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Thursday, 29 March 2018

The Hindu Editorial : When Development Brings Loss

The Hindu Editorial : When Development Brings Loss

Title: When Development Brings Loss

(A Kerala village’s struggle against land acquisition highlights the larger debate on striking the right balance)

ü  In the village of Keezhattur in Kerala’s Kannur district, a section of farmers is holding out against the announced, but yet to be implemented, acquisition of their farm land.

ü  Long-cultivated farmland is to be layered over with concrete to construct a motorable road.

ü  The farmers speak not only of the economic loss that the acquisition means to them but their opposition to the loss of habitat, water sources and other natural capital.

ü  The present State government has not shown itself to be sympathetic to those who wish to hold out. It has not even publicly asked that peace be maintained, leave alone restrain its cadres on the ground.

ü  It was observed at Nandigram, West Bengal in 2007 when the government of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had tried to acquire farm land to be handed over to an Indonesian chemical firm.

When alternatives exist

ü  Is it absAolutely necessary to build a bypass through the paddy fields of Keezhattur? By at least one account it is not.

ü  The Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad has presented to the Kerala government an alternative.

ü  This involves building an elevated expressway that would leave the paddy fields of Keezhattur undamaged. The government must treat this proposal with seriousness.

ü  The agitating farmers have categorically stated that they are not against roads, only that they wish to avoid to the destruction of not just cropland but an entire ecosystem that encompasses the Western Ghats, the hillocks and food-producing wetlands.

ü  They have also stated a moral responsibility to future generations.

ü  The paddy fields of Keezhattur are the commonwealth of the people of India to be preserved as a source of food, for which by the way a road is not a substitute.


Everything — economics, natural conservation and concern for food production in a State where paddy cultivation could become extinct, if current trends continue — points to the need for statesmanship on the part of Mr. Vijayan. He could listen to his party members and, wielding state power, win the battle against an unarmed group of agitators or he could hear the birds of the field at Keezhattur and win the hearts and minds of his people.

  • Hold out (phrasal verb) = Resist (प्रतिरोध करना) 
  • Assault (noun) = A physical attack (हमला) 
  • Outset (noun) = The start or begin (शुरू) 
  • Abet (verb) = Encourage to do something wrong (उकसाना) 
  • Uncontemplated (adj) = Extempore (अचिंतित) 
  • Goon (noun) = A foolish or eccentric person (घृणास्पद आदमी) 
  • Restrain (verb) = Prevent or stop (नियंत्रित करना) 
  • Cadres (noun) = A group of activists in a communist organisation (कार्यकर्ताओं) 
  • Deem (verb) = Regard or consider in a specific way (समझना) 
  • Insistence (noun) = Demand, instruction, request (आग्रह) 
  • Fragile (adj) = Brittle (नाज़ुक) 
  • Reckon (verb) = Establish by calculation (संगणित) 
  • Substitute (noun) = Replacement (विकल्प) 
  • Aloof (adj) = Not friendly or forthcoming (पृथक)

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