January 7th, 2015
For a representative democracy such as India, Parliament is sacrosanct where important legislations are debated and made into laws.One such important law is the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LAAR) Act, which guaranteed proper compensation for people who are displaced by developmental project among other benefits.
The question arises as to why the government amended this law which ensured such benefits to the displaced people? Why was such a law which influences the livelihood of people not debated in Parliament before amending it? And why amend it through the ordinance route?
Just a small analysis leads to disturbing conclusions:
1.) Our elected representatives are not willing to use their precious time in Parliament to debate on crucial issues such as the LARR act. Rather both the present opposition and the previous opposition parties take pride in stalling Parliament
2.) The corporate funding of political parties is influencing the priorities of the government when the just demands of the people are overlooked and immediate need of corporates are met which is quite evident from the way big businesses have welcomed this amendment.
It is well documented that naxalism and maoism stems from the frustrations of people who get their land taken away from them in the name of development, as former Union minister Jairam Ramesh had concurred. Given the fact that, there is increasing demand for food, such a weak law will further impact agricultural growth due to fertile lands being allowed to be taken over which will add further to the chronic malnutrition and strain the government hands to feed the ever increasing population.
We feel its reprehensible that such an important law is being passed through an ordinance instead of discussing it in the Parliament. We feel there should be electoral reforms where corporate funding should be banned or at least funding of political parities made transparent as it seems to influence law makers to work against the benefit of the people especially the poor. While we are for development, we do not welcome development at the cost of livelihood of our fellow Indians.
We request our community members to share and discuss your important view points below in the comments section.