Other preoccupations may have drowned these reports I filed from Municipality-demolished Ambujwadi last week. So in the hope that some out there would like to read them, here they are again, all together in one place.
Ambujwadi 1: I've seen this before
Ambujwadi 2: Cut You Off
Ambujwadi 3: Impressive letterhead
Ambujwadi 4: Will you have some water?
Ambujwadi 5: In search of Singapore
Ambujwadi 6: Solemnly Declared
Ambujwadi 7: That time again
Ambujwadi 8: Vignettes
And here's my article on Ambujwadi that is on the edit page of Mid-Day today (Jan 31): Addresses without homes.
If you've read these, I should make a clarification. I met UPS Madan, Maharashtra's Chief Electoral Officer, on Saturday, to discuss my concerns about the connection between demolishing hutments and taking their residents off the electoral rolls. Madan pointed out that the election ID cards did not constitute a right to vote, but were just a convenient proof of identity that the Election Commission decided to issue since no other Government department was doing so. Your right to vote lies in the presence of your name on the electoral rolls, regardless of whether you have an election ID card.
He also said that so far, his office has only received an oral inquiry from the Municipality about removing these people from the rolls. He will take no action until the Municipality makes such a request in writing. And one final point: the Election Commission does not care about what your address is -- meaning whether you are in some way "illegal" or not. If you can prove you are "ordinarily" resident at an address, you will be put on the rolls in that constituency.