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TIHAR SURRENDERED

ANNA REFUSES TO COME OUT OF TIHAR

Veteran social activist Anna Hazare refused to come out of Tihar jail on Tuesday evening saying he wants an unconditional release and unconditional permission to go ahead with his indefinite fast at Jai Prakash Narayan Park in New Delhi.

Earlier, Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta issued a release warrant of Anna and his associates after police decided to withdraw its case against them.

Delhi Police sources said that warrants of release have been sent to Tihar Jail authorities for freeing Hazare and his seven associates who were held this morning ahead of their plans to launch an indefinite strike for a strong Lokpal.

The sources said the decision to release was taken after government is understood to have come to the conclusion that keeping him in jail would create unnecessary law and order situation.

Tihar jail sources said that all the eight had been kept in separate lock ups and would be freed soon. Hazare and his associates had refused to take food during their detention under judicial remand.

Earlier, Anna Hazare was on Tuesday sent to seven days’ judicial custody at Tihar jail after he refused to sign a personal bond and come out on bail following his arrest.

The veteran anti-corruption crusader was sent to jail no. four at Tihar where former Commonwealth Games Organising committee head Suresh Kalmadi has also been lodged.

Hazare, who was arrested in the morning on grounds of apprehension of breach of peace following his intention to defy prohibitory orders to go on indefinite hunger strike, was produced before a special executive magistrate.

‘Hazare refused to give undertaking not to defy Section 144’

Gupta said the police was prepared for his being released on a personal bond if the Gandhian would have given an undertaking that he will not defy Section 144 of the CrPC that prohibits gathering of five or more people and also ask his supporters not to do so.

Sources said since Hazare refused to give an undertaking, the magistrate remanded him to a seven-day judicial custody.

He will be taken to Tihar jail where he will spend time in judicial custody. Three other leading activists of the team Hazare — Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and Manoj Sisodia — were also sent to judicial custody on similar grounds.

Nearly 1400 activists were detained in various parts of the city when they came out in support of Hazare, who had planned to launch the fast at J P park near Ferozeshah Kotla and Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta said they would be released after “some time”.

Protest march from India Gate to Parliament planned

Meanwhile, hours after the detention of Anna Hazare, his aides on Tuesday vowed to take out a protest march to Parliament House from India Gate on Wednesday in defiance of prohibitory orders clamped in the high-security area as part of a country-wide agitation against the police action.

“A protest march will also take place tomorrow from India Gate to Parliament House,” lawyer Prashant Bhushan, a key member of Hazare’s anti-graft campaign, told mediapersons in New Delhi.

He said protests have been planned across the country to vent their anger “peacefully and in a non-violent” manner against the detention of Hazare and his supporters.

‘There is no freedom for Delhi police’

Alleging that the action against Hazare was taken at the behest of the central government, Bhushan said, “The decision to detain Hazare or to deny permission for his protest were taken by Cabinet ministers. It is not the Delhi police which is taking these decisions. There is no freedom for Delhi police. It has become a puppet, an ornament in the hands of Central government.”

He said students of Delhi University will protest outside Chhatrasal Stadium, which has been turned into a special jail, and court arrest while another protest will be organised at Pragati Maidan from where the activists will take a march to Jai Prakash Narain Park.

Prohibitory orders have already been imposed in the localities mentioned by Bhushan.

Anna shares jail with Kalmadi, Kejriwal with Raja

In a related development, Anna Hazare will share space with A Raja and Suresh Kalmadi both accused in the high-profile scams in Tihar jail.

“Anna Hazare has been lodged in jail number four where Suresh Kalmadi and Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar are lodged,” Deputy Inspector General (Tihar) R N Sharma told PTI in New Delhi.

Anna will be with his associates Rajesh, Suresh Pathare and Manish Sisodia in a cell of the prison which houses 2,231 inmates.

Former Indian Revenue Services officer Arvind Kejriwal has been lodged in jail number one with former Telecom Minister A Raja and MD of D B Realty Shahid Balwa are lodged.

Navin, Dada Thakare and Pathare were accompanying Kejriwal in the cells of this jail which has 1,543 prisoners.

All the eight were brought at 4.15 pm and were quietly sent to their cells.

Always Yors —- As Usual— Saurabh Singh

Source: Rediff

 

 

 

Will Inflation Turn in Gamble in Fortune by Farmers

I was going through an article published in Sunday Economic Times [May 01, 2011 to be precise] which was titled “Will inflation turn out to be a game-changer in India?”

It was nicely crafted and argued article by T K Arun, and all the arguments look relatively on rational side, but I have my apprehensions, which may be dubbed as irrational or idiotic.  But I feel like sharing.  The below is article I am talking about.

Will inflation turn out to be a game-changer in India?

If the RBI decides its foremost task is to stamp out inflation, never mind if it flattens the growth rate also in the process, that would be change we don’t want. However, inflation can also drastically change the rural landscape, boosting farm output and delivering millions out of poverty-provided the right policy initiatives are forthcoming.

Inflation is driven by, even if not confined to, food, particularly superior food: vegetables, egg, meat, milk, fish and lentils, vegetables and protein, in other words. Nor is this confined to India. Over the past 10 years, the least developed countries as a group have grown at an average rate of 7% a year. All of them witness a spurt in the demand for food. And for a variety of reasons ranging from prolonged drought to excessive rains, supplies have been disrupted, raising food prices across the board. Of course, the huge expansion in liquidity unleashed by the US and other developed countries, pumping speculative capital into all commodity markets, adding a thick layer of froth to the real pressures pushing prices upwards, plays its role as well. The net result: Thomas Malthus, who made the dire but fortunately erroneous forecast that the human race would proliferate faster than food production can grow, is back in fashion.

Beating Malthus is fait accompli. People not only have proliferated with abandon but also enjoy ever-improving standards of living, instead of straining hollow eyes into a darkening future of dwindling food supplies. However, beating Malthus promises to rise as a fresh challenge, an enormously profitable one. India has varied agroclimatic regions, capable of producing a great variety of crops. The challenge is to harness the potential and boost India’s farm output to feed not just a burgeoning India but also the rest of the world. It looks daunting but is, in fact, eminently doable.

Agricultural economist Ashok Gulati reports that the largest boost to farm income comes from investment in rural roads compared to other forms of agri-related investment. This offers a key insight that our policymaking obsession with the technical means of raising yields has ignored: farm production, too, is determined by the market. If you provide farmers easier access to markets for farm inputs and output, they would make use of that access to raise output and incomes. If the best seeds and fertiliser boost production in an interior village which cannot evacuate the surplus harvest to a market outside, the only result of the surplus would be to depress local prices and farmers’ incomes. On the other hand, if farmers can take their produce to buyers outside, their income would amplify.

A primitive system of state-mandated monopoly denies Indian farmers the freedom of choice in whom they sell to. The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act must be scrapped. An organised, efficient supply chain must link farmers with urban consumers. This is what organised retail would do, if it is allowed to. Amul achieved this in the case of milk. New farmers companies or cooperatives should now be catalysed to accomplish this for other produce.

Observation of and by Blogger:

Please do not get surprised as reality is rarely known. People know, what I will call as a sucessfull propaganda, turning in Fad, leading to creation of a Mirage which looks like a Panacea to a very long [nearly seeming to be perpetual] Problematic Issue.

These days every body keeps talking about what ever he/ she feels will sell, without any consideration on its merit. Be it Organic Farming, Growing Jatropa for Bio fuel, Setting up of private mandies or scrapping of APMC Act.

Would someone like to comment on the situation that forced a Nation’s Goverment and its legislatures to formulate, pass and implement APMC Act, that today every one says should be scraped.

Inplace of just talking of implementing what the columnist T K Arun has argued in his article “Will Inflation Turn Out to be A Game Changer in India”; I would like to take my audiences a step ahead and deliberate on one of such models.

On the same lines as mentioned in paragraph above lets have some discussion on a very popular model — Acclaimed by Corporates as a Great Success Story. I do not think that every individuals who talks about it and considers it as a success has gone deeper in search of reality. So here it starts:

E – Choupal of ITC

Widely acclaimed as an ICT success story, it typifies the complete corporatization of the social enterprise model.

An initiative seeking to become the Wal-Mart of rural India, e-Choupal is a gateway to an expanding spectrum of  commodities leaving farms and also selling to rural India urban oriented goods and services like FMCG, consumer durables and insurance services (Gurumurthy, 2009; Prahalad, 2006).

Based on a business model providing connectivity and services to a closed network of farmers through an entrepreneur whose role, interestingly, is projected by ITC as a “public office”, e-Choupal exemplifies the win-win problematique (Gurumurthy, 2009; Prahalad, 2006).

However a closer study of the model, from a development perspective, unpacking the socio-politics of the e-Choupal ecosystem, indicates a monopolistic control over the entire local agriculture ecology by a transnational corporation through the use of a captive ICT infrastructure, with minimal regulation and competition.

The e-Choupal hubs serve as sales outlets for agriculture and other products and services. Cutting off alternative systems, local middlemen and government services, e-Choupal locks in a large number of farmers into its network.

While the project has resulted in some increase in rural agricultural incomes through privatization driven efficiency improvements in the supply chain, e-Choupal underscores ‘trickle-down’ and individual enterprise at the village levels (Gurumurthy, 2009; Prahalad, 2006).

The average village shopkeeper/entrepreneur is bound to get affected as local demand for goods and services shifts to ITC and Choupal sagars. Needless to mention livelihood of traders/middlemen whose livelihood has been squelched through this model.

Further, the ‘DNA’ profile of the farmers acquired during the registration of e-Choupals has allowed ITC to determine and understand their buying behavior very closely.

This has allowed targeting, positioning and delivering goods and services to match their needs and wants continuously, succinctly called Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in marketing parlance.

This makes them more vulnerable to a shift from the present more or less sustainable existence to materialistic consumerism. Little awareness of their (farmer’s) rights may not guarantee total protection of the database and its unethical usage. This is where the government is expected to protect its citizens from such transactions.

However, the government has been changing slowly but surely towards a free market economy.

[The blogger, here is not arguing against or in favour of India moving towards a market economy. The above discussed issue has to do with not only business but ethics, morale, privacy, awareness and many other social issues.]

The information above has been picked from a Research Paper Titled E – Choupal – Hope or Hype. The Same can be accessed by Clicking here. ]

The Rest of the article continues……

Farmers require investment in infrastructure, not subsidy. Politics must shed its love for doling out subsidy and invest massively in harnessing water, roads, power and scientific storage of farm produce.

Policy must change, too, in allowing farmers access to global markets. The short-term distress this creates would be more than removed by the rise in incomes and employment that would result.

Farming would cease to be a punishment and become the biggest fighter against poverty. Inflation is indeed a horse that India’s beggars could ride their way out of poverty

Always Yours — As Usual — Saurabh Singh

GOVERNMENT & ADMINISTRATION BOTH ARE HAND IN GLOVES WITH THEIR SINISTER OBJECTIVE IN PROMOTING SLUMS

The evictions that were done for the beautification of Delhi Prior to Common Wealth Games have had a lasting impact on people’s lives, who were there occupying the place as slums and living there for a good number of years.

The blogger is not supporter of Slums, but if they have cropped up, then  that a very first lapse of Government in meeting its developmental agenda on one hand, and people who are provided duty of taking care of the issue of encroachment of such nature.

The blogger wants to learn that have the jobs, funds, pensions and other benefits that were being provided to such employees have ceased to exist or government wants a bigger proof of their inefficiency.

On the other had if something is illegal, under what laws the legalized electricity and water connections, ration cards, voter identity cards and an identity card were provided to inhabitants there.

IT CAN BE VERY SAFELY CONCLUDED THAT GOVERNMENTS AND ADMINISTRATION BOTH ARE HAND IN GLOVES WITH THEIR SINISTER OBJECTIVE & ARE PROMOTING SLUMS TO CROP UP AT THE PLACES WHERE PRICES OF LAND ARE EXPECTED TO ESCALATE OR CAN GET ANY OF THREE FACTORS AS MENTIONED AHEAD TO ENJOY; THE FACTORS BEING MONEY, LAND, & SEX.

 

“Gyarah din ke khel ke liye woh aaye,dhoom mahcaye aur humein phas ke chale gaye,” (They came for the games for 11 days, had their fun and left, leving us trapped in the middle of nowhere). 26-year-old Zora is angry as she says this. She is one of the estimated 200,000 people who were forcefully evicted from slums in the National Capital Region as a part of beautifying the capital in preparation for the Commonwealth Games 2010.

Anoop - One of Residents of JJ Colony, Valmiki Nagar


Zora, who is married and stays at her in-laws house, keeps coming back to what once used to be her paternal house in Indira Gandhi Camp II in Sewa Nagar in South Delhi, for she does not have parents, but has two younger sisters and a brother. Her two sisters live in a plastic tent, which is often targetted by miscreants at night. “Each night I go back home after visiting my sisters, I go with a fear. I kiss them on their forehead daily, not knowing what awaits them in the night. They have a plastic sheet as a door and it is well known in the area that there are two women in the tent, with just a 11-year-old boy for protection,” Zora said.

 

Zora - One of Slum Dwellers at a Meeting

The slum, which has been housing migrants from Madhya Pradesh for the last twenty years, was razed, without any notice in January 2009. The slum cluster consisted of approximately 300 homes, with legal water supply and electricity connections.

 


We were granted ration cards, voter identity cards and an identity card, which makes us eligible for rehabilitation. When Sheila ji (Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit) came to our basti asking for votes, she had assured us that our colony would be legalized. Instead, it was razed. I was cooking food when they came with the bulldozers. They did not even give me the time to collect valuables or even identity cards from my jhuggi,” says 35-year-old Kamla, a single mother, who has two children.

Kamla -- Another one of Them

“And all this for what? That parking lot remains empty today. There are no events in those stadiums today. The foreigners have gone,” chips in Anoop, a resident of JJ Valmiki camp near Thyagaraj stadium.

The men and women were speaking at the launch of a report titled “Forced evictions and Commonwealth Games” prepared by NGO Housing and Land Rights network. The HLRN had undertaken a fact finding mission across 19 sites in Delhi, where the government forcefully evicted colonies while preparing the capital for Commonwealth Games.

“Basic human rights have been violated during these evictions. Most of the evictions happened during extreme weather conditions, during festivals or prior to school examinations. Atleast three instances of deaths and several other cases of injuries have been reported during these evictions. The affected families have not been compensated or rehabilitated, forcing them to continue a life which lacks security and violates the basic right to live with dignity. The most alarming violation is the violation of human rights of women. Young women are vulnerable to sexual abuse and violence resulting from exposure to insecure and inadequate living conditions,” says Shivani Chaudhry, associate director of HLRN.

In addition to women facing problems like harassment, lack of security and lack of space for personal hygiene, another direct consequence of a mass scale eviction like the one that took place in Delhi since 2004, was violation of rights of children.

Raman - Who used to Manage one of the Schools
Many children were forced to drop out of schools, as atleast three schools Deepshika Primary School (sector 52, Gurgaon), Pragati Wheel School (Yamuna  Banks) and Viklang Basti Informal school were razed for preparations. Many of these children were forced to take up jobs to supplement family incomes.

Sher Singh, who was in class VI of the privately-run Pragati Wheel School on the Yamuna Banks (opposite Commonwealth Games Village), recounts how the government bulldozers razed the school while they were inside studying.

“They came and asked all of us to leave. We pleaded with them not to do it, but they told us they had to do it for security reasons. Since then, I have not been able to get admission in any school,” says Sher Singh.


Raman Khanna, who runs the school, said, “We reopened the school last month. I am running a school with no roof. I have to, as the families of the boys and girls who used to study there, requested me repeatedly to. As long as the rainy season does not start, it will be okay, I think. There were about 180 students with us before evictions and now we have about 90. I am running the school literally by paying a daily bribe to beat policemen.”


Former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, Justice AP Shah, who released the report, told rediff.com, “In 2009, a night shelter had been razed. I had initiated a suo moto case against the MCD regarding the demolition of the night shelter and ordered the MCD immediately to restore the Pusa Roundabout night shelter. Till date this order has not been followed. The government hid behind a technicality, as they so often do. In addition, not even a single notice has been sent to any of the officials connected with such mass scale demolitions. And I am also surprised that the National Human Rights Commission has been silent on the issue for so long.”

On suggestions given by Justice Shah, the HLRN has decided to submit the report to the NHRC and file a PIL in the Delhi High Court.

Miloon Kothari, the executive director of HLRN said, “We have enough evidence. We will also submit the report to the UN as well. If there is international pressure, the government will budge. The tragic violations of basic human rights should not go unpunished like this.”

 

Always Yours — As Usual —- Saurabh Singh

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