The second chapter ‘Promise of the State’ postulates the distinctiveness of categories, ‘land’ and ‘soil’, by explicating functional and non-functional dimension of land. For doing so this chapter will engage in describing the transition in political ethos during 2009-2011 in Bengal when the 34-year long Left-Front Government of West Bengal led by Communist Party of India (Marxist) lost its power to Trinamool Congress, discuss the functional aspect of land through the social policies and executions of them in the local level and arrive at a gendered analysis of Government officials’ interaction with the people in the village.
The present paper provides a narrative of the context of the farmers’ protest against the state government’s (farm)land acquisition policy and how the opposition (Trinamool Congress) engages and mobilizes a substantial rural population under its banner for anti-government public protest. To understand how Trinamool Congress successfully launched a movement that eventually led to its historic victory to assume the role of governing party for the first time in 2011 we need to critically examine how its primary political agenda pegged the functionality of land with the rolling out of several land related social policies for rural development as a promise of pro-poor growth. Moreover, this section gives a detail explanation of land owning mechanisms that women must comprehend to effectively access land. Thus, dynamics of women’s interaction with the bureaucracy becomes essential factor determining the efficacies of policies concerned. Section 3 of Chapter 2 will delve into this aspect.