Kejriwal biased against BJP-run civic bodies: Manoj Tiwari
New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) The BJP’s Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari on Wednesday accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of adopting “biased approach” against the saffron party-run civic corporations of the city over the allocation of funds and also invited him for a public debate over the issue.
“Delhi government records tell that expenditure on development has gone down during last two years,” Tiwari told reporters here.
Tiwari also accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the city of intentionally withholding the implementation of the Fourth Delhi Finance Commission’s recommendations on revenue share of municipal corporations.
“Kejriwal government presented and accepted the Fourth Delhi Finance Commission’s recommendations in Delhi assembly due to the fear of Delhi High Court’s intervention,” Tiwari said.
“But it has not implemented them so as to deny working opportunities to the civic bodies and thereby defame the BJP leadership there,” the BJP leader claimed.
Tiwari said that the AAP government claims to have given more funds to the Delbhi Municipal Corporations “but the truth is that the funds given are not even half of what they are entitled to as per fourth Delhi Finance Commission’s recommendations”.
He also alleged that the civic bodies continue to receive the same amount of funds in the same proportion as they did in 2011, even as their salary bills alone have gone up by almost 150 per cent due to the implementation of Sixth and Seventh Pay Commissions.
“At the time of trifurcation done haphazardly by the Sheila Dixit regime in 2012, the Delhi government was supposed to meet all funding needs of the three municipal corporations but first Sheila Dixit and now Kejriwal has acted with political biasness to delay and deny rightful funds,” Tiwari said.
Tiwari said that non-implementation of the Fourth Delhi Finance Commission’s recommendations due to political biasness by the Kejriwal government has crippled the city’s three municipal corporations.
The Conservative and the Libertarian preach financial responsibility in the face of a political opponent who offers the American people an endless paradise of government expenditure that is economically unsustainable. In other words, this opponent sells the public an imaginary hope that in the end will badly harm them.
But when one talks to the people who support these politicians we see that they are not unaware of the tremendous fiscal mess that the country is in; they confess knowledge of its debt and the astronomical numbers associated with it. Some people are more disposed to see a man who sells them a comforting fantasy as a friend and an ally, than a man who offers them an uncomfortable but necessary truth. In the minds of many people, feeling well is more important than being well.
The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 formally freed 800,000 Africans who were then the legal property of Britain’s slave owners. What is less well known is that the same act contained a provision for the financial compensation of the owners of those slaves, by the British taxpayer, for the loss of their “property”. The compensation commission was the government body established to evaluate the claims of the slave owners and administer the distribution of the £20m the government had set aside to pay them off. That sum represented 40% of the total government expenditure for 1834. It is the modern equivalent of between £16bn and £17bn.
The compensation of Britain’s 46,000 slave owners was the largest bailout in British history until the bailout of the banks in 2009. Not only did the slaves receive nothing, under another clause of the act they were compelled to provide 45 hours of unpaid labour each week for their former masters, for a further four years after their supposed liberation. In effect, the enslaved paid part of the bill for their own manumission.
The records of the Slave Compensation Commission are an unintended byproduct of the scheme. They represent a near complete census of British slavery as it was on 1 August, 1834, the day the system ended. For that one day we have a full list of Britain’s slave owners. All of them. The T71s tell us how many slaves each of them owned, where those slaves lived and toiled, and how much compensation the owners received for them. Although the existence of the T71s was never a secret, it was not until 2010 that a team from University College London began to systematically analyse them. The Legacies of British Slave-ownership project, which is still continuing, is led by Professor Catherine Hall and Dr Nick Draper, and the picture of slave ownership that has emerged from their work is not what anyone was expecting.
The large slave owners, the men of the “West India interest”, who owned huge estates from which they drew vast fortunes, appear in the files of the commission. The man who received the most money from the state was John Gladstone, the father of Victorian prime minister William Ewart Gladstone. He was paid £106,769 in compensation for the 2,508 slaves he owned across nine plantations, the modern equivalent of about £80m. Given such an investment, it is perhaps not surprising that William Gladstone’s maiden speech in parliament was in defence of slavery.
The records show that for the 218 men and women he regarded as his property, Charles Blair, the great-grandfather of George Orwell, was paid the more modest sum of £4,442 – the modern equivalent of about £3m. There are other famous names hidden within the records. Ancestors of the novelist Graham Greene, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott all received compensation for slaves. As did a distant ancestor of David Cameron. But what is most significant is the revelation of the smaller-scale slave owners.
Slave ownership, it appears, was far more common than has previously been presumed. Many of these middle-class slave owners had just a few slaves, possessed no land in the Caribbean and rented their slaves out to landowners, in work gangs.These bit-players were home county vicars, iron manufacturers from the Midlands and lots and lots of widows. About 40% of the slave owners living in the colonies were women. Then, as now, women tended to outlive their husbands and simply inherited human property through their partner’s wills.