Holy Hindu Cow! What Now?: Sid Harth
Anna Hazare turns against Modi: So many scams in Mahatma’s land</a>
Published: Thursday, May 26, 2011, 17:13 IST
Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: PTI
Social activist Anna Hazare today appealed to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to enact a law empowering gram sabhas in taking decisions regarding village land.
Hazare, accompanied by Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kejriwal, made the appeal during a public hearing by various civil society groups, held at Gujarat Vidyapeeth here.
He also urged Modi for quick appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat.
“After hearing so many of you all I see (are) scams, that too in the land of Mahatma Gandhi,” Hazare said at the end of the public hearing.
The anti-corruption crusader said the gram sabhas (village councils), which are the roots of society, are needed to be strengthened in Gujarat on grounds of Maharashtra adding that they only build the legislature.
“I would like to make two appeals to chief minister Narendra Modi. First is to appoint the Lokayukta in the state, and second to bring in a legislation that would empower the gram sabhas in taking decisions related to the village, especially those dealing with the village land,” Hazare said.
He said that after the drive to weed out corruption, his next assignment would be against land acquisition and he wanted it to start from Gujarat.
“Gram Sabhas should be so empowered that no transaction related to the village land could be done without their permission. And I think this movement should start from Gujarat,” he added.
Hazare said that the country may face threat from Pakistan, but it faces more grievous threat from enemies within the country.
He also warned the Union government of repeating Delhi agitation of April 5 if it tries to delay Jan Lokpal Bill.
Another member of the Jan Lok Pal Bill drafting team, Swami Agnivesh, said that the public hearing has exposed the false claims of Gujarat government over development.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is making use of American media agencies to paint a false picture of what was exactly happening in Gujarat, he said.
“Gujarat is not vibrant as shown by Modi. Gujarat is the land of scams. Gandhi’s Gujarat is now ‘Ghotale ka Gujarat’ (state of scams),” Agnivesh said.
Arvind Kejriwal said that if farmer’s land was forcefully acquired by government for industrialists it could lead to a civil war.
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This is a tragedy. Anna Hazare was lured into heading the civil society’s hidden agenda. Anna is a simple man and cannot be held responsible for civil society’s shenanigans, including but not limited to Anna’s fast unto death drama played to the public, oops, ‘janta.’ at Jantar-Mantar tent show. He was also hoodwinked the same nuts in endorsing Narendra Modi as a man who could be a role model for development, oops, (good) governance. These two new catchwords are made in India, oops, Bharat by the right wing fundamentalist jingoist people. To start naming names, oops, blames I would call RSS on the mat. Their fondly remembered catchword of yesterday was ‘Hindutva.’ They milked that to the hilt. Now that it doesn’t resonate among the Hindus, being moronic and out of date model, they invented new ones, Development Model, Governance model, and India Shining, oops, Gujarat Shining, oops, Vibrant Gujarat. The only things vibrate in Gujarat is the earth. Industries like Tata’s Nano plant in Sanand are uprooting trees and shrubs, denuding celestial beauty, houses and huts, barns and barnyards into steel and cement made monoliths. New roads are made on the soil that was used to bullock cart traffic. The entire landscape is changed, not for the season but for the reason, make money fast. Narendra Modi is portrayed as a business friendly pioneer. Sure, that he is. However, he cannot hide his autocratic style of governing. He has hoodwinked those farmers into believing that Nano plat is good for them. What good did it do? Some farmers became truck drivers hauling plant garbage and/or raw material. They did not remain farmers to buy land in other parts of Gujarat. That means Narendra Modi modified their lifestyle for good.
…and I am Sid Harth
Medha Patkar’s fast enters 6th day
NDTV Correspondent, Updated: May 26, 2011 16:43 IST
Mumbai: Social Activist Medha Patkar’s fast enters the sixth day today. She has been demanding a probe into the slum projects in Mumbai.
The 140 acres near the Mumbai airport is occupied by the city’s second largest slum: Golibar, which is home to 26,000 families.
The families have clashed with builders Shivalik Ventures over the redevelopment of the slum.
Ms Patkar has been demanding that the controversial land law under which the redevelopment has been approved be scrapped.
In 2008, the state had allotted the land to Shivalik Ventures.
After providing housing to residents the builder could use the rest of the land for commercial purposes.
However, the project was approved under the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act, the controversial Clause 3K which allows developers to redevelop mammoth slums without slum dwellers’ consent.
Under this rule the government has already given away eight big slums to select builders despite protests during the tenure of former Chief Ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ashok Chavan.
”3K, all the projects should have been immediately cancelled. Like Shivalik where the fraud is obvious,” said Medha Patkar.
“Only when Shivalik Builders arrived here to take over our land did we find out about the deal,” said a harried housewife Agnes.
Also under the scanner is the credibility of Shivalik Ventures, a Mumbai-based real-estate company that is partly owned by Unitech, the same Unitech that is under investigation for its links to the 2G scam.
The CBI says Unitech procured 2G spectrum in 2008 at a ‘favoured’ price of 1,658 crores but off loaded 60% shares to Norway-based Telenor for a neat 230% profit without rolling out any telecom services.
It is at the same time Unitech invested Rs. 1,000 crore in Shivalik Ventures.
The government has halted demolitions for now. It has agreed to discuss a self- development scheme for slums to be used in the future but refuses to scrap the project.
The battle rages on with no resolution in sight.
Story first published:
May 26, 2011 15:43 IST
Tags: Medha Patkar, Mumbai slum project, Shivalik Vetures
Showing 1-1 out of 1 comments
Thangamuthu 1 hour ago
I hope she fasts until her death. But I am afraid she won’t continue the fast.
My following comment was posted but not published. Something is wrong in NDTV’s login process.
I am surprised. This news item did not ring the bell like Anna Hazare’s similar fast unto death drama. No their media outlet has mentioned it, not to my knowledge. If Anna could denounce corruption and if Anna et al could force government of India into accepting his team as co-drafters why not the same process be accepted in case of Nanda Patkar’s demand? Anna must be busy accepting garlands, flower bouquets and thanks from middle class, mobile toting, motor cycle riding crusaders against corruption in government. Nanda Patkar and her friend Arundhati Roy were ridiculed over Sardar Sarovar dam project, where thousands of Tribal communities living in their ancient barren and hilly, unproductive tracts of lands for thousands of years. They were uprooted by Narendra Modi’s Gujarati clansmen. Why? Because Tribal communities were obstructing the progress in rich Gujarati farmers’ fatherland. How ridiculous it is that Nanda Patkar is asked to die by one of your village idiot of a commentator, Thangamuthu. How ridiculous it is that Congress party led coalition government is making poor people suffer to enrich rascals, rogues and ruffians of Builders’ Mob? How ridiculous it is that Indian media plays such oft repeated tunes as “Underworld Don,” referring to persons as Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, while ignoring the above ground mobsters like ‘Shivalik Ventures’ and their, as yet undisclosed co-mobsters.
…and I am Sid Harthhttp://epaper.indianexpress.com/IE/IEH/2011/05/26/ArticleHtmls/26_05_2011_003_030.shtml?Mode=1
Patkar fast enters 6th day
MUMBAI: As Medha Patkar’s indefinite fast entered the sixth day amid halfdemolished brick and mortar structures in Golibar, San tacruz (East), the movement against a slum rehabilitation scheme, led by a few hundred slum-dwellers in this pocket of real es tate close to the Western Express Highway, grew into a pan-Mumbai agitation that demanded a sea change in the administration of slum rehabilitation schemes.
Until Wednesday evening, a delegation from slum colonies was in a meeting with officials of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority in Bandra.
Patkar, unwell for two days and reportedly very weak but stable, led the delegation even as a large group waited outside. The demands were not only pertaining to the alleged fraud in the project but also comprised issues pertaining to slum rehabilitation.
“They also demanded a high powered committee to look into illegal demolitions and corruption in slum schemes,” said Mukta Srivastava of National Alliance of People’s Movements. ENS
As farmers protest, Maya scales down Maitreya Buddha project
FOLLOWING resistance from farmers over land acquisition, the UP government has decided to de-notify about 500 acres of land from the Maitreya Buddha project in Kushinagar district. project in Kushina The project, which was originally slated to be constructed on 800 acres of land, will now be constructed on only 273 acres.
According to officials, the Maitreya Foundation has given its consent and will go in for minor changes. The district administration has also been asked to start the de-notification process. The project is supported by Indonesia and Japan-based Maitreya Foundation. In 2005, the foundation decided to build the project in Kushinagar district in UP, a prime centre of Buddhist pilgrimage.
The centrepiece was to be a giant 500-feet, sitting Buddha statue, the largest in the world.
Spead over 800 acres, the project was to include a museum com plex, temples and audio-visual theatre.
The site includes 697 acres of agriculture land of 2,900 farmers. Of them, around 600 had agreed to give their land. The rest have been running a peaceful dharna against the acquisition. The foundation representatives suggested that the state government should let go of the land in question and look for an alternative site.
Additional District Magis trate (Kushinagar) and Project Coordinator BL Maurya said, “We will denotify about 527 acres of land. This land, which is a part of the 697 acres of agricul tural land, had not been ac quired completely.”
BPL survey: NAC agrees to Plan panel methodology
NAC on Wednesday accepted the government’s go-ahead for survey identifying families who come under the proportions pre-fixed by the Planning Commission. The council is learnt to have taken comfort from the fact that over 66 per cent of SC/ST households are likely to be included in the BPL category.
DAYS after some of its members protested against capping proportions of poor in each state to be brought under the BPL category, the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) on Wednesday accepted government’s go-ahead for survey identifying families who come under the proportions pre-fixed by the Planning Commission.
The NAC is learnt to have taken comfort in government’s claim that over 66 per cent of the SC/ST households in the country are likely to be included in the BPL category under the survey based on the methodology approved by the Cabinet.
This methodology is based on three-pronged strategy of automatic exclusion of well-off households; automatic inclusion of vulnerable households; and ranking of households based on seven different deprivation index for remaining households to filter them for the cap fixed by the Plan panel.
The NAC summoned Rural Development Secretary B K Sinha on Wednesday to brief them about the Cabinet’s decision regarding the BPL family survey along with caste census later this year.
During the presentation, NAC members including the UPA chairperson, were learnt to have expressed their anxiety over the inclusion of SC/STs and bonded labour in the BPL list. Sinha was learnt to have cited the findings of the pilot survey conducted across 254 villages across the country to verify the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.
Sinha was learnt to have apprised that the pilot survey results had indicated that the proposed methodology would exclude merely about 16 per cent of the SC/ST households from the BPL list based on the automatic exclusion criteria.
In contrast, a BPL cut-off of two in the seven criteriabased ranking methodology would bring over 66 per cent of the SC/STs into the BPL list. Given that the Cabinet has approved being SC/ST as one of the deprivations, this means that one more deprivation for any SC/ST household is likely to bring 66 per cent of SC/STs under the list.
NAC for 100% land acquisition by govt
WITH Tr inamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee resigning from the Union Cabinet to take over as the Chief Minister of West Bengal, the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) today completely sidelined her objections against government role in land acquisition — even for private industry.
“The government will be acquiring 100 per cent of the land for public purpose by offering very good compensation to landowners. If the public purpose is being served by a private industry, then government will acquire land for them as well,” a NAC member told The Indian Express after the meeting chaired by Sonia Gandhi in the capital today.
With land rate compensation becoming a hot political issue, the NAC also decided to recommend that landowners be given six times the price of plot purchases registered in that area, said a press release issued late in the evening.
The other recommendations: Participatory and full consultation with affected families on acquisition. At least 75 per cent should consent.
A law to ensure “more barren, less fertile and wastelands have been explored”, before acquisition of agricultural land.
Land acquired be returned to original owners if it is not used within 5 years.
Agricultural workers, artisans, fisher-folk and forestgatherers to be affected by the acquisition should get 10 days’ minimum wages of that area every month for 33 years as compensation. Option to seek all or part of the land compensation in annuities.
A single `National Development, Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act’ in place of the two legislations Amendment to Land Acquisition Act and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act.
Establishment of the National Commission for Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (NCLRR) to supervise the implementation of provisions.
Two per cent of urban land be reserved for urban vendors; a legislation be introduced making it mandatory for government to rehabilitate every manual scavenger.
Reform of the Integrated Child Development Scheme.
The decision on government role in acquisition is a major departure from the previous approved amendments that had imposed a ceiling of 30 per cent land acquisition by the government for private industry. More so, the government was allowed to undertake land acquisition for private projects provided the private person had already acquired at least 70 per cent land.
Even the land compensation rate is a change from previous amendments suggested by the government, where it had stipulated that the market price of top 50 per cent of land transactions during previous three years be taken as the price for compensation. This was to be supplemented with 60 per cent additional solatium.
While Mamata had opposed any role for government in land acquisition for private projects, the industry was advocating 100 per cent acquisition by the government, citing difficulty in negotiating prices with each land owner. It had recently petitioned Rural Development Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh against withdrawing government role.
However, Deshmukh said the single legislation replacing Land Acquisition Act and R&R Act might be a problem. “The Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill provides for rehabilitation of people affected far beyond those getting affected due to implementation of the Land Acquisition Act alone. Its provisions are also for people getting affected due to national calamities and other land acquisition provisions,” the Rural Development Minister said.
Krishi Bhavan officials said the legislation being proposed by NAC would also cover acquisition for Railways and national highways, for which there is a separate legislation. However, NAC member Harsh Mander contested this argument: “Nobody is stopping to bring those legislations (for Railways and highways) in conformity with the proposed single comprehensive legislation.”
MEMBER’S name Roti, son of Sabzi; Pani, son of Jal; Sunil Saetty, father’s name Shilpa Saetty; Juta, offspring of Moja; Pila, from Nila — when Rahul Gandhi went on a talent hunt with his massive Yo uth Congress membership drive, look who all he found.
These were among the names on the IYC website of all its new members in Madhya Pradesh — till The Indian Express went to the AICC secretary in-charge of the Yo uth Cong, Jitendra Singh, with the list on Tu esday. To day, the names were taken off the IYC website with Singh claiming that the list obtained by The Indian Express from the state unit was wrong.
However, in line with the bloopers the IYC seems to have let pass, many names still remain on the website, includ
ing perhaps the mother of it all: Member’s name Known Unknown, father’s name Cund.
Shown the list of what were obviously fake names on Tuesday, Jitendra Singh had admitted they knew about the same.
“We came to know about this one and a half months ago, when some people complained to us. We have denied them voting rights.”
He also said the IYC had come across thousands of such cases during the membership drive across the country, and had a “foolproof scrutiny system” to guard against the same. The IYC actually “rejected 2.5 lakh applications in Madhya Pradeh, over two lakh in Maharashtra and similarly in other states”, Singh said.
Foolproof security or not, it couldn’t have been hard. In Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh, for example, a member gave his name as “Rahul”, with father’s name “Rajivganedi”.
There are other gems from the same district: Member’s name ABVP, father’s name BJP; Member’s name Ram, father’s name Lakhan; and Member’s name Lal, father’s name Pila.
Singh said the IYC has outsourced data entry, and bundles of 10,000-20,000 applications are sent to the data entry centre, which just registers the names to be put on the YC ’s website.
“If we were not transparent, we would not have put out the names
on the website. Our LROs (Lok Sabha Returning Officers) go back (to their assigned areas) and when there are objections, we reject the applications. Besides, at the time of voting, these people have to prove their identity and there again we reject them. Only 1 per cent of the total is rejected due to fake names; others are rejected for not furnishing required (identification) documents,” said Singh.
However, the fact that all these fake candidates have barcode numbers seems to contradict this. To get the number, applicants’ forms with identification documents have to be accepted. Singh incidentally rejected the list with The Indian Express on the grounds that the barcode numbers were wrong.
As per the ‘Membership FAQ’ on the IYC website, the membership form is submitted to the LRO or the IYC unit “along with supporting documents”. “The barcode is the unique ID number that is assigned to you when you submit your form…
During elections the barcode number will be used during voter verifica
tion,” it states.
Fake membership incidentally has remained Rahul’s concern for a long time. He had sent a group of MPs and ex-MPs to Tamil Nadu to check the veracity of members and they had found huge discrepancies, according to IYC sources.
Asked who they suspected could be behind the fake members, IYC office-bearers said that there could be some “mischievous elements or even some Opposition members who want to discredit Rahulji’s reforms”.
…and I am Sid Harth