Hardy Har

“Bungalow blow to Arundhati”:http://www.sulekha.com/redirectnh.asp?cid=308813
bq. Rights crusader Arundhati Roy has been caught on the wrong foot � a hilltop bungalow her husband owns near Panchmarhi stands on notified forest land and has to be pulled down.
bq. The Panchmarhi district administration last week informed the couple that the allotment of the land on which the bungalow stood had been cancelled on grounds of violation of forest law. Section 18 of the law bars buying and selling of notified forest land.
I weep for my country when so called activits who preach morality to the world blatantly violate the law of the land. Who the hell is this person to decide where she can build her house and turn everything we love – our earth, our skies, our mountains, our plains, our rivers – to her personal property in an instant? Think of the amount of wild life she has destroyed by building her house on protected land ? Doesn’t she owe an apolgy to that eco system that was destoyed by her illegal abode. I weep for those ferns and trees and that little crow whose nest was destroyed by this inhuman activity.
No freedom for rest of the world to do as they please, but only for me.
(The Editorial adapted from “The End of Imagination”:http://www.zmag.org/southasia/endofimagination.htm)

18 thoughts on “Hardy Har

  1. What a shame! A known environmental activists caught flaunting the same laws she purports to support. Oh, I just love the irony.
    Then again I never understood Roy’s appeal beyond the elitist literarti circles she is operates in. She wrote only one book, after all.

  2. Niraj, I was reading her articles after reading this news and it is so funny. I could fill up my blog with paragraphs she wrote and the ironies it presents.
    here is one of my fav’s from “End of Imagination”
    First of all, the original inhabitants of this land were not Hindu. Ancient though it is, there were human beings on earth before there was Hinduism. India’s tribal people have a greater claim to being indigenous to this land than anybody else, and how are they treated by the state and its minions? Oppressed, cheated, robbed of their lands, shunted around like surplus goods. Perhaps a good place to start would be to restore to them the dignity that was once theirs. Perhaps the government could make a public undertaking that more dams of this kind will not be built, that more people will not be displaced.
    But of course that would be inconceivable, wouldn’t it? Why? Because it’s impractical. Because tribal people don’t really matter. Their histories, their customs, their deities are dispensable. They must learn to sacrifice these things for the greater good of the Nation (that has snatched from them everything they ever had)
    So after complaining about the state and its minions, it is found that the godess herself forms part of the minions. This is not only the end of imagination, but the end of morality as well.

  3. Illustrates the well-known difference between a conservationist and a property developer:
    “The conservationist is someone who built his cabin in the woods last year; the developer is someone who wishes to build his this year…”

  4. I weep for those ferns and trees and that little crow whose nest was destroyed by this inhuman activity.
    It’s not inhuman. In fact, it’s a very human activity.

  5. Makes me wonder though.. how/why was the land sold in the first place? The article says that the land was bought in 1994. However no date is given as to when the state govt. filed the petetion. If it was way after 1994, why did it take so long for the govt. to discover the wrong doing?

  6. I read about the controversy a few years back, I think, in India Today. It is not as if the government woke up just now. The case has been going on for long.

  7. But her plot allotment was cancelled by the govt, Surely this meant that the govt had approved the allotment previously.
    Why did the govt only cancelled the allotment after the house is built?

  8. Oh gawd. I’ve always believed she is a woman with a conscience, so I’m hoping there’s a big mistake in the reporting. It would be interesting to see how she gets out of this one.

  9. Mahesh: Every human being has a conscience. Its a different matter altogehter that humans make only selective use of it.
    Does anyone know if this land was privately held before being bought over by Roy’s husband ?

  10. It causes me utmost pain to do this, but it seems that the issue is a tad more complicated than this.
    http://www.indiatoday.com/itoday/12071999/mp.html
    (It might ask you for a number – enter 2191)
    It seems that it she is being victimised for speaking out against people who wish to spoil the beauty of the place by carrying out illegal development of the place. At least that is the slant of the article.
    Now, I’d still think that she has got her just deserts. She’s the one who advocates complicated restrictions on tribals’ ability to sell their lands, without considering that these restrictions might be misused by government officials. Still I’m passing on the link so that people can make up their minds.

  11. Some points from the India Today article
    Krishen seems to be under attack from the forest authorities too. Local forest officials insist that Bariaam village has been part of the wildlife sanctuary since 1977. So the plot of land acquired by Krishen violates a provision of the Wildlife Protection Act, amended in 1991, under which no new rights of property can be created in a protected area.
    If so how did he purchase the land at all ? Was it a legal transaction ? The article says that many people have purchased land and it went unnoticed.
    The alleged violation of the law in Bariaam, even if technical, by the landowners pales into insignificance when compared with illegal developments on the other side of the Bariaam Lake. Many senior government officials have purchased land in areas falling within the Pachmarhi wildlife sanctuary.
    So here is the India Today conclusion. They violated the law. But since others violated big time, this one pales into insignificance. Does not sound like a good logic to me.
    Ravkiran: Thanks for the password 🙂

  12. Ravikiran: Thanks. Was able to read the article.
    JK: I got a similar impression from the article.
    Another thing that struck(which could be attributed to my cynical Indian way of thinking wrt govt officials) me was that Roy’s husband bought this land along with two others- both of whom are govt officials. So far all other offenders have been govt officials. Its possible that these two could be innocent but being govt odfficials, they would have much easier access to various loopholes in the law. Also notice that the article states that other land owners(all govt officials) have been given notices too. This was in 1999. It has taken the govt 4 more years to send the same notices to Roy and Krishen.

  13. You’re welcome people. Anyway its not my password. I got it through trial and error. I’m actually a subscriber to India Today, but I am too lazy to move my butt and get my password off the cover.
    Anyway, given the state of laws in India, we probably never know whether she violated the law or not, and if she did, whether it was a technical infraction or a major one.
    I’d be more interested in knowing how her action measures against her own principles, and that too we will never know because she has never stated a coherent thought in her life and so we cannot find out whether she has any consistent principles.

  14. Ravi, I think that is the idea – keep your principles so vague that no one can hold them against you – good strategy, doncha think?

  15. Schadenfreude
    According to Varnam’s blog, that Indian idiotarian, the Robert Fisk of the East, Arundhati Roy (whom I so awesomely vanquished in my fisking), has been kicked out of her bungalow. Why? Because the self-appointed Protector of All Oppressed Peoples decid…

  16. Bungalow woes – Latest update
    An update on Pradeep Krishen’s(Arundhati Roy’s husband) *bungalow woes. The MP High Court Wednesday turned down a writ petition filed…

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