SurferSpeak: Rehabilitate, anyway!
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SurferSpeak: Rehabilitate, anyway!

Our surfer talks of PMO's activism for settling the displaced.

india Updated: May 08, 2006 18:16 IST

As the Supreme Court ordered the rehabilitation of displaced villagers and their families, the Prime Minister's office swung into action.

They knew that if it doesn't take place within the stipulated three months, the SC would order the dam moved across to any other river except Narmada.

There wouldn't be a dispute about the height of the dam, as there would be no dam.

The spokesperson meant business and was on the job. He was quite open about the options he and his boss - the PM - were considering.

"Rehabilitation is the mantra, right now," he said.

"Normally that word is used when, say, the chairperson of a party, decides to dump a politically inconvenient pawn as a governor or an ambassador to a third-world country! Now how are you going to use it?" I said.

"We need places right now. Period. First, we are looking at the unoccupied ministerial and MPs' bungalows. Secondly, quite a few ministers and MPs are still occupying their accommodation long after losing their deposit in the election. Some of them have stayed put from their great grandfather's days, who, they say, was a minister in the Nehru cabinet! We will drive them all out!"

"Are there other areas you are scouting?"

"Indeed. Advaniji has been kind enough to offer his place as he is out on the yatra. He might start one more in the reverse direction to counter Rajnath Singhji's yatra. Not to be left out, Rajnath Singhji has offered us both his official and personal residences. I don't know where he is going to stay once he finishes his yatra!"

"That's nice of them."

"The UPA Chairperson has offered her villa in Italy. We might have to arrange visa etc, but still that's an option, as Dravid would say, we might use."

"These options, again as Dravid would say, are fairly limited. What you need is a massive scale of operations to rehab the landless and the ousted."

"You're right. We are on war-footing right now. We have drawn plans to put them up in Purana Qila, Lal Qila, Humayun Tomb, etc. We might even use the Taj Mahal, except, on full moon days we have to vacate the place for the tourists for three to four hours."

"Do you get help from outside agencies?"

"Many have offered. Swminarayan Temple, Balaji Temple in Tirupati, Chamundi Temple in Mysore, Jama Masjid in Delhi, Portugese Church in Mumbai have all offered both Lodging and Boarding. PM and UPA boss want rehabilitation work to go on in full swing before the deadline."

ER Ramachandran is our regular surfer and can be contacted

All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfer and do not necessarily represent those of

First Published: May 06, 2006 11:35 IST