I have given a wholehearted support to the just demand of Adv.Jignesh Mevani, true follower of Dr.Babasahib Ambedker in deeds, words and thoughts to the best of my knowledge and belief. I have shared almost all of his FB postings. Jignesh Mevani is right. He is not just honestly following DrAmbedker but reading the ‘Text relevant to the context’ . Majority of Indian population have to increase their ‘purchasing power’,social and economic participation. Indian economy is badly in need of such a boost, starting from administrative service , sports , research , academia, jurisprudence and almost in all walks of life. We can’t effectively compete the global challenge, without active involvement of, so far marginalised sections of Indian populous! . Jignesh Mevani‘s demand is the right economic step to energise our economy!. Both just and rational!. Thanks to Dr. Ambedker, Great Ayyankali, Sree Narayana Guru, for providing the required philosophical and practical guidance to the same!. Just imagine the exponential growth of our economy if adequate land with required ‘seed money as working capital’ is given to the so far marginalised sections of our society. We shall get better sports competitors, researchers, teachers, doctors, IAS and IPS officers in due course ! and every walks of life will flourish with glittering colours !.
Few friends requested me, to clarify with empirical data, regarding the viability of the demand ‘5 Acres of land’ to families of Dalit and Adivasi community’, and their doubt is weather, that much of land is available in our country?. Let us scrutinize the available data and discuss, economic, historical, ethical and philosophical fabrics of the same.
Let as start with data available in public domain.
1). India has an area of 3,287,240 sq. km.= 328,724000 Hectors(1 Sq:Km= 100 hectors and one hector(ha) is 2.47 Acre!). It is the seventh largest country of the world after Russia (1,70,75,000 sq. km)
Let me copy/paste the data supplied by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO] and World Bank [WB]
|Country area (India)||328,726 000 ha||FAO|
|Land area||297,319 000 ha||FAO|
|Inland water||31,407000 ha||FAO|
|Forest area||70,325000 ha||FAO|
|Other land||46,714000 ha||FAO|
|Total area equipped for irrigation||67,000000 ha||FAO|
|Agricultural land (% of land area)||60.6 % of land area||WB|
|Arable land (% of land area)||52.8 % of land area||WB|
|Permanent cropland (% of land area)||4.4 % of land area||WB|
|Forest area (% of land area)||23.8 % of land area||WB|
Arable land in India is 52.8 % of the land area measured at 156984432 Hectares, as per 2011 estimate, equal to 156984432X2.47 Acre =387751547 Acre. Arable land means land ‘able to be ploughed‘. Excluding forests, dam sites, existing buildings of all kind, Govt offices, road, rail and notified industrial area, Pastoral land, land owned by ports and other establishments. Excluding even the plantation area illegally occupied by corporate, (It is after all the official data!) holding it even after the agreed leasing period! just like huge area in Munnar, Keralam, occupied by Tata and Kannan devan company!. Corrupt nexus is well aware of this land data and most of the so called mega projects, Narmada, Koodankulam, Vizhinjam, Vallarpadam etc…, are designed to grab the land!. These are mega-land grabbing extravaganza. Nandigram and Singur are just the tip of the ice burg!. The real estate seems to be a reliable long term asset!. Time tested instrument of power!. Let me return to the empirical details of the available land. Its Occupation! Ownership! and distribution of echelons power!. Present estimated population of India is 1,343,886,213 (1.34 billion) means 134 Cr, just divide, we get 38Cr/ 134Cr= .28853 Acres per person. For a family of five it turns out to be 1.45 Acre/family. But 1/3 of urban population, depends on other jobs and their requirement of land is for housing purpose only(5 to 20 cents maximum), which already accounted while considering the arable land, which almost excluded the urban land including the slums!. 166 million (56.6%) has been engaged in ‘Agricultural and allied activities’. This is followed by ‘Manufacturing Industries’, which employed about 42 million (13.4%). There are 31.1 million workers in the services sector forming 10% of the total work force with similar number engaged in ‘Wholesale retail trade and repair work, Hotel and restaurant. This 56.6% includes fishermen, estate and farm labourers etc. They are making both ends meet, availing wages or return from small businesses and their requirement of land is just for residential purposes, which we have excluded earlier as that of urban requirement!. (recollect we are talking about just 52.8% of available land!’ ‘able to be ploughed ‘). Landless or having marginal land, ready to do agricultural job with dignity is less than 25% (the huge unemployed youth population is also to be considered as an entity! eventually in this fold !needs urgent attention!). Most of them belong to Adivasi, Dalit and O.B.C The National Sample Survey Organisation [NSSO], put the OBC population as 40.94% ,SC -19.5%, ST- 8.63% and remaining 30.8 % and a tiny fraction of this, is in possession of huge wealth of our nation in the name of corporate, proxy ownership which constitutes a nexus, together with corrupted politicians, rulers and decision makers, looting the wealth of our nation. Arable land available is 387751547 acre, if divided among the 25% of population having required skill, historically deserved and competent to take up agriculture as a noble profession is less than 34 Cr . Now dividing the arable land to them gives (38.77/34)→ 1.14 per person. For a family of 5 members it is 5.7 acres /family . Thus the demand, ‘Five Acres for a Family’ [FAF] is reasonable, just and rationale. Let me add, even if it is three or four acre/ family, we may agree but they must be given at least one lakh rupee /acre as working capital for three years! and it is going to be an economic booster to our nation!. As the purchasing power of the the most marginalized populous increases, it will push our economy to new heights!. Their children will go for better education, better dress, better house and transportation. It is just simple economics, Adam Smith envisaged!. Only causality will be the degrading ‘caste system’. Dream of Ambedkar is not far away!.
Over 200 years ago, 90 percent of the population in most regions lived on farms and produced their own food to eat. But today, ‘only two percent’ of the population produces the required food, including fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy, that everyone eats (Prax, 2010). That’s a large change in the amount of people associated with producing food and making sure that everyone has enough to eat. Following approach seems to be more convincing to those who are not comfortable with too many numerical details ,excluding meats ,fish and diary much less than 2% need to work as farmers! to feed us all .Now the question is who belong to this less than 2% . Let us consider the population of 134 cr in to 134/5 -> 27 cr families instead well proved 2% let us consider 10 times of that taking in to account the technical backwardness of our country! out of 60.6% Agricultural land (297,319 000 ha X(60.6/100)=180175214 ha=44.5033026 Cr Acres ) , 80% (21.6 Cr) families require around 10 cents, each for housing (=216 cr cents = 2.16 cr Acres).
Remaining agriculture land, to be used by real farmers is 42.34 cr acres when distributed to the required real farmers (20% of 27 Cr=5.4cr) ,we get ‘7.8 acres’ for each family ready to do the farming! – We demand just ‘5 acres’ of agricultural land, each to the families of real farmers! Adv.Jignesh Mevani, is Right in letter, Spirit and Vision !
Informed farmers, use technology to make advances in producing more food for a growing world. Through the use of technology, each farmer is able to feed 155 people today, compared to 1940, when one farmer could feed only 19 people (Prax, 2010).(This is the story in Europe and US. China, Latin American countries are all in the forefront of agricultural modernization. We pathetically is lagging behind with degraded caste system, nourishing the tribal taboos, and talking about faith, belief, Mandir, Masjid, temple, Hindutva, national jingoism, organised crime against the Dalits, minorities,the marginalised!. Cow, beef and bullshit!. Better technology will allow farmers to feed more people and requires fewer people to work on farms to feed their families and rest of the population!
The available arable land and its utility, we have discussed it as per an all India smooth distribution. But it will be different in different regions. With similar calculations(Kerala specific), that we have raised the demand of one acre per family, for Dalit and Adivasi families last year. Considering the dense population and high fertility of land in ‘Keralam’ ( That is the name of my state English men and others called it ‘Kerala’), and we have proved it in practice that just .6 acre of land is sufficient for a family of five to lead a dignified life,selling the surplus for a reasonable price! and we excluded fertilizers and pesticides from these land. In these circumstances recent decision of LDF government in Kerala to give away 3 Cents of land each to the Land less is, insulting and counter productive. Just to humiliate them by inviting to stay in Colonies. A similar ‘Philanthropic gift’ was given by the notorious Apartheid President Pieter Willem Botha, to the blacks in South Africa few years before his fall !(1984) Read my post in this connection, Just click here -> The land !,The Power! and Equal justice!
It is the right time to share few experience about Kerala land reforms! Initiated by first ‘Communist ministry’ of Keralam. The ownership of land in Keralam was with three sections of the society, before.
1). ‘Rajasvam (’രാജസ്വം’)-means land occupied by the royal family -’Kshthriyas’ in the caste hierarchy
2) ‘Brahmasvam’- land owned by Brahmins(ബ്രഹ്മസ്വം)
3) ‘Devasvam‘ -land owned by temples .(ദേവസ്വം).
All others were tenants known as ‘kaanakkar’ and they can even sell the ‘kaanam‘. Popular saying in Kerala is (‘കാണം വിറ്റും ഓണം ഉണ്ണണം ‘ )->‘kaanam Vittum Onam unnanam ‘ means you have to celebrate ‘Onam festival even by selling the ‘tenant-ship’. (There was recently an attempt by ‘Manuvadees’ to sabotage ‘Our Onam festivel ‘ and to rename it as ‘Vamana jayanthi’. We are proud of our Dravidian heritage and even the committed ‘RSS’ followers were not ready to agree with this distortion! and BJP leadership at least vocally corrected the mistake! but they are poor learners! and may repeat the same!. ‘Onam’ festival is mainly celebrated by ‘Proud Malayalees ‘ world wide! ‘The most secular festival’ in our land! with much historical remembrance! and nostalgia!.
After the land reforms large sections of the society became real land owners and there was huge revolution in socio-economic fabric of the state but Dalits and Adivasis were betrayed and they got mere 10 cents of ‘Kudikidappu’. Name itself was derogatory as it connotes the caste humiliation -’kudi’ means the group of huts owned by Daliths and others considered as inferior beings!. The sections of people made this land suitable for agriculture was the Dalits ,and it was the Buddhists, who brought plough and introduced agricultural practices. They have fed the entire population for generations and they are demanding their legitimate right ‘the ownership of land’!. They should also be given the working capital to initiate farming at least for three years . Economically it would be a booster to the national economy! It will change the social fabric of our nation . Well done dear younger brother Jignesh Mevani, we will be with you. As you now is upholding the ‘Text relevant to the context’.
Let me point out a word of caution now ! A single leader and monotonous approach even for a just cause has inherent difficulties. Either the ‘single leader will be annihilated or purchased! equal chances for both, so says the HiStory!. As an insurance to your own safety and for the logical evolution of your historical mission, Liberal democratic principles, moulding a group of second level leadership is to be encouraged, espousing the principles of inclusiveness, plurality decentralization, secular democratic principles etc. Upholding the vision envisaged by the Great Babasahib!. Refer his Lahore speech->Text of the Lahore speech which never has taken place . Try to mobilise the Right People to encourage Right Process to deliver the Right Product!. [PPP]. Yes I know you are well aware of these!
I will be in Delhi on Oct 2nd to be a ‘Founder member’ of the ‘new political party’! Swaraj India with a view, envisaged above and try to initiate discussions along this line!. We are going to write a new chapter to Indian History, our difference if any, ought to be taken as our strength! Jai bhim! Please reply respected Adv.Jignesh Mevani . We are organising a big meeting ,and two day seminar during October 15th and 16th sahithya Academy hall in Thrissur ,and Adv. Jignesh Meveni will be addressing the meeting!. (ഒക്ടോബർ 15,16. സാഹിത്യ അക്കാദമി ഹാൾ തൃശൂർ.) Keralam .
After writing a ‘Malayalam ‘version of this article I will be editing the English versions after studying the response and corrections from more informed friends! including you Adv.Jignesh Mevani. with love respect and admiration
Prof.Gopalakrishna Panicker, firstname.lastname@example.org . Keralam .
Read my previous postings ->