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The Left and property rights

The Left and property rights
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First Published: Mon, May 04 2009. 12 56 AM IST
Updated: Mon, May 04 2009. 12 56 AM IST
When it comes to property rights, all political parties believe in the government’s right to snatch private property for “public purposes”. But none exhibit the duality that Left parties do.
On Sunday, Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, leader Biman Bose defended the party’s disastrous land acquisition policy that led to public outrage in Nandigram and Singur in West Bengal.
“Industry cannot come up on barren land because it needs water. It is wrong when some people talk of setting up industry only on barren land,” Bose said.
This is in marked contrast to the CPM’s stand on rights under The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. It has been critical of the Union government for not “implementing” the Act.
Does the Left believe in two versions of property rights? One for citizens in Left-ruled states and another for those elsewhere? It does. Uniformity of rights militates against the Left’s scheme of things. Divergence goes against the well-being of citizens.
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First Published: Mon, May 04 2009. 12 56 AM IST