Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together – Vincent Van Gogh

Posts tagged ‘politics’

Aam Aadmi Party’s Questions to the BJP in Goa

This statement was released by the Aam Aadmi Party Goa <> just prior to Sunday’s BJP meeting. addressed by its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, in Goa:

Press Release
Margao Goa

In view of the upcoming “Vijay Sankalp” rally to be held in Goa by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Shri Narendra-ji Modi, the Aam Aadmi Party would like to pose the following questions for the BJP and its Government in Goa.

1) Why has the BJP Govt. delayed in finalizing the Regional Plan for Goa?

2) When the Goa Govt proposes to prohibit entry for Goans into casinos on the grounds that gambling is a vice, is it not anti-national for the BJP to encourage the rest of Indians to be addicted to casinos? The BJP should clarify whether they consider casinos to be “bharatiya sanskriti” or drop the word “bharatiya” from its name.

3) Why does the BJP as a political party oppose the CIC order to bring it under the purview of RTI? What does it have to hide?

4) Why was not a single case filed with the Lokayukta against illegal miners identified in the Shah Commission Report and the PAC report?

5) Why haven’t any proceedings been started to recover the Rs. 35,000 crores looted from Goa as per the Shah Commission Report?

6) Why did the Goa Govt betray the BJP’s written promise to amend the Goa Lokayukta Act on the lines of the Uttarakhand Act, even after an AAP delegation handed over a ready draft of the amendments to the Hon. Chief Minister as requested by him. Are the promises of the BJP not even worth the paper they are printed on? (see attachment)

7) Why has the implementation of the Right to Services Act been postponed numerous times?

8) Despite expensive foreign “study tours” and numerous assurances on the issue, why does piled up garbage continue to be the biggest tourist attraction of Goa?

9) Why has the written promise by the BJP to strengthen the Gram Sabhas and enact appropriate amendments in tune with the 73rd amendment not even taken up by the Goa Govt so far? (see attachment)

10) Why is the Goa Govt still dilly-dallying on settling the Mayem Evacuee Property issue?

PWDs: Need for a better deal

PWDs: Need for a better deal


People with disabilities, who number 70 million, are demanding political space.

Sixty years on, after the forefathers of this country attempted to seamlessly bind the socio-economic and political faultiness through various provisions, inequality continues to be the persistent hallmark of India. In this scenario, the highly debatable system of reservations has become a tool that has positively impacted the lives of millions especially women and Dalit. Today a new section of people are demanding the benefits of this system and they happened to be, People with Disabilities (PWDs).
Marginalised, socially, economically and politically, the 70 million PWDs who live largely on the silent fringes of our society are seeing the need for greater political participation as the surest means towards the larger emancipation of their lot. “When even smaller populations like Christians who are 2 per cent of the population in the country have two co-opted members in Parliament, why not we who are a sizable 7 per cent”, they demand in unison.

Thankfully, the Government of India recognised early that the greater political participation of PWDs was the only way out of the present situation of social and cultural ostracism, economic poverty, ignorance brought on by lack of education and political marginalisation and thus included disability in the 73rd Constitutional Amendment. It was hoped that now at the grassroot, community level, panchayats, the first political face of the system would be made sensitive to disability.

No change in situation

By giving powers to panchayats on disability it was hoped that the 75 per cent of PWDs, who live in rural India, who presently have no access to rehabilitation would now get individualised assistances. Sadly, however, little has changed at the ground level since 1992.

Recently, studying panchayats in Kolar district revealed that gram panchayats had no accurate figures about the number of PWDs in the village, the panchayat officials were completely ignorant about the various types of disabilities and their needs and none of them had even heard of The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. The panchayat offices were found to be inaccessible, over crowded with furniture, having long flights of steps and no ramps and having narrow doors. Worse, the panchayats had no budgetary allocation towards disability and were able to financial assist only a few people depending on how much they could scrape together from leftover funds.
PWDs also complained that when they visit the panchayat office for assistance they are treated shabbily and 95 per cent of PWDs had never attended a village grama sabha because of this insensitive attitude; forget about placing their issues before the grama sabha for public debate. Our observation of the 10 panchayats in Kolar district, which are located a little over 75 km from the capital of the state, gives us little hope of expecting anything different in the rest of the 5,400 gram panchayats in Karnataka.

Political reservation

The 15 lakh PWDs in Karnataka are determined to positively control their futures through a greater visibility and political presence, where they can manoeuvre the levers of development especially in areas that influence their lives. They are demanding that PWDs be given at least 5 per cent political reservation at the panchayat and zilla panchayat level, that panchayats be instructed to maintain a data base of PWDs in their area and that a special Disability Adalat be held at least once a year to address their grievances.
There is also an urgent need for panchayat officials being made aware of the Disability Act 1995 and for them to make a 5 per cent budgetary allocation for PWDs in the village. PWDs are also demanding that the grama sabha be held in an accessible place so that they can attend it without hindrance. At the state level, PWDs are demanding that there be at least five co-opted representatives of PWDs in the state legislature and that all political parties in the state have a clear stand towards the disability sector.

The above article appeared in the Bangalore edition of the Deccan Herald on 7th May 2007

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