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December 3, 2007

Ironies on the road

Raj Cherubal

Ironically, while Liberals, the only people who have the principled right to protest Nandigram or similar land grabs are no where to be seen (except in some rarefied newspaper columns) it is the Maoists who are battling on behalf of private property owners against abuse of eminent domain by fellow Communists. Orwell must be grinning in his grave!

One can sense the Liberal’s dilemma and glee coexisting within the same skull. While it is fun to watch Communists squirm, it is difficult to criticise a business friendly, reformist Communist chief minister. Here’s the rub: chief ministers come and go, parties come and go and being pro-capitalist is not necessarily being pro-capitalism. Liberals would do well to stick to their principles.

The time is fast approaching when pro-poor activists have to reconsider their socialist leanings. Take abolition of private property rights. This is usually done in the name of the poor and as a way of redistributing “ill-gotten” wealth of the propertied class. But bizarre as it may sound, it is the poor who need property rights protected by rule of law, and not the rich. De facto, all over the world, the rich and the powerful already enjoy these privileges and defend them with might. More on Raj Cherubal’s blog»


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