Singur is a fertile and vibrant farming area in the Hoogly district of West Bengal, India. On December 2, it becamethe scene of brutal repression, as armed police beat men, women and children to evict them from their land.
Using a colonial-era land-grabbing law, the Communist government of West Bengal has announced that it will seize the land from the poor, and give it to Tata Motors, in order to build a parts factory.
The government had offered a less fertile area for the company, but Tata rejected it. Ready to keep the industry happy, the government offered Tata a 1250 acre plot of land, home to 11 villages, in Hoogly.
Image from Aid India’s coverage.
The communities didn’t take the incursion lightly, and stood their ground, protesting not only the government’s decision, but the dark and mysterious process surrounding it.
In a report entitled, “our Land, Their Development“, you can read more about this, and other proposed land incursions by the government of West Bengal.
Then sign a petition here.
Sumit Chowdhury has made a fine documentary on the struggle, entitled Abad-Bhumi or Right To Land on Singur.
It’s an hour long, but if you’re prepared to ignore the first few seconds of wildly inappropriate techno, it’s well worth a watch.
You can find video of the police action here.
Update 2 (12 Jan 2007)
An updating, and suitably critical, article here.