Abstract: Despite agriculture constituting the largest source of livelihood in India, the majority of those engaged in cultivation are poor. Any attempt at development that does not take into account the means to safeguard these people from the risks accompanied by development becomes disastrous and spreads discontent and mistrust amongst them towards the State. The acquisition of land for development projects for the sake of economic growth entails loss of livelihood of the people who depend upon this vital natural resource. Depriving people from their immediate means of livelihood (e.g., land) for the sake of long-term economic growth (e.g., better employment opportunity) without provisioning adequate rehabilitation and resettlement leads the displaced families to conditions worse than before. The case study of land acquisition for industrialization, described in this article, is neither isolated nor unrepresentative in terms of the impoverishment of the farmers’ family under the colonial land acquisition law, reformed by the Indian government in 2013. This new law is definitely an improvement on the colonial law, but it, too, requires the inclusion of financing for development and benefit sharing for the full reconstruction of the livelihood of dispossessed as depicted in this article.
Keywords: Displacement, Resettlement and rehabilitation, Land acquisition, Food security, Agricultural land, Impoverishment risk, Eminent domain, Compensation, Financing for development, Benefit sharing, Loss of livelihood, Project-affected family