Land clashes common with 153 indicted MPs
|May 22, 2009||Posted by Staff under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Land clashes common with 153 indicted MPs
Status quo victory, For all India — maybe
Indias government provides force in land disputes yet strengthens its hold on power. We trim and blend five 2009 articles from: (1) BBC, May 20, on Slumdog by Prachi Pinglay; (2) BBC April 28 on zoning by Prachi Pinglay; (3) BBC, May 19, on MPs; (4) PTI, May 16, on the election; and (5) AFP, May 16, also on the election.
by Prachi Pinglay, by BBC, by PTI, and by AFP
- Slumdog star’s father ‘injured
The father of Slumdog Millionaire star Rubina Ali has been beaten up as authorities destroyed his slum in Mumbai (Bombay), his neighbors say.
They say that Rafiq Qureshi has been taken to hospital. It is not yet clear if he has been badly injured.
The railway authorities said the clearance was a routine exercise carried out to remove illegal structures from railway property.
Last week authorities demolished the home of Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, another Slumdog child actor.
The families lived in a temporary shelter made up of plastic sheets over bamboo sticks.
Rubina Ali played a younger version of the female lead in the film. She was recently in the news for scoring high grades in her school exams.
Last week police were accused of “smacking” Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail with a bamboo stick before ordering him out.
The authorities claim he and other families were squatting on land that was owned by the government.
He too played a younger version of one of the main characters in the film, which scooped eight Oscars.
Many claim that help for new housing promised by local authorities and by the film’s makers had not materialized.
The filmmakers have set up funds to pay for the young actors’ education and they have been enrolled in school for the first time.
They also recently announced that they will donate $776,294 (£500,000) to a charity which will help children living in the slums of Mumbai.
The film has made more than $200m (£140m) in box office takings around the world.
- Election highlights economic zone anger
In Indias recent election, the issue of land acquisition for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) — public acquisition for private industry — was a priority for the voters of the Raigad and Maval constituencies outside Mumbai (Bombay). There several are planned. Villagers would lose more than 20,000 acres of farmland.
Most political parties left it out their manifesto. Yet in a rare public opinion exercise in September 2008, more than 80% of farmers voted against the proposed SEZ.
Some farmers say if they get a “good price” (nearly 10 times what is proposed) and are assured of not being displaced, theyd be willing to give up his land.
Most farmers oppose the SEZs because they say they will lose crops at a time when a soon-to-be-completed dam will ensure high quality irrigation and more produce.
They allege that the government is postponing the irrigation in a bid to hasten their departure.
Recently when a factory was set up, locals could not get any other jobs except loaders.
- 153 new MPs are ‘tainted’
At least 153 of the newly-elected MPs in India have criminal cases pending against them.
Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch say the opposition BJP has the highest number of tainted MPs at 43 while the Congress party is number two with 41.
Many of the MPs are charged with serious criminal offences, including murder and gang war.
Corruption is a major issue in India.
Several heavy weight candidates with a criminal background have been rejected by voters. In fact, top five MPs with criminal cases from the 2004 Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) have been rejected by voters.
Indian election rules do not prevent those charged with criminal cases from standing for electoral offices, they only bar those who have been convicted. And considering India’s slow judicial system, convictions often take years – even decades – to come.
Elections were held in April and May and a Congress party-led coalition is due to take power in the next few days.
- UPA’s stunning win: it is for youth, poor says Rahul
The Congress-led UPA was poised to win about 260 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha.
UPA thus needs about 12 seats to cross the halfway mark, a task that it can easily achieve without having to seek the support from the troublesome Left parties who have lost more than half their strength and are projected to win only 24 seats.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma) said, “The people of UP (United Progressive Alliance) have rejected the politics of religion, politics of caste. They have voted for development.”
- Ruling Congress sweeps to India election victory
India’s ruling Congress-led alliance crushed its Hindu nationalist rivals and set up a second term for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
A shortfall of just 20 or so seats would allow it to pick and choose from India’s myriad regional parties to make up the numbers needed for a viable government.
According to the constitution, a new government must be in place by June 2.
The losses hurt families but leave the rich only less rich
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