Saturday, June 05, 2010



The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has announced that 50 acres of land along the Old Mahabalipuram Road in Chennai would be allotted to MLAs at market value, so that they may construct their homes. Old Mahabalipuram road is an area in Chennai where the land prices are skyrocketing.

Nandini Voice for the Deprived, a Chennai based NGO conducted a survey amongst the citizens of Tamil Nadu to know their views on whether such special allotment of land for MLAs is justified.

Nandini Voice For the Deprived contacted around 3000 citizens, belonging to the cross section of society at various education and income level.
through email and letters. The details about the survey was also published in a few newspapers. In addition, several persons belonging to lower income group were contacted in person and their views ascertained during the informal discussions.

In all, 510 persons responded with their views including those who conveyed their views through email and over telephone and during informal discussions.

Findings of the study:

Of the 510 persons who responded , not even a single person said that the Chief Minister’s move to allot land for MLAs was justified. The proposal was questioned and criticized on several count.

Several persons said that they were afraid to convey their dissenting views since the matter concerned the politicians and the decision of the Chief Minister and they insisted that under no circumstances, their name should be revealed. This shows the sense of fear and insecurity prevailing amongst the citizens in expressing their views particularly in matters concerning politicians.

Most of the persons expressed their helplessness and wondered whether their dissenting view would matter at all, since the Government and politicians do not really seem to care about public opinion and views of the common men and they go ahead with their agenda whatever they may be.

Several persons also opined that this move should be stopped which can be done only by filing a public interest litigation in the High court. However, very few said that they would file such petitions themselves.

Many citizens expressed the hope that their dissenting views should be made known to the government and the Chief Minister, so that the Chief Minister would withdraw his move to allot land to the MLAs.

Report by:
N S Venkataraman

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