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Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

CWG 2010- Biggest Scandal of Independent India

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2010 at 10:12 am

People of Delhi are paying a very high price for its arrogant leadership, corrupt bureaucracy and insensitive planning.

They are killing animals, they are cutting trees, they are displacing people, snatching livelihoods, destroying river, looting the taxpayers, violating all possible labor laws, increasing cost of living to unimaginable heights, asking students to vacate hostels, destroying heritage of this age old city and all this in the name of Green Games.

Yes as a matter of fact the only thing green about upcoming Commonwealth Games in the city is “the money” involved in it.

And that’s why; anyone who is opposing the exploitation in the name of games is being labeled as anti nation, anti people and anti development.

Delhi is hosting Commonwealth Games in October this year. Vision of these games includes “inculcating sports consciousness and culture in every Indian”. As per the official website of CWG 2010, the mission of these games includes “creating sustainable environment and leave behind a lasting legacy” and values include “transparency”.

Delhi won the bid in November 2003, in last six years whatever has happened in the name of Games completely defies above mentioned vision, mission and values. Already sensitive ecological system of the city including river Yamuna has been destroyed for upcoming “Green Games”. Thousands of trees were cut down. City Government has completely ignored sentiments of people and civil society against destructive development.

Apart from ecological costs, People of this city are forced to bear the economic burden of these games as Government and city authorities have decided to come up with one after another illogical project in name of developing city’s infrastructure before the games. BRT corridor is one such example which has become death corridor for the people of Delhi.

Initially the estimated cost of the games was around Rs. 150 crores which has already rose to Rs. 60,000 crores and is still increasing. Who will pay this cost, yes you guessed it right, its you and me – common people of this city who were never consulted before bidding for these games and are still in the dark about what will happen once these games are over.

The way these games are organized in the city, people are forced to pay very heavy social cost also. Thousands of families were forced to move to the outskirts of the city in areas like Bawana where there is no livelihood available. These people were forcibly removed so that Govt. can use lands for “developing” venues and infrastructure related to games.

In the name of development and “beautification” homes of thousands of families were demolished and people were forcibly displaced, homeless people were removed from shelters, some of which have been demolished. Shamelessly authorities have decided to erect Bamboo screens around city slums to separate visitors from the sights of the slums, it further proves that all these efforts are being carried out keeping the twelve days event in mind and it has nothing to do with the welfare of common people of this historic city.

Thousands others have migrated to city as laborers to work in various projects for commonwealth games. WHO is also saying that these games will increase slums and unauthorized colonies in the city.

In the name of developing Games infrastructure and sports culture, in reality no playground or facilities were developed for children of common people of this city. We hardly find any playground in city, most of vacant lands that were used by children and youth for weekly cricket matches and other sports activities were now taken by authorities to be developed for the games. Where are the playgrounds for the children?

The way all games related project were delayed for last seven years and all concerned officials and authorities kept waiting for the costs to increase till eleventh hour, it raises serious doubts about the intention of people involved. Now you can not raise the question as it is a matter of “national pride”.

From buying of DTC buses at higher than market rates to construction of flyover from games villages to games venue, constructing games village saying that it will become university accommodation after the games and then DDA buying it at Rs. 3-4 crores per unit and planning to gift it to MLAs and Govt. officials at throwaway prices, there are several example where one can find that people of this city are being cheated and looted in the name of commonwealth games.

These games are definitely leaving a lasting legacy but a very bad one and if we fail to register our protest now then tomorrow it will be too late as Delhi being the role model for other states and cities this model of loot in the name of development will then be applied across nation.

Civil society and concerned individuals need to raise voice against undemocratic manner in which authorities have bid for these games and are spending tax payers’ money without even talking about for it in election manifesto. Time to make clear that one can still love this city and love this nation and hate the loot in the name of commonwealth games. Commonwealth games are in no way a matter of national pride.

Transparency and accountability are alien terms to the whole concept of CWG-2010. So people are never taken into confidence.

Has the administration asked or even informed people before bidding for these games and before putting the hard earned money of common people on stake? Have they even bothered to mention it in their election manifesto before deciding to organize an event that is nothing but a luxury that we can not afford. Why people were not informed about the financial costs and binding conditions that comes as a package along with games. CWG-2010 is an example of how even democratically elected governments can take people for a ride and how powerless and helpless the people are in situations like this.

There is clear reason to believe that delay in almost all game related project was intentional and authorities were just waiting for the costs to sour. It also provided them to create an alarming situation and a sense of emergency so that they can spend any amount of money at the eleventh hour justifying it in the name of national prestige. It also provided them freedom to give contacts to anyone and prevented questions on quality and other important aspects.

Yes definitely there are loopholes in the system which allows for leakage. But th kind of loot that has been done in name of CWG-2010 is beyond the “corruption”that we know. Its not about some people taking bribe or keeping some share aside. Its about designing a complete new structures and systems of loot and killing of common people and common resources, legitimizing the system and presenting it as role model for “Growth and Development”.

There is a need for common people, civil society groups, intellectuals and concerned citizens to tell the authorities that we do not approve what has been done in the name of commonwealth games and we protest it. There are several ways one can register its protest in democracy and I have tried to discuss some possibilities in this book.

There is a need to create a debate on whether exploitation of nature and loot of poor and middle class people is justified to fulfill senseless ambition of a few political leaders and bureaucrats for more money and power.

There is a need to discuss the lessons that we have learned in last seven years and challenges that are ahead for concerned citizens of this country.

There is also a need to immediately stop any attempt to present Delhi as role model for rest of Indian Cities as it will have catastrophic effects on already struggling masses of this country.

Indian Politics will not be the same again…

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Sonia Gandhi will be ceremoniously declared re-elected unopposed as the National President of Indian National Congress on Sept. 3, 2010.

She will become longest serving President of this political party (yes longer than J.L. Nehru and Indira Gandhi).

But repetition of past in Indian politics will stophere. Everything that will happen in coming few months will be full of drama and unusual both in terms of process and outcome.

Starting from Congress Party- within one month of her re-election Sonia will appoint new team including  all state unit heads and also 10 general secretaries, 25  secretaries, 6 spokespersons, 1 treasurer that together comprises Congress Working Committee.With possible 33% women reservation in party posts and one person-one post formula being implemented in the party, this will lead to replacements of ministers in UPA govt. and change in political equations with in Congress.

With UPA touching lowest figures in terms of popularity, chances are we will witness some major reshuffle in Union Cabinet ( however no bets on Manmohan continuing as PM thoughPranab has already taken over  his job politically).

New Congress team will definitely be different and will upset good many influential leaders in Congress party and some of them may decide to fight for their survival from both inside and outside party circles.

Rahul will continue focusing on Uttar Pradesh but Court verdict on Ayodhya scheduled in September will definitely affect all present equations ans scenarios. If Govt. is aware of the verdict ( which is highly possible) then chances are Congress may showcase Rahul as great problem solver who will publicly announce solution of Ayodhya issue ( several rounds of talks between Hindu-Muslim religious leaders have already taken place and only finishing touch to the final compromise is left, Rahul of course has no role in it so far but he never had any in Vedanta also).

A sudden announcement of Ayodhya Solution before or immediately after Court verdict will go hugely in favor of Congress, but seeing the sensitivity of issue and its potential of charging emotions, one slight mistake may  provoke communal tension( violence also in selected areas). BSP will be the only loser in case of Communal violence however both Congress and BJP will benefit from a limited span of communal tensions followed by Ayodhya verdict.  No one knows what will happen after Ayodhya verdict but one thing is sure Indian politics is all set to change.

On other hand BJP-RSS-VHP are also trying their best to be part of possible solution of Ayodhya conflict and will not allow Congress to go away with any political gains alone.  This is their only hope to fight back in Uttar Pradesh.[I must remind you that this court verdict is not related to what happen on 6th December 1992, but this is in response to a question put by then President of India in 1993 asking  Supreme Court to find out whether there was any temple at the disputed site before 1528 and Supreme Court has further asked High Court to investigate and find out].

Other than these two possible catalyst to political drama in coming months, there is another interesting twist waiting to happen.In light of terrorist attacks and informations related to their funding sources, CIA has forced Swiss bank and Vatican Bank to share their secrets. India has also signed a deal with Swiss bank on 30th Aug. 2010 in this regard. Chances are Government will have access to these names and something may come out after Obama’s visit to India. We still have to see how it will affect our political circus.

We can say that  BJP-Congress coming together on nuclear bill in last session was nothing in comparison to political drama that lies ahead in coming months….wait and watch….

pikchar abhi baki hai….