A Familiar Story

Disparities between cities and villages are widening. Village land is under the chokehold of government officials, who behave like petty landlords. Agricultural land is being taken away for development projects with no compensation to farmers, because farmers do not have any real rights over their land. The excuse given for denying farmers rights over their land is that if they can freely own and sell their land, the current shortage of arable land will worsen. But in practice, farm land is being given away anyway, so the restriction only means that farmers don’t get anything from the development.

We are of course talking about China. While agents of China seek to bring about a Maoist revolution and collective farming in India, Chinese peasants are asking for their land to be privatized.