Nearly 65% of Indians depend on agriculture
Hundreds of farmers have gathered on the outskirts of India's capital Delhi to protest against plans to amend a controversial land acquisition law.
Farmers say changing the 115-year-old act will make it easier for farm land to be used by industry.
The issue of land acquisition is a very sensitive one, with 65% of India's population dependent on farming.
The government says the changes will improve the way the law works and hopes farmers can be "partners" in its plans.
The three-day protest is supported by campaign groups from 15 Indian states.
"The Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2009, which the government has proposed will further relax all provisions which will lead to an easier acquisition of land by the authorities," says Madhuresh who works for Sangharsh, an umbrella of 150 groups participating in the protests.
According to the Land Acquisition Act of 1894, the government can take over any private land for a "public purpose".
Campaigners say land take over deprives the poor
Campaigners say the authorities have often used the provision "to deprive the poor of the meagre resources of livelihood, render the agriculturists landless and to take away the rights traditionally exercised by communities over all natural resources".
In recent years, the government has acquired land sometimes only for the benefit of private corporations and commercial interests and profits, the campaigners allege.
Governments have acquired large tracts of land to set up special economic zones (SEZs) which they say will generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and bring in new earnings.
But critics say this amounts to a land grab, because of a lack of transparency and corruption in government.
In recent years attempts by authorities to acquire farm land have led to violent protests.
Last year, violent protests led to Tata Motors moving car production from the town of Singur in West Bengal state.
And in October last year, farmers in Raigad in the western state of Maharashtra voted against a proposed SEZ by Reliance Industries.
On Tuesday, the government said states should view using farm land for industrial projects as "a last resort". It wants waste land to be used instead, where possible.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told state governments to ensure that farmers did not suffer due to industrialisation.
"Farmers should not be victims of industrialisation. They should be partners in the process," he told state industry ministers in Delhi.