“India to set up National Rehabilitation Commission"

article on iGovernment

1) "...to minimize displacement of people and to promote non-displacing or least-displacing alternatives...only the minimum necessary area of land commensurate with the purpose of the project should be taken, and the use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes should be kept to the minimum...and irrigated land use should be kept to the minimum for such purposes...

none of the 'minimum' in this article has been quantified. who defines the minimum?

2) in my experience as a trainer, i know that adults are damned hard to teach new things. it even takes a good bit of drilling to get people to say 'sorry'. the government, however, seems quite confident that a few weeks (maybe, it isn't quantified either) training will successfully turn a farmer into what, a jhakkas tailor? a smart security guard? an expert auto driver? (no, that has not been quantified either)

3) "...preference to groups or cooperatives of the affected persons in the allotment of contracts and other economic opportunities in or around the project site..."

how many "affected persons" will have the skill to handle the 'economic opportunities" around the "project site"? for instance, how many of the displaced marginal farmers in singur would know how to operate the tata plant canteen? and even if they were 'preffered', how does one check the quality of their work? and do they get sacked if they don't perform?

there are aspects of this policy (on paper) that i like, though.

1) "The benefits under the new Policy shall be available to all affected persons and families whose land, property or livelihood is adversely affected by land acquisition or by involuntary displacement of a permanent nature due to any other reason, including natural calamities."


2) "Besides, the policy talks about housing benefits including houses to the landless affected families in both rural and urban areas."

...and the joke goes on...

listening to grasshoppers

from 'listening to grasshoppers', arundhati roy. apart from the content of her essays, i really love the way roy uses her prose to jab and thrust and parry. poetry in motion?

"Ironically, the era of the free market has led to the most successful secessionist struggle ever waged in India—the secession of the middle and upper classes to a country of their own, somewhere up in the stratosphere where they merge with the rest of the world's elite. This Kingdom in the Sky is a complete universe in itself, hermetically sealed from the rest of India. It has its own newspapers, films, television programmes, morality plays, transport systems, malls and intellectuals. And in case you are beginning to think it's all joy-joy, you're wrong. It also has its own tragedies, its own environmental issues (parking problems, urban air pollution); its own class struggles. An organisation called Youth for Equality, for example, has taken up the issue of Reservations, because it feels Upper Castes are discriminated against by India's pulverised Lower Castes. It has its own People's Movements and candle-light vigils (Justice for Jessica, the model who was shot in a bar) and even its own People's Car (the Wagon for the Volks launched by the Tata Group recently). It even has its own dreams that take the form of TV advertisements in which Indian CEOs (smeared with Fair & Lovely Face Cream, Men's) buy over international corporations, including an imaginary East India Company. They are ushered into their plush new offices by fawning white women (who look as though they're longing to be laid, the final prize of conquest) and applauding white men, ready to make way for the new kings. Meanwhile, the crowd in the stadium roars to its feet (with credit cards in its pockets) chanting 'India! India!'"

read the full essay here

oh, the grand old prez of india,
she had ten thousand men:
she marched them up to the top of the hill,
and she marched them down again.

and when they were up they were up,
and when they were down they were down,
and when they were only half way up,
they were neither up nor down.

happy republic day!

mine is as big as yours

have a happy 'mine-is-as-big-as-yours' day!

singur bloody singur

ROFL. this really cracks me up. the calcutta high court has dismissed all 11 petitions against singur and the tata's car plant. the communists, of course, have applauded the systematic state led destruction of people's rights by a rich bastard corporation.

but the best part is this: "in a statement, chief minister buddhadeb...described the verdict as one that would...also help in efforts to raise the living standards of the people of singur and adjoining areas. alternative means of livelihood for those whose land had been acquired would be explored" (the hindu, jan 19, 2008)

"...WOULD BE EXPLORED"??? they have decided what they want to do with the land, ratan tata has been hailed as the goddamn messiah of middle class india, and the are going to "EXPLORE" what they are going to do with the displaced???

i used to think the communists cared about people. i used to think the tata's were built on some sort of ethical bedrock. i used to think the 'rule of law' made sense. now i realise it just depends on the money. all of it is for sale or rent-it just depends on the 'investment'. the law is a whore, and i could go to jail for saying that.


it's not fair
is it-

you tear
the land
in search of food;


i tear
my hands
in search of rhymes.

someday, brother
i will stand with you
someday, sister,
i will sing with you

someday soon i will

and sing.
and get beaten.

baruk feddabonn
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the people's car

... and like every good car, we have variations...

baruk feddabonn
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ironic points of light

deepthi r'krishnan
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pictures in a wall

baruk feddabonn
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bottle coast

baruk feddabonn
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sitting in her twilight glory
singing of the lost
telling tales of wonderwalls
and how to pay the cost
it's a little bit ugly
a little bit sad
it's a time for confidences
with friends i never had

marina's speaking of the devil

asks me if i've got a joint
would i like some tea
ask her what she's running from
she just smiles at me
it's a little bit crazy
a little bit sad
it's a time for confidences
with friends i've never had

marina's speaking of the devil
marina's speaking of the devil

should i sing a lullaby
is your crib too hard
sleep now my little darling
i'll try to stand on guard
it's a little bit lovely
a little bit sad
it's a time for confidences
with friends i've never had

marina's speaking
marina's speaking
marina's speaking

yeah she's speaking yeah she's speaking
of the devil

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baruk feddabonn
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almost september

jackfruit and mango
sing your summer song
'cause i'm dreaming of december again

wish it were two days from christmas
and three steps from home
most of all i wish to see you again

you called up to tell me
your father just died
it didn't really make a difference
but you broke down and cried
now it's almost september
and soon we can rest
don't you think that would be best
i guess

ryan just asked me if we were coming today
said that i didn't know but i might pass that way

now it's sunshine in teacups
destiny and beer
how i wish you could be here

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baruk feddabonn
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gun in the hand of

if each of the crackers burst today
were a bullet from a gun
in the hand of a child labourer
in sivakasi

would we finally listen?

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