Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 530

TATA Motors Singur: Narratives of Development Projects, Politics and Land Acquisition in West Bengal

Pallav Karmakar
V Anil Kumar



The Singur peasants’ movement is considered to be one of the greatest mass movements of its time against the state government of West Bengal. The paper intends to highlight one of the significant peasant-led protests in the country, which challenged the state government in the process of land acquisition for setting up a small car factory in Singur, West Bengal. The paper underpins the narratives of the movement and focuses on bringing forth the public discourse centering on the movement. It was found through the analysis of both the primary and secondary data that people’s participation in the decision-making is one of the most important aspects of development projects, and the use of force and undemocratic means to meet the goal by the state government can have a long-term negative impact on the electoral base of the government. The protest movement to get back the land has reached its objective, but it is fraught with the uncertainty of being fit for agricultural activities, and the farmers are now looking for alternatives to sell it for a better price.

Working Papers