Opinion : Fight of a Farmer...

May 12, 2010

On the morning of 28th April, a friend of mine telephoned me and her first words conveyed a sense of urgency. Will you do me a favour, she asked me. ‘Government officials are demolishing Gregory Patrao’s house in Kalavar near Pezar church, can you go there and do some thing?’ she pleaded. I did not wait to understand as to what made her to assign me this task of doing something in a case which had reached point of no return. I rushed to the spot taking my camera thinking at least I will be able to have of whatever was left behind.

On reaching the spot I saw Gregory Patrao and his eighty year old mother Mary Patrao pleading with the officials who went about with their job without any mercy.   It was a sight of devastation, I wish I will never witness again. It was a harrowing experience to see such a gigantic house crumbling down within a matter of a few minutes and I felt it was a severe jolt to human dignity and spirit.  I am yet to recover from the trauma and I can just imagine the pain undergone by the Patrao family who had lived in that house and the adjoining land for as long as they lived.

Around the Patrao house there is a well grown Areca garden, about 200 yielding coconut trees, paddy fields with standing crop, sweet potato ready for harvest, mango, chikoo, jackfruit trees, breadfruit tree and all this surrounded by a beautiful forest consisting of   wild jack, mango, cashew, cocum, and other variety of fruit bearing trees.   In the midst of this there is huge well with plenty of water that supported the agricultural activity of the family.  In today’s world where there is an overwhelming clamour for everything urban oriented, it could be anybody’s fantasy to own and live in such a beautiful and heavenly place.  And to top it all, the house of Patraos was   hundred year old having a history of almost 350 years. It is said that even before the 350 year old Pezar church was erected this place was used for prayers.

Everything turned topsy-turvy on the morning of April 28 with the KIADB officials who barged into the Patrao compound and demolished the house using powerful hydraulic earth movers.  By doing so they crushed the spirit and gumption of the Patrao household.  The family was intensely attached to their home and the land as many generations of Patrao family had lived there.   47-year old Gregory Patrao, a bachelor, had led the fight of the family against the move to acquire the land  went to the court saying his land should not be taken  away  for handing over to MRPL.  After a prolonged battle of almost 14 years the High Court had dismissed his plea and KIADB officials acting upon that order of High Court demolished the house of Patrao. 

 When incidents like this happen we the common people should take the seat of a judge and give our own version of the verdict asking questions like has proper notice been served? Is there a court order? Has the Deputy Commissioner sanctioned the order? Is Patrao family right in fighting the battle? Have they not been given compensation and such other related questions?  I do not know much about these aspects and some legal minds will be able to throw some light on it. For me all this is immaterial and I am only worried about the larger ramifications of a case such as Gregory’s. What about his right to stay in his land? What about human rights of his family? What are his rights to appeal and his right of knowing on what order the officials were acting on? How about displacing 12 of his family members? What about the cattle being rendered homeless? We wait for an answer and the officials and people who are supposed to look after the interests of the community should answer these questions in black and white.  

Many a times I wonder whether our fear to ask questions leads to such unjustifiable incidents such as this which happen much against our will. We grumble, criticize and the issue dies an untimely death. Have we become less sensitive to such grave issues that concern us collectively? I only wish people take notice of the warning signal of Gregoy’s house demolition is sending.

Years ago, with much resistance, people had allowed the refinery in South Kannara and had given their land in the hope their district would prosper. Well I cannot argue that it has brought prosperity to a select few.  But it has hardly changed the life for the common man who for the majority population. The much talked about employment opportunities in the refinery, I am afraid, have only remained on the paper. On the contrary, it has brought to the fore the dirty games the financial prowess can play. Demolition of Gregory’s house was only symptom of this negative aspect of the so called ‘development’.

Such projects always come with a promise of development of the region. With development we think we will have happier times. It is only an illusion and land sharks misuse and misguide people who are always hungry for more money.  These land grabbers succeed in convincing the various stake holders in parting with their land. A true development is human centric but what one witnessed on 28th April was inhuman treatment and was a misnomer for development. 

Today it is consumerist culture which is ruling the roost and there is no place for emotions. But it was this was an exception in the case of Gregory Patrao as his relationship with his home and the land was far from the formulas guiding today’s market trends. His love for the land was so strong that he fought almost single- handedly the might of the mega industry like MRPL for almost 20 years.

On the same evening of the demolition of Patrao house the parish priest of Pezar church visited Gregory’s place and sympathized with the family.   But I was surprised when the parish priest told him that he should have taken the help of BJP of which he was elected vice-president to the local Panchayat. It was a shock and I am unable to fathom how the church failed to see the spirit of Gregory’s fight leaving aside his political alienation.  The church seeks unity when its wants to build itself but the church members are left to fend for themselves in times of difficulties.  If the church had taken a strong stand and supported the Patrao family in their fight I feel this unsavory incident would not have happened. 

“‘We have to sacrifice for public good”’ remarked one of the officers of the Mangalore diocese but I failed to see any public good in the case of a private corporation like the MRPL and the reason why people who lived for generations in their land have to sacrifice for and entity that has scant regard for human; dignity.

Post demolition, support poured in for Gregory’s family as people who joined him in his fight must have felt the pain. Irrespective of religion, caste and creed people extended their support to Gregory Patrao’s family in the protest rally organized to oppose the inhuman action of officials. .  

 The role of church leaders in this context has been questioned by the media which felt something was amiss somewhere. Religious leaders have different role to play, a role to guide our transition into the next life. The Catholic Church is doing much more than guiding its flock spiritually in our part of the world. They run schools, colleges, hospitals, orphanages and management of these institutions have given them tremendous powers in the society and I feel this power should be whenever injustice is done to the members. These institutions were invariably built with a support of the Catholics with their sweat and blood and it is but natural that they expect at least a token support in cases of crisis like Gregory’s. It is only when we assert our rights and show our displeasure then the world will come to know what we really feel and if we don’t they will think that we are indifferent.

This will subject us to further exploitation. If the media coverage is anything to go by, the people are upset that our leaders have not even come forward to show their sympathy to the family let alone register a protest.   Many people have been asking why the church leaders were conspicuous by their absence when the Patrao house was demolished.  Clearly, the community leaders missed giving a helping hand and timely response to a good cause.

The demolition of the house and the acquiring of land send us another depressing signal of the times ahead for Mangalore and its surroundings. Everyone knows the role of environment in sustaining human life. South Kanara is subjecting itself for a cruel joke on its environment.  Many projects are coming up in South Kanara and land acquisition process is on.  In doing so, they do not even take the opinion of the farmers who have cultivated this land for years and subject them to forceful eviction. And all this is enabled by draconian Land Acquisition Act, which is centuries old. But Gregory gave them a tough challenge and gave voice to thousands of land owners who did not want to part with their land. For Gregory it may seem to be the end of a long drawn fight and in doing so he has shown us the way that we need to have a united front to protect our land and our resources. ‘I will not even part with a single inch of my land and it is nobody’s property that they can lay a claim on it’ said Gregory in public protest meet with his never say die attitude. 

We need to come together to see reason in his fight and not to fall prey for this mantra of development because to be developed means without harming a single element of nature that the almighty has given. We are duty-bound to pass on the blessings of nature to our next generation- the resources of water, air, trees, rivers, lakes, mountains and all that is part and parcel of Mother Earth. After all I do not like to see my children and grand children walking with an oxygen mask and see them drink bottled water.  This needs urgent attention of all those concerned especially those in power. In a democracy it is the numbers that matter and my earnest hope that we can we get together for a campaign on sustainable development. The time has come to begin some thing proactive that will see the reason in everything we do. Let us begin somewhere where Gregory has left. Express your displeasure by writing to the authorities. When ten people write they may not bother, when 100 write they will take note of things and thousand write they will act on it and when ten thousand write they will do things the way we want. That is the power of democracy.

Fighting for environment is not the work of a few individuals or NGO’s.  It should be everybody’s fight, as we are all part of this nature and not above it. A kind request to all those Mangaloreans based abroad to treat this as serious and help in the campaign for greener Dakshina Kannada, after all I am sure you do not like to come to one more desert looking, modern shopping centre which you are already  used to. Mangalore is your home town and coming back for a holiday and enjoying here would depend on how green and peaceful   the place is. Start a signature campaign, to draw the attention of those at the helm of affairs.

I like to hear from you with your suggestions of a road map as to how we can work together.   Send in your suggestion to orchidmediap@gmail.com

by William Pais
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Comment on this article

  • Santan D'Souza, Bijai/Bahrain

    Sun, May 16 2010

    What Willaim Pais had said in his article gives only partial truth. He must me having some vengeance towards the priests. I personally know the Parish Priest of Pezar very well who is well educated and knows the litigation rules very well. The Parish Priest of Pezar is there for last 6 years and must have studied the case very well.

    As Gregory Patrao was fighting the case so many years and the ruling was against him, it was evident that was a lost battle. Please do not hold religious people responsible for these things. Give to God what belongs to God give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Patrao has been compensated for the part of his land, he must be satisfied with that and not to be greedy.

  • Rudolf, Mumbai

    Fri, May 14 2010

    Salute you Capt.!! Your comments are to the point and the need of the hour.

    William Pais has done an Yeoman's job in bringing to the fore the genuine issue plaguing India, more so specially Dakshina Kannada. Already, the dist. has been ruined with random/unplanned/shoddy, so called development projects. Families have been ruined and the flow is flowing at full speed to engulf more and more??

    In the near future, wars will be fought for Water and Food (Believe it or not).


    The entire topography and virginity of DK has been and in the hands of land sharks.

    The Patrao case is a glaring example of the goings on.

    Most of the hyper, modestly, and hypo educated seem to be in the mood of the immediate future, not the long term, it is like punting in the stock markets or SUTTAAAA!!!

    Today, the common man in Mangluru (family subsisting on daily wages)has no hope for survival, see the price of food grains and vegies!!! What is the use of the so called IT, SEZ,Petchem projects etc???


    I think there is some DIVINE INTERVENTION here in the Patrao case that it is getting highligted!!!

  • Olivia Moras, Puttur / Toronto

    Thu, May 13 2010

    Thank you Vazir for your comments on my opinion. You are right, r was missing. I certainly appreciate your words. In this Civilized world those words shouldn’t be used. However I wanted to show how much I’m hurt by this whole episode. The way KIADB carried out this the whole process of demolition without giving not even a day’s time for the family. Did they hesitate before hurting the sentiments of this family? My words were aimed at the authorities involved. We need companies like MRPL, let them advance further. Those are the leading establishments which put India on the world map. As I mentioned previously no one should oppose developments. Let’s not forget these companies provide jobs to thousands of Indians. It’s my dream to see India becoming most developed country in the whole world. But certainly do it in a way that doesn’t hurt someone, don’t snatch someone’s self respect. Do you agree on the way Patrao family was treated on April 28th?. That's the only Issue I'm talking about.
    I never make religious comments, I love & respect everyone. Though I’m a Catholic I was raised also by an Ajji( my Angel) a Hindu as both my sweet parents worked. One person I appreciate most in this episode is Kemaru Swamiji. If this had happened with a Hindu or a Muslim I would have felt the same. Also I want to tell you though I’m in Canada my heart is all in India. I love you all. Vazir I Appreciate your thinking process.

  • William Pais, Mangalore

    Thu, May 13 2010

    Dear readers
    Thanks for those wonderful comments on the article. Your anger and outrage is well justfied. But it is not enough. All those at the helm should take notice of your feelings. Write to all those concerbned Please register your protest. If thousand protest it will make a differnce. Time has to treat our place as our own and not of multinational companies property. We want officers who look after our intrests and not of the vested inerests. Time to act and stop intellectual debates.

  • salvadore, MANGALORE

    Thu, May 13 2010

    ALL OFFICERS, police,leaders, first they call meeting like JANA SAMPARKA SABHE, AND OTHER GATHERING ..All people in area like palimar, nandikoor, kulur, now High Way.. etc. just to find out Who are the main leaders in that PERTICULAR area. they give them more than they want only to the leader and keep secret. and they acquire the land ... like this the progress they do. THEY APPOINT ONE GOONDA CONTRACTOR, ROUGH, DEMOLISH, If any decent person intercede his face become black like carbon. WHAT TO DO.? IF YOU WANT JUSTICE you will become like MR PATRAVO. IF YOU BRIBE THE OFFICER VALUATION you will become KING. now TELL ME. what you want ? hevean or hell?

  • Kiran Vaz, Mangalore

    Thu, May 13 2010

    Mr Raymod,Is PRO is Bishop's rep. only in this case or for all occasions ? If so , PRO can attend funerals of rich and famous and even ordinate priests in future and even sign cheques. What is Bishops stand ? Who organised the protest on 3rd May ? The priests you mentioned were on stage at the courtesy of organisers. Why the church is not able to organise an independent protest ? Compared to Pejawar Swami Bishop is small figure. In spite of his age if he comes personally to the spot and dosen't send his PRO , what prevents Lord Bishop of Mangalore ? Is a just a show piece ? Please be fair enough and please enlight the readers about the future course of action by Catholic Sabha , Church , Unicad etc etc etc. I can even say The Lord Bishop should resign.


    Thu, May 13 2010

    Lydia Lobo, Kadri

  • Antony D'Cunha, Permude/Muscat

    Thu, May 13 2010

    Urban and non-farming members of the human family should realize that the farming community who toil in sun and rain, and day and night, to produce grains/food for billions of people are real shakers and movers of the modern world but their contribution goes unnoticed. Neither they are respected nor their efforts are rewarded adequately. All these so called developments will not benefit the farming community because the only job a farmer can do is agriculture and hence, they will not fit into any slot in the aforesaid development programme. According to Prof. M.S. Swaminathan “This decade will show that the future belongs to Nations with grains and not guns”.

    We are talking about inclusive growth and this growth could only be achieved if the agriculture sector is motivated to grow more by adopting innovative methods with a view to reap the benefit of inclusive growth by farming community as well – it is a need of the hour and choice of the majority as well. But this voice does not reach to the people at large (masses) because most of the farming community members are not that educated so that their voice could be heard. Moreover, the farming is a process and it takes years to develop the area. Therefore, any displaced family from the farming community cannot set the shop overnight in a new location because the farming is dependent on nature and related infrastructure. MRPL/MSEZ have acquired so many thousand acres of land in the name of development. Now on please stop acquiring the land.

    No more displacements as the Monsoon is fast approaching. Our District administration has to focus more on promoting agricultural development rather than treating the farming community as criminals by deploying huge army of Police Force and related law enforcement machinery for forcibly evicting the family members who are bent on strengthening their agricultural base to produce more with a view to move forward in life. They could be a role model to other farming communities in the area. Do not play with the sentiments of farming community. Tears rolling out from the eyes of that grand old lady of the Patrao family, shows her sentiments and that disgraceful situation has a deep-rooted agony. It appears that she is committed for the cause and hence, any unforeseen situation would perhaps lead the grand old lady to a trauma at this ripe age which perhaps would never allow her to recover. Let the region witness some kind of agricultural activities and dairy farming as we all know “Nandini” Milk is in short supply in the cities for want of required supply from villages and soon we will also experience scarcity of food grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., as well. We all need to motivate our farming community to produce more by adopting innovative methods or else we will have difficult times ahead.

  • Vazir, Bangalore

    Thu, May 13 2010

    Ms Olivia Moras, Puttu / Toronto, I think you must have missed the `R' as I feel you might probably from Puttur.
    Anyway, the point I wish to comment is the use of your language or choice of words. Just because you are comfortably settled, probably earning well, in Canada (or for that matter, anybody else) cannot use words like ``moron," ``creepy" or ``brainless" in a public platform like a reputed website. Should we not use civilised & probably dignified language to make our point? Also, MRPL or SEZ cannot happen overnight nor only one individual be singled out for land acquisition. What happened to the hundreds of others in the same locality who accepted the compensation & vacated years ago? Don't they deserve our sympathy? Just because one person chose to fight doggedly for 14 or 20 years, does not mean all land acquisition should be banned. If we don't want infrastructure or industrial development, so be it. But how many Indians can afford to go abroad like you? Shouldn't those who stay get employment/business opportunities in their own country? Even assuming part of Gregory Patrao's land is fertile agricultural land, if hundreds of others lose their lands fertile or otherwise can exceptions be made for the sake of one individual. And why bring religion, swamijis, church or priests just because some chose to visit & show their sympathy? My only request to you & others is to think logically in the larger interest of society & not one individual.

  • Jacob, Bangalore/Dubai

    Thu, May 13 2010

    If Baal Shaeb Thakrey or Raj Thackery would have been in Magalure this wouldn't have happend.
    Better open MNS office in Mangalue. No use of BJP, Ram sena, Congress or Bajarang Daal.

    Raj Thakrey you are "WELCOME" to Mangalure and you will get solid support from all comunity.

  • Henry, mangalore/Abudhabi

    Wed, May 12 2010

    I see MRPL/SEZ development has no visible effect on the local people so far except for the rising prices. Also the church adminstration can not insulate themselves when they normally influence the life of thier parishoners by various acts of the local committees. i feel the issue needs to be clearly directed by a responsible organisation concerned with the local people so that it can be puesued for trhe benefit of all.

  • Anil D'Souza, Mangalore/USA

    Wed, May 12 2010


    Let's get real here.
    After looking at this story from all angles, here is what I think:

    1. Patrao family had 14 years to plan. As we all know, these days Govt is very strict when it comes to infrastructure and industrial projects. They show no mercy. Look at how they did the road widening.

    2. MRPL folks could have given him an extra day to save him from humiliation.

    3. Catholic priests and Catholic Sabha clearly acted like some political outfits. They should do what is morally right. It's not being 'politically correct'. It doesn't matter if he was with BJP - He is also a human being and a christian.

    4. There was nobody from BJP either to support him. Only the swamiji came to voice his support purely on moral grounds.

    5. Some of the readers are clearly defending Church even if we all know that they were wrong. As I said, we need to stop looking everything from BJP-Congress prism! We are humanbeings first.

    I think that Mr.Patrao's family needs to move on. At least, Govt has paid his family a handsome amount. I'm sure he can re-build a new life with the money.

    I wish him all the best.

  • Olivia Moras, Puttu / Toronto

    Wed, May 12 2010

    Thank you William Pais for discussing this issue. No one is opposing the developments But not at the cost of smashing down someone’s house. How difficult it is to build a house today. No regard, no respect for some one’s hard work, opinion nothing.

    Gregory's is a residential plot & MRPL is Petro Chemical establishment. Is that O.K. with the Zonal planning! Doesn't the environment gets polluted! Didn't MRPL find any other location! How come Town Planning department ( If there is one)is quiet about it.

    Also the moron who did the survey of the area submitted report saying it's a barren land, not a fertile area. How creepy is that! Which brainless sole accepted that survey report without the location photographs. Has the court considered these facts! Without informing the family of the consequences, just going to the site with Police & demolishing the house. How can they do such merciless things!
    William Pais please help the family fight this case in the Supreme court. We are with you. This could happen with anyone Shetty, Abdul, D'souza anyone & I will say the same thing. I have no respect for the entire administration system which doesn’t respect a farmer, doesn’t protect the interest of a common man. The entire system sucks.

  • Vinod Mascarenhas cap, Mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    Article has well exposed the draconian intentions of the multinationals and political parties. It looks only these people...know what Development is? It is high time that all sincere citizens of India teach them Development is living a dignified life. Its not fight between haves and have nots.

  • Bandhavya , Mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    1.Special Economic Zone is not a welcome mode for development in Mangalore. It should be done in a place which is not developed so that the area develops and people get jobs as it happened at Konaje. Once upon a time it was a deserted place. Now it is developed. In the name of development SEZ should not be pushed where the area is already developed and people live a self reliant life. Today in the name of development SEZ has become a tool for the real estate people to amass money. Why should a farmer be forced to give up his/her land for a company?

    2. The courage Mr.Gregory has shown in taking on the company is really commendable. He is an inspiration to many in fighting against the forceful aquistion of land for companies.

    3.Whatever be the ruling of the court the officers should not have demolished the house and cow shed before Gregory received the copy of the order.(Gregory says that he has not yet received the copy of the order). This shows the malicious intentions of the officers who took lead in the act of the demolition.

  • Capt Hugh Vas, Kadri, Mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    William Pais, your article is very touching and also informative about the irreparable damage being done to rural Mangalore in the name of development. By their action, a committed farmer along with his family members were treated little better than criminals by these Authorities with their belongings being forefully taken away without a maajar and no time given for any kind of other consideration. It seemed that the authorities had come with the intent of bulldozing.

    I was a witness to the happenings of that day. On May 3rd there was a very good response from all quarters at the protest held in front of the DCs Office against the gross injustice meted out to Gregory Patrao and his family. Twentyfive years back farmers were the backbone of our country. But today there appears no focus on agriculture either from the public or private sectors, and it is being touted that we can always import food, from where?? Global warming is staring us in the face which the entire globe have to reckon with.

    Gregory Patrao and all farmers have our full support in holding on to their (wet) lands and cultivating them. Industry cannot be had at the expense of agriculture. With a huge population of 1.2 billion who need occupation and livelihood, I donot think urbanisation and industrialisation are the answers to our woes.

  • a d shenoy, mangloor

    Wed, May 12 2010

    This is an incident nobody in the right mind can ignore. While fighting with a Goliath may be a mountainous and mammoth task, the Patrao case identifies the need for a cohesive approach by the community including the Catholics to identify the case to the higher authorities including the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and our MP from Udupi, Oscar Fernades,

    The Bishop and the clergy must join the battle with the Swamiji to highlight the plight of farmers, the very back bone of our country. The Sez project, by far the most, is a brainchild of The UPA without much thought. Rather than utilising the infertile and barren land, the implementors of the plan are making this sez buisness prioity at the cost of farmers because these poor souls have no much clout to fight the cases unlike Mr. Patrao.

    The high handedbness of the the authoritiers must have played a hand in this conflict just to punish the fighting farmer. While the government has the legal right to appropraite the with adequate compensation, the farmers alss have the legal right to obatin adequate compensation. There is also a moral obligation for the authorities.

    The Patrao case is sheer a "Goondaism" by KDIAP and MRPL to evict the family right away. There is also a need to protest against these autorities and bycot these outfits my mere campaign whether these are doing good to the public or just making money in the development, and certainly this development has not benefitted the poor.

  • Bulsam, Mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    There were so many cases of prime properties like palatial houses, well developed farms coconut/areca gardens, place of worship etc. are acquired for the purpose of development. When we are in India we should not think in the narrow mind of ourselves but on a bigger picture of India. Kindly understand that we are enjoying so many hi-tech machineries, automobiles, electricity, water-supply, modern gadgets etc. All the sources from where these finish products we get are facing similar catastrophes but their sufferings are the part & parcel of our development or India’s development.

    On the global front, due to rapid developments of the Western nations the whole world is suffering due to global warming. Someone’s gain is someone’s pain’.

    The Patrao family had succeeded in persuading the case for the last 14 years and they even had the option of dragging it to the Supreme Court where as other land owners in their neighbourhood had to vacate their precious land very earlier. That by itself was Patrao family’s achievement. Now the best option left to them is to get maximum compensation possible, adjust in the remaining 7 acres of land or buy some alternate wet land and vacate the 7 acres of their close-to-heart land gracefully for overall development.

  • roy patrao, mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    There will be many more demolitions in future & the land goes forever.Industries may offer job for one person for few years & the person gets retrenchment.In M.R.P.L majority employees are non-locals.The land is very cheaply available for govt.Where as the land costs Rs. 50 crores -Rs.800 crores per acre in Mumbai dist.& the land is very costly in other parts of nation as well.. So govt will grab everybodys land step by step.These I.A.S OFFICERS do not understand sentiments of FARMERS ,FISHERMEN community...I.A.S officers pleasing govt officials at the cost of farmers/fishermen to justify their degrees. We do not have leaders like MAMATA BANERGY /Raj Thackery/Shiv sena.

    I traveled throughout INDIA .Our Govt is having habit of grabbing fertile land for industries even though non-fertile/desert kind of areas are available in every state.

    TODAY IT IS OF PATRAO. Tomorrow Mr.X, Mr.Y ,Mr.Z ....


  • Patrick R Braggs, Bejai,Mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    The people of GOA came up with a slogan WE WANT PAEZ NOT SEZ and fought unitedly to stop SEZ and suceeded .But unfortunately we the people in Dakshina Kannada are so blinded by communalism - we speak in shrill different voices and are paying the price.Whats the use of good education,if we cannot see eye to eye nor are we aware of destruction to our environment.If we do not act now we will destroy the only home we know E A R T H.

  • Jacob, Bangalore/Dubai

    Wed, May 12 2010

    It is Indian politics and currupted leaders who take us for ride.

    Our leaders should be flexible and liberal like now for eg: we can get many things in India itself.
    Sometime back our old/leaders did not wantes us to get western education were we can grow further only their children can go to English medium as well as foreign universities.

    They did not want to bring computer education to India and no body can buy or import a computer in those days because of their currupt mind.
    only their eyes got opened when countries like singapore,malaysia,china went further they realised that.
    Today we are suffering only for those currupt politicians.still many places there is no raod,no bridges for river to cross,no drinking water but our political leader they will have brand new expensive car,Bunglow and many things in their first entry only in politics.

    Our country was denied to manufactre new cars,trucks,electronics etc and no colabration was allowed enven.thatswhy SONY,SANYO,HITACH all japanis branded companies went to singapore 50 years ago and now see who is clever.

    We are running behind them. Singapore even they don't have source of clean drinking water but they import from Malaysia through pipeline.our politicians only worried of Mandir,Beef,Goat etc.It will not take us further more only draw back.

    Let them liberelise more so that we can globalise and grow along the world.

  • Kateel Ramesh Prabhu, Mangalore/Bengalur

    Wed, May 12 2010

    Sri Balakrishna Shetty,Yellur/Dubai: I fully endorse your views expressed in the light of the plight of farmers in the name of so called 'development'. I do remember,when I was serving at Yellur/Mudarangady during 2000-04 visited you when you were spearheading movement against Nagarjuna Thumal Power Project (now UPCL).You have funded and fought vehimently against the project and possible ill effect of the same.Now the projet is commissioned against all fight because of the dubious role palyed at various levels. Entire undevided Dakshina Kannada/Tulunadu is on the brink of extinction of its precious culture/life style in the name of 'development'.Many Patraos have faced the brunt of the of 'development' and many will follow suit.After all we are in democretic rule and nobody could do anything to stop the onslought.As a coincidence,see the news item in todays Daijiworld relating to NTPC(UPC)

  • Willam Pais, Mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    Church is an organized body of people with definite hierarchy and at any point of time they can respond to the situation swiftly and appropriately. As Raymond said Church officials may have visited but what was their stand on the whole thing? Was it okay this kind of land acquisition went on like this? This is not possible in case of victimized person. How will he go soliciting for support in the time of difficult hour? It is virtually impossible. If for everything else we can trust the church we can also trust it at the time of our difficulty. I think it is fairer thinking. The article in no way undermines the yeoman service of the clergy but it is time that we come up with quick response in such cases. Besides let us not look at only Gregory’s case in isolation but look at the larger ramification of so called ‘development’ of our place. If we do not see it we essentially missing the dangerous signal Gregory's house demolition is sending. You are free citizen in this country How it feels when your house where your ancestors lived for ages is demolished in front of your own eyes? Will you not raise your voice?

  • Kate, Mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    Dear William, why are you misguiding by writing this long article. What answer do you have for the comments written by raymond dcunha,Editor Pingara news paper, taccode,valencia mangalore. Shall we also conclude that Kemaru Swamiji and other Swamijis are supporting Gregory because Gregory is BJPs elected vice-president to the local Panchayat.

  • Vazir, Bangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    Reading the article & comments (as also some newspaper reports), I feel everybody is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. It appears that only a portion of the land is being acquired & not the entire property. If the case has been going on for 20 years, the victim certainly had sufficient time to prepare alternatives. While he deserves sympathies for losing the court battle, it is not as if everything is over. Did he not receive compensation? What is the business of swamijis or priests to visit? Are they saying land acquisition is wrong? Have not people lost their properties elsewhere? What happens to them? If the compensation is less or inadequate, there is legal redressal. One should learn to accept the good & bad. Thousands of people lose lands, houses & their belongings. This has been going on. The most that can be done is challenge the land acquisition before a division bench or approach the supreme court. Dharnas, protests will not serve because courts alone can decide & grant whatever relief, if permissible or the acquisition is illegally done. Like somebody said, were there any protests when several people lost their lands in this very same locality for MRPL in the past?

  • Janet D'souza, Mangalore/Abu Dhabi

    Wed, May 12 2010

    Has our church become the door-mat for everyone to rub their feet on before going in and out of every situation they find themselves in? Oh boy! I,for sure, would like to think so! How easy for us to blame the church! Any problem in the community,catch the priests. To hell with their sacrifice, their selfless work. After all, they are our servants! It is always the church at fault,not us! In the words of the writer ' the parish priest came and sympathized with the family'. What else you expected him to do? He gave some suggestion to the family about which the writer was shocked.

    Come to reality my friend, nothing works in this world without political clout. If you hold on to your theory of democracy, this will be the result. Believe me, common people have no voice in our present day democracy. Sooner we accept this fact,wiser we will be. Otherwise, hold on to your principles and let go of the shrewd advice the priest gave. Moreover, why are we giving religious tone to this situation? One Mr. X 's land has been acquired in the name of industrial development without adequate compensation and it is up to the whole society, irrespective of the religion, to stand by him and fight for justice.

    Religious leaders should protest as lay people along with the common people
    and not as representatives of any religious institution. Politics and religion should be kept separate. It should be a collective social responsibility of the people of Mangalore.My sympathies are with the victims.

  • Sunil D'Souza, Mangalore/Qatar

    Wed, May 12 2010

    In the name of development if the Govt. continues to grab the agriculture land the day will come very soon that there will be no more agriculture land leftover.

  • Jawar D'Souza, M'Lore/Doha

    Wed, May 12 2010

    I think this is a agricultaral land and should be used for agriculture. Mr Patrao has to take his court to the supreme court and file a case for all the voilation's. If tomorrow MRPL feels that their office cannot accomdate all the staff they would like to aquire the D.C. office can it be given to them. If patrao does not want to part with the land its his basic right. This is only a private company, better to shut MRPL,instead of creating a nuiesance to the society.

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Wed, May 12 2010

    There is a law that bars people with no inherited agricultural land from buying agricultural land. The govt. may have its own observations and motives but it drives away genuine people who intend taking up small scale agriculture as post retirement hobby.

    If the writer is on a mission to fight against such law, I am for it.

  • Balakrishna Shetty, Yellur/Dubai

    Wed, May 12 2010

    Recently Dr. Kofi Annan the former UN Chief warned Indians that if we are thinking that we are ruled by democratic system we are totally wrong. He is one of the best judges to make such analysis. This is anarchy. People are pushed to brink in such a manner that they are left with no other alternative but to become rebellions. I strongly believe that that is of how forces like Nexalite take birth.

  • Ramachandra, Mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    The government is not allowing individuals from outside farming sector to enter agriculture on the ground that it will marginalize the farmers by denying their access to land. However, it allows foreign and Indian companies to acquire prime agricultural land to set up private companies in the name of public welfare. We should note that provision of public goods is different from production of private goods by the public sector undertakings

  • IVAN, Mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    I totally agree with Mr. Gabriel Vaz

  • raymond dcunha,Editor Pingara news paper, taccode,valencia mangalore

    Wed, May 12 2010

    Sir Gabriel Vas This william has not mentioned the truth about church authorities visit to the spot of Gregory Patrao house. As a Eye witness to the fact i Know,When the news read at the news papers I called Kemar Swamiji and gathered more facts and immidiately called Bishop PRO Fr. William Menezes who readily acceped to visit Gregory House placeat Kalavaru.I called Catholic Saba president and vice president Jokim Pinto and Walter cyril Pinto ,they arranged Pejawar Varao both immi. past president and President with us and I called UNICAD .One of the convinor Roy castelino came with his Scorpio and we 6 went to spot.we were back at 12 noon visiting gregory and Pejavar varado vigar vara also.Next on 3rd may on request by Gregory Patrao with Vidya Dinakar and others Fr. Willia Meneges PRO and Rep. of mangalore Bishop, CODP director Onil Dsouza and Chair In chistianity head at University Fr. John Fernandes were on stage for protest infront of D.C.Office with gregory Patrao till the protest ends in the noon.

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Tue, May 11 2010

    Lets look at the case this way - the Patrao family owns 14 acre of land of which 7 is gone to MRPL. He has been putting 14 years of battle, all others in his neighbourhood have moved out. What does this tell us ? The family wants us to join him in a fight that he did not win in so many years. Remember - he will not be a pauper by letting half of his property for which he is compensated. If he is not happy with the compensation rate, none other is to be blamed.

    What are we for ?

    (1) To destroy the fertile land for development.

    (2) How much will this development help us ? How many Mangaloreans got employment in MRPL ?

    (3) If this land was still with the family how much would all of us have gained ? Aracanuts, coconut, fruits - all commercial. How much rice is he growing ? For sure minimum or just as much is required for subsistence because it takes a lot of effort round the year to yield 3 crops. I would have pledged all my strength if he is a farmer of this volume which is not a miracle with the water availability in his land. He would have pumped enough grains into the market, people's staple food.

    It is incorrect to blame the religious authorities for not coming to help the family - law is equal to all. Even religious institutions got to abide by the law. All Mangaloreans gathering to stop a Church property from being acquired will not always be successful. Therefore, it since to place your protest where it is just not just for the sake of community.

  • Anand Dsilva, Dubai

    Tue, May 11 2010

    By using force to evict a farmer we the law, the govt and the readers give an impression that farming is not a noble profession and that we have the right to take away their land whenever we want to by force if necessary.

    As such our ancestors were all associated with farming in some way or the other as that was the only source of income for a living by tilling the land.

    Today is the era of industrialisation, computers and fashion. Just recently when there was rice shortage and India banned exports of rice, I remember top UAE ministers had lobbied the Indian govt to allocate them rice desperately. This was the case with many other countries too.

    If we continue to take farmers lands and discourage people to take farming in the interest of promoting industries all over, a day may arise when there will be money to buy comforts to live but no food to eat.

  • Gabriel Vaz, Bangalore

    Tue, May 11 2010

    First of all, I am not fully aware of the facts. But reading the report, it is clear that the case has been going on in High Court for 14 years. Obviously, it must have been handled by lower courts even many years earlier. So, it has not come as a surprise.

    Evidently, Gregory Patrao has been fighting a losing battle. Also, his neighbours must have been evicted long ago.

    I agree that authorities could have been little more considerate & given sufficient time before implementing court order for eviction by demolishing the structure. Any aggrieved person will feel hurt, angry & would want support from anybody who comes forward in his hour of crisis.

    It is understandable that the victim & general public feel perturbed by the failure of church authorities to visit the victim, console & lend moral support even if he had lost a legal battle. Perhaps, church authorities felt it not prudent to visit the victim, who lost a court battle, as they may have mistakenly assumed that they will be violating law or committing contempt of court. If that is the case, it shows the lack of legal knowledge & may be commonsense.

    While it hurts people to lose their precious property, belongings for development, one must accept the hard reality that it is the price one has to pay for industrial or infrastructural development.

    I am not justifying the demolition. Perhaps, there is still scope for legal redressal by moving the Supreme Court. If so, it must be explored & must be supported.

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Title: Opinion : Fight of a Farmer...

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