November 25, 2007

life in financial markets: the myth of rehabilitation

In India, to placate any and all opposition to large projects like dams, seaports, mining, SEZs (special economic zones), airports, industrial zones etc., that will not only destroy the ecological harmony but also displace large numbers of villagers or tribals, the government of the state or the central government will use the 'rehabilitation' word. 

This is nothing but a bogey. In over 90% of all cases, where government has forcibly acquired the lands of villagers and tribals of India to use it itself or give it at heavily-subsidised rates to private companies, the rehabilitation, if taken place at all, has been on extremely poor substitutes. The promise is made of habitable or fertile rehab lands but it is never kept by our bureaucrats and politicians.

In my view, in a situation where political/bureaucratic will is missing, its naive of urban and educated affluent sections of India to lull themselves into believing that rehabilitation of displaced villagers andtribals justifies all the massive projects in the country. Isn't it easy for us to be casual and believe any falsehoods told to us because after all those large projects cater to our and export markets' consumers' demands?

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