Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quick Note on Narmadha Dam

I have always wondered about this - that the Narmadha Dam issue has been projected as a fight between capitalism, development one side; and the anti-developmental forces of leftists on the other.
Purely from a theoretical perspective, private property is sacred and inviolate in capitalist society. In fact the origins of modern forms of government were based on the question of the guarantee for private property. What I mean by private property is the rights of a human living in peace to hold property without threat of confiscation. In medieval days, such property was held to be liable for confiscation by the King. It is to stop such violations on indviduals that Magna Carta was signed.
In a capitalistic society the rights of an individual holding private property is inviolate. On the other hand Communism demands the placing of all private property under the central planning authority, for public good.
This is one of the fundamental differences between capitalism and communism.
Yet, in the Narmadha dam issue, the private property of Adivasis (who are granted such rights by the Consititution) is being confiscated by the government, by exercising its power. And the cheerleaders for the Gujarat government call it development work of capitalism.
The people fighting against such confiscation and who seek to protect the rights of private property, such as Medha Patkar are, instead, called as Communists and holders of a failed philosophy.
The irony of it never seems to amaze me. Capitalism means, in our country, whatever the kings will. The kings shall take from us when they want, in the name of development.
"The real object of all Despotism is revenue" - Tom Paine

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