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Exploiting the poor - So, what else is new?

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COIMBATORE: The State Government's free land distribution scheme for the
landless poor, close to the heart of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M
Karunanidhi, has come in handy for the middlemen, most of them belonging
to different political parties, for squeezing money from the poor while
promising them land.

''Of all that I have done for the people, I consider this as the most
satisfying achievement in my life,'' Karunanidhi had said while
launching the scheme at Tiruvallur in September last.

However, the party members, belonging to different political parties,
even the arch rivals DMK and AIADMK, showed unity in exploiting the
landless poor.

The politicians and revenue officials, particularly the Village
Administrative Officers (VAOs), are stated to be demanding a commission
of several thousands from the landless poor in places such as Tirupur in
Coimbatore district.

Tirupur MLA C Govindasamy said he has been receiving a lot of complaints
in this regard.

The officials and middlemen seemed to be telling the poor that the GO on
free land distribution would not apply to them. Then, they promise to do
something provided the applicant is ready to part with a sum.

In Tirupur, where a cent of land costs around Rs 3 lakh, the middlemen
were found to be demanding Rs 2,000 to Rs 25,000.

Govindasamy told this website's newspaper that he had raised the issue
in a review meeting chaired by Revenue Minister I Periyasamy recently
and also during a government function at Tirupur on Saturday.

Handlooms and Textiles Minister NKKP Raja, who presided over the
Saturday's function, in his address, assured action against those
committing irregularities. The Minister asked the people, in case of any
complaints, to call the District Collector directly so that stringent
action could be taken against them.

The government is implementing the scheme with a good intention. But
there are many, who are preventing it from reaching the poor,
Govindasamy said.
Brute power

Many traditional Brahmanas had emphasized the virtues of honesty, piety, non-violence etc. Looks like it has not done any good. Outright cheating, violence, abuse of power, etc seem to be the great values that society has descended to today. The rot starts at the top.
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