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Sunday, February 7, 2016

farmer who rejected a £275million offer for his land - விவசாயி

Agriculture is the primordial occupation.  Farmer is the most important person ploughing is the most important activity for they provide us the food !   In the words of Thiruvalluvar ...
இலமென்று அசைஇ இருப்பாரைக் காணின்;
நிலமென்னும் நல்லாள் நகும்

                                                         photo courtesy :                                                                                                                          
Mother earth is capable of providing us all wealth and would laugh at those who sit idle and do nothing citing various reasons !   Farmers have been hailed in Sangam literature down to movies.    In a MGR film, the lyrics of Maruthakasi was a great hit .... it was  “கடவுள் என்னும் முதலாளி, கண்டெடுத்த தொழிலாளி - விவசாயி .... விவசாயி”. It goes on saying that this land has all the wealth and there is no need for looking to others seeking help – all that is required is hard work in the fields :

என்ன வளம் இல்லை இந்த திருநாட்டில்; ஏன் கையை ஏந்த வேண்டும் வெளிநாட்டில் .
ஒழுங்காய் பாடு படு வயல் காட்டில் ; ஒழுங்காய் பாடு படு வயல் காட்டில்
உயரும் உன் மதிப்பு அயல் நாட்டில்... விவசாயி .... விவசாயி ....

However,  agricultural lands even in rice bowls are getting sold and changing hands for the proposed constructions called ‘real estate development’.  It would make a sad reading  about the plight of the farmers in India and marginal farmers even resorting to suicide.  People have shifted from rural areas to urban areas seeking greener pastures and there is dearth of farmhands.  Viewed in this background the story of a  'Country bumpkin' farmer who turned down £275MILLION from developers for his land  makes an impressive reading. 

DailyMail Uk has this report on a  farmer who rejected a £275million offer for his land from housing developers has said he is 'not afraid to stand up to them'. Robert Worsley said he feared 'country bumpkins' like himself would be 'steamrolled' and that he believed the community was ready to stand together to protect their homes. The 48-year-old father of two has run his 550-acre, near Haywards Heath, West Sussex, for the last 15 years. He was approached by agents for housebuilder Mayfield more than two years ago. Since then, the company has contacted Mr Worsley a number of times, trying to persuade him to sell.

Other landowners on adjoining sites have also turned down large sums, Mr Worsley claimed. The multi-million pound potential offer is 100 times the farm’s current value, even though it covers only one-seventh of the proposed 10,000-home development. Mr Worsley, who has two daughters Anna, 13, and Rebecca, nine, is now battling the proposals, fearing that his local area faces ruin.  He said: 'It worries me that locally we could simply be steamrollered. It does seem like we are being bullied, but we are not afraid to stand up to them.'

He said that the company was pushing the plans by using the argument that the homes would be for the ‘greater good’ of the community. But he argued that the local infrastructure would not be able to cope. He said: 'We are a rural community who don’t want this development, who don’t want to see Sussex ruined. Mr Worsley said he would be ‘doing a massive disfavour’ to the community where he has lived all his life if he ‘took the money and ran’ after being offered £275million for his 550-acre farm in Twineham, West Sussex.  The Mayfield Market Towns website, which says that the area would be transformed into 10,000 homes and schools. Mayfield has plans to build residential houses across a 1,200 acre patch of land that it claims will be somewhere to the west of Sayers Common.  Mr Worsley is among dozens of residents who form part of the Locals Against Mayfield Building Sprawl. 

‘I hope I am speaking for an awful lot of people who would have their quality of life diminished and the enjoyment of the countryside, which is the reason why they live here, diminished too. 'It’s not really about me. It’s about the fact that Sussex is being eroded away. That is the story I would like to tell.  He added that he was 'broadly surprised' that nearly all of his neighbours were of the same view as him and did not want to sell. 'People in the countryside, us county bumpkins, don’t tend to move as much as others because our work is connected with where we live, its home and there are many other factors, such as my daughters have lived here all their lives and it is their home, we are happy here.'

Today, Sir Nicholas Soames, Conservative MP for Mid Sussex told MailOnline that the development was 'completely unsuitable'. He said: 'It is in the wrong place and no one wants it. It does not command the support of any local people or the members of Parliament.'  'It fails on every single one of the government's rules on sustainable developments.' He added that he and Nick Herbert, Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs, would go on opposing the plans 'until there is no breath left in their bodies'.

Mr Worsley is a great man and his thinking is laudable .... but how many such people are there ~and how many would continue agriculture not allowing their farmlands to be converted to construction sites !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th May 2015.

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