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Krishna Kumar Singh, also known among friend circles KK and among close relative Krishna; Matriculation from Mithila High School Balour, Darbhanga in 1959, Graduated in Political Science Honours from C M College, Darbhanga, Bihar University in 1963; Joined post-graduate in Political Science the same year but dropped; joined Naxal movement under Charu Mazumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Satya Narayan Singh and Umadhar Singh in between but circumstances compelled to join literary work, clerk, proof readers etc in different publishing houses for livelihood; Finally joined journalism as career in different English newspapers and before my retirement from active journalism, I worked in The Times of India for about 19 years and retired as Chief Reporter  a few years back; continuing in journalism-reading more and more, writing more and more and praying to Almighty more and more-currently writing for different national English and Hindi dailies and magazines..

Sunday, 4 December 2011

LACK OF LAND REFORMS:BANE OF POVERTY IN BIHAR!

Dream of land reform-land to poor and landless-continues to create Herculean task for successive state governments since independence: Result:- rampant rise in poverty, no home for homeless, no land to cultivate by poor. Because lands continue to be accumulated in the hands of feudal landlords, neo-rich classes, politicians of all hues. Even the government lands (aam and khas lands, vacant since the time of British Raj), have been grabbed by influential political class and big land holders in the successive years. It appeared that there are no land left now even for poor to construct their houses under much-hyped ambitious schemes of the union government and Bihar government.
Except the first government of Dr S K Sinha after independence and mid-way governments of both the Congress and anti-Congress formations have had taken half -hearted measures for land reforms. And in the process, some lands were distributed among landless by the  successive governments and state sponsored non-governmental organisations like Bhoodan Yagya Committee of Binoba Bhave. But the distributed lands were again grabbed by vested interests like big land holders and feudal forces. Matter in Bihar stands where it was long back-Raj of British Raj and landlords. More over here in India, Kings, Nawabas are still being crowned after the death of elder kings and Nawabs-like that of Sindhia family and Nawab of Pataudi family. Such practises  have been abolished long back under the Constitution. But thanks to government, these practises are continuing in almost all parts of the country, specially Bihar, Rajasthan , Madhya Pradesh , Bihar etc..
The present government of the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) , comprising of JD(U) and Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Nitish Kumar was installed over six years back.Poor and land less had have great hopes from Nitish Kumar  for emphasis on the land reforms under the laws and rules , spelt out in the  Constitution. Nitish  Kumar, as promised to the people, has started on right direction, knowing fully well that unequal distribution of lands are the bane of poverty in Bihar. Kumar took some lessons from the West Bengal government of the left Fronts where land reforms measures were taken much headway and landless got title of lands , distributed by the government and also effective laws in that state to implement Barga law (bataidari law) on the basis of Bandopadhaya committee report. Nitish wanted to make West Bengal land reform measures as replica for Bihar. Bandopadhaya was called by Nitish Kumar and entrusted him  for suggestions for land reform measures in Bihar. Bandhopadhaya had recommend to Bihar government a comprehensive measures for the land reforms.
Nitish Kumar was well set to implement the suggesstions of Bandopadhaya committee report in Bihar for land reform. everything was on to take up the matter. But by the time, assembly elections of 2010 was round the corner.Decision of Nitish Kumar started facing hurdles after hurdles. Conservative party like BJP and big landlords, neo-rich classes, upper caste majority, having big chunk of lands, opposed the much-publicised land reform measures of Nitish Kumar. it may be mentioned here that these sections are said to be the main vote banks of NDA. Reluctantly Nitish Kumar side-tracked the issue and under the pressure of dominant  alliance partner-BJP  and land owing classes put the matter in cold storage.Land reforms measures got yet another set back.
Recently, Nitish Kumar has again opened the Pandora's box. While releasing the report cards of his one year rule of his second term, Nitish Kumar announced yet another schemes for the so called land reforms. He announced that all land  will be surveyed and consolidations will be made in the next few years. Such utterances of Nitish Kumar are again being resented by the major coalition partner-BJP as well as big land holders. Nitish has very surreptitiously raised the issue of land survey and consolidations, which may prove an uphill task and it will take a long time. Again the process is likely to be landed in the political cobweb! No doubt this measures of Nitish Kumar have some tangible hopes among the landless. Over 94000 square kilo meters of land , mostly in rural areas, has not been surveyed  in the last over 100 years. And land records in the state is not at all updated.
Here  I must tell about successive land reform measures. Late K B Sahay was the first Revenue minister in the Dr S K Sinha government of the united Bihar. Right to property was incorporated in out Constitution by which anybody could keep as much of property specially lands. K B Sahay under the shadow of the directive principles of state under the Constitution, started aquiring lands of rajas, maharajas, landlords and big holders for distribution among landless for cultivation and homes. The Move of Dr S K Sinha was challenged in the higher court in the name of right to property , enunciated under the Constitution, by Maharaja of Darbhanga. Move of Dr S K Sinha government were defeated as court verdict  had gone in favour of Drarbhanga Maharaja. But progressive leadership of the them prime minister Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru intervened. First amendment to the constitution was made and the entire right of land holdings was put in seventh schedule of the Constitution. And hurdles, preventing land reforms measures ended. And Different state government had taken measures and lakhs of acres of land throughout the country were taken and acquired by the almost all states in the country. Bihar at time topped the list in acquiring surplus lands from land holders. But half-hearted measures could not fecilitate to distributea surplus lands to land less. Thereafter, the SanyuktaB Vidhayak Dal government of non-congress parties in mid sixties and seventies also initiated some measures. During those days, many agitational programmes were launched by non-congress parties  specially Communist Party of India and Socialist party to grab lands of big land holders and distribute them among landless. And to some extend , it succeeded also!
More over big land holders, specially zamindars, started playing a different games. Many of them in Bihar, specially in Purnia , Darbhanga , Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Palsamu, Bhagalpur, Saharsa, , Champaran etc got their lands transferred in the fake names  like  their dogs, cats, as well as trusted men to escape the surplus land holdings. And Bihar government remained silent spectators. In successive years, lands distributed to poor and landless had been grabbed after they were evicted from their possession by big land holders and neo-rich classes, particularly politicians of all hues in Bihar. These big shark land holders, did not even leave "aam and hkhas lands" of the government and by making laws by the successive governments in Bihar simple. not only in the rural areas but in the urban areas. In urban areas , particularly big politicians and other rich sections of society in Patna have got the khas land in patna in their names and have built multi-storey buildings in different parts of Patna, particularly on Fraser road and Buddha Marg , Kadamkuan etc.
All these slackness of the successive government to bring on effective laws on land reforms have aggravated poverty, which  have gone 80 percent in the state , specially in rural areas. Over 70 percent people have no land for constructing even their houses in the state what to talk of cultivating the lands. On the other hand, big land holders, feudal s,, neo-rich class and political class are thriving on lands in almost all parts of the state.
If we take into account, the global Hunger index (GHI), the poverty in India is on rise.Out of 81 countries, which have been taken into consideration in GHI, India ranks 67 and Bihar state is at the lowest ebb. Surprisingly, India is below Sri Lanka (rank-36), Nepal (rank-54) and Pakistan (rank-59) in the global hunger index chart, released in 2011. More over, on the other hand, India  is advancing when it comes to dollar billionaire in the country as per recent figure, released by the UN Human Development Report(UNHDR). There are totall 134 billionaire in 2011 in India.. UNHDR says that over 55 billionaires have grown their wealth at an astonishing rate in  since 10991 because of new economic liberalisation police of the union government. India's multidimensional poor now exceeds 612 million as per report of the UNHDR-such inequnl India. In bihar , less said is better. While poverty has increased . Over 80 percent poor are poverty -ridden bin Bihar. Many of them hardly get two meals a day what to talk of medical facilities, rise in malnutrition and education in both ur rural and urban areas of Bihar while neo rich, contractors, politicians, businessmen, industrialists are thriving on huge property, earned through foul means!

1 comment:

  1. Was just thinking when i will get time read this and finally read it today. Amazing compilation of history, contemporary scenario and a bit of glimpse from the future............but was pondering if even Nitish can solve the conundrum because taking any one sided step will infuriate the other.....n thts why no government ever tried to resolve it because politicians want to make everybody happy...they cant disappoint any class/caste/group.....even i dnt think Nitish will also dare to take the risk...for me it was very enlightening and knowledgeable stuff, knew that i never had known...thanks for writing such an interesting piece.....

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