“A Property Rights Revolution is Taking Root in Gujarat”

“A Property Rights Revolution is Taking Root in Gujarat”

Ken Schoolland with villagersLast month Ken Schoolland, a long time friend of the Liberty Institute, professor of economics and political science at Hawaii Pacific University, and president of the International Society for Individual Liberty visited Gujarat and attended some of our workshops. Ken was really invigorated about what LI and ARCH are trying to accomplish here in Gujarat and has written up a full report about his visit.

A property rights revolution is taking root in Gujarat, India, that is spreading across rural India, securing land title for hundreds of thousands of farmers. The evidence of success is so strong that this movement is expected to spread to 900 million plots of land in India and millions more across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

ernando de Soto has called international attention to the lack of property rights in developing nations, resulting in the single greatest deterrent to economic development. But recognizing this isn’t enough. “De Soto’s approach to making change has had limited success so far,” remarks Barun Mitra, President of the Liberty Institute in New Delhi.

“De Soto has written books,” says Mitra, “spoken at lofty forums, advised heads of state, suggested ways of changing the law to recognize the property rights of the millions of poor. But this approach has invariably run into opposition by powerful sections of society who have so far benefited from the prevailing lack of clear titles.”

Frustrated by the lack of impact from academic conferences, Barun has decided that a real and practical demonstration of establishing property title among the vast population of rural farmers is the only way to prove the value of these ideas. Such proof will not only win over and empower the rural poor, but will captivate the interests of social and political leaders across the ideological spectrum. Read more…

Pictures from Ken’s visit and our January events

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