Thursday, 26 August 2010

Custodial Deaths at Beggar's Colony

Context: Deaths of INMATES in beggar's colony.

  • Inmates are "detained" under the Karnataka Prohibition of Beggary act. This act makes "begging" a criminal act
    • On "suspicion" of being a "beggar", you can be picked up by the police and sent to detention after a magisterial enquiry. 
    • In reality due process is NOT followed. 
    • People are picked up and sent into the "custody" of the "Beggar's Home"
  • The inmates who have died were in the "custody" of the state. Therefore these deaths are custodial deaths.
  • Inmates of the "Beggars Home" - because they are in State custody, are entitled to some Civil Liberties which include - legal aid, visits from relatives, food and basic necessities such a portable water
  • None of these were made available to the inmates and the deaths should be treated as "homicide by the state".
  • This is not a administration issue, the way the media seeks to portray it.  It is a case of custodial death!!
My friend Arul Selva of Slum Jagathu gave me this argument and I agree!

My take:
  • The current laws make poverty a crime. The sentence for this crime is "detention" in the "Beggars Home". This is the equivalent of a death sentence. 
  • Did somebody say we were living in a democracy? Wake up and smell the SHIT!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Vedanta and Spin Doctoring

In spin doctoring timing is everything!

As the Saxena committee report on Vedanta's violation in Niyamgiri goes public, Vedanta announces the acquisition of Cairn India - a player in the energy space.

A quick look at Google News. Searched for "Vedanta"

  • 976 articles related to Vedanta Acquisition of Cairns
  • 72 articles related to the Saxena Committe report
 The timing is too good to be true.
Saxena committee report getting buried 10:1 on Google news.