Government Bulldozes Homes for Political Clout

( – The annual Group of 20 (G20) forum took place on September 9 and 10. For the first time ever, it took place in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is under fire for what it did to prepare for the international conference.

Before world leaders descended on New Delhi, the government decided to clean up the capital city. Hundreds of government employees were in the city before the event to make sure it looked as good as possible. According to reports, the workers captured stray dogs. They also deployed people to make the sounds of langurs, in order to scare violent monkeys away.

Animals weren’t all the officials were chasing out of the city. Workers went into the city’s poorest neighborhoods and began kicking impoverished people out, then bulldozing their homes. They erected fences around some of the slums, in an effort to hide them from the world’s leaders. Hundreds of thousands of poor Indian residents were displaced as a result.

Ambika Shukla, a trustee for the group People for Animals, said she thought it was “ironic that the slogan of the G20” was about “one family” when the government is “removing all the other living beings” in the area. In one case, nine children were sleeping when officials raided their home, kicked them out, and flattened it. About 10 miles from the G20 venue, 135 families lost their homes. Street vendors, shoe polishers, and others who run small businesses were also kicked out of neighborhoods.

Workers were told to keep their assigned areas as clean as possible while the world leaders were there. Nand Kishor, 54, spoke to NBC News about the beautification efforts. He said he was responsible for about a quarter of a mile, and after cleaning up one area, he would often see people littering in it.

In addition to bulldozing homes, the government upgraded its foliage and lined the streets with flowers.

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