Konark main drive.

Who needs that much land for a university? The Indian Institute of Science is 400 acres. Currently, the largest university in India (by area) is the University of Hyderabad, which has 2300 acres, much of which is not being used for academic purposes. Why would anyone want two and a half times that amount for a university in Orissa, unless that the university is a pretext for a larger acquisition of land?

never imagined a scenario where we are the 'imperialists'.

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