Anjali Damania….. a little bit of unanswered questions from people like me
I heard Anjali Damania, the activist, and a number of panelists, on TV yesterday. They left me in a dizzy.
The TV show has left me with some unanswered questions. Will someone answer them?
Anjali was frank enough to say that the she was not a doctor, but a pathologist…but her real occupation is not really relevant for the present.
Anjali – the Agriculturist
Anjali claimed she was an agriculturist because her grandfather was a farmer. Unfortunately, the law does not say so.
My grandfather may not have been an agriculturist, but his father, or grandfather, or someone higher up in the hierarchy, were probably agriculturists.
But that does not make me an agriculturist in Maharashtra.
She said something about purchasing agricultural land under some scheme for horticulturists. But no one pursued the matter, and she did not elaborate.
Everyone knows how difficult it is to purchase agricultural land in Maharashtra.
Even Amitabh Bachchan faced this problem.
Anjali mentioned owning 59 acres of agricultural land. You can see Anish & Anjali Damania’s Farm at Kashele, Karjat at the following site.
I suppose this is her land…Please correct me if I am wrong.
She further claimed she had purchased seven acres of agricultural land in 2007, got the land converted into non agricultural use and sold it in 2011 to private individuals.
According to media reports, Anjali used the land for a project for private villas created by a company in which she was a director; and till August 2011, out of the 39 plots created, 37 were sold.
Two farmers from whom Anjali purchased the land have now claimed that she had purchased the agricultural land claiming she would use them for agriculture.
Anjali has reportedly said, “I can produce all the required papers to prove that everything was done legally. If someone thinks this is wrong, the problem then actually lies with the government’s policy in changing the land-use from agricultural to non-agricultural. I am being targeted now because I raised my voice against a corrupt system.”
What is expected from Anjali
Of course, Anjali has done nothing wrong. She did what any intelligent person would or should do. But for the fact, the movement she is spear heading is demanding transparency. The reason is that transparency alone leads to honesty.
In her own case,
- Anjali has not published her assets.
- Anjali has not explained how she became an agriculturist.
- Anjali did not answer questions about the selling price of her land.
- Anjali has not disclosed her interest in different companies.
Anjali simply said that she had filed her income tax returns and was ready to face any enquiry and all the usual rubbish.
The facts clearly show that what she was doing was dabbling with real estate business. But all rich and powerful people in Maharashtra and other places make money through real estate business.
The leaders of such movements should not only be clean, they should be a shade higher in terms of transparency.
But in her own case, Anjali has forgotten all about transparency. Damania (left) with Kejriwal during the recent press conference held in Delhi. PTI
State Government’s stand and the BJP
The state government has said that they found that Anjali and her partners who held the land were not farmers by livelihood and therefore confiscated the land.
The BJP has also released a letter which Damania wrote to authorities in 2011 asking them to consider the change in the alignment of a dam that would submerge her property and requested that the alignment of the Kondhane dam be shifted so that her property was not submerged due to it.
Pointing out that her entire life savings were used for the land, Anjali had written that if the dam were to be shifted by 700 metres only, tribals would be hit by the project and they would be adequately compensated, unlike her. So much for the good of the common man.
My advice to Anjali and others
Anjali, and all persons im her situation, should put list of assets, all the papers, documents and full details of controversial issues in the public domain…for any and every one to see and scrutinise.
If you cannot do so, simply quit the movement.