It was a pleasant surprise to watch the celebrated thespian, Mithun Chakraborty, anchor a TV show the other evening in which he restricted his guests from the civil society to answer questions that were sharply posed, instead of out-howling each other. Amongst the many issues he brought up, one in particular stood out. He took us back to the Singur imbroglio and asked the government’s critics to explain why they did not insist that the entire 997 acres of land, instead of a mere 400 acres, be returned back to the owners. At the basis of this question lay two distinct issues that he obviously wished to separate out. The first of these involved pure economics. The opponents of the Singur project have argued that the acquired area for the factory was a highly fertile, multi-crop land. Using it up for the development of industry amounted to an economic loss for an agriculturally advanced state. The second of the issues addressed the unwilling farmer problem, one which is fraught with unpleasant socio-political implications. It is an issue indeed that has stirred up intense emotions and is even threatening to dislodge the leftists from Writers’ Building.