What Really is Unlawful or Terrorist Activity?

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

With the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, (UAPA), being invoked yet again, this time against Shoma Sen, head of the post-graduate Department of English at Nagpur University, Surendra Gadling, an advocate, Sudhir Dhawale, the editor of Vidrohi, a radical political magazine, Mahesh Raut, a former Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellow, and Rona Wilson, Secretary of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, the issue of what constitutes Terrorist Activity has once again come to the fore. According to State sources the activists have been arrested, in the name of countering “Naxalites” and with a view to breaking down the urban design of the Maoist activists.

 

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An Independent High Court for Goa Yes, But…

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Oftentimes after Statehood, the demand for an Independent High Court for Goa has been raised. While the demand is perfectly constitutional, the prerogative to grant it rests with the Parliament. Not every State in India has an independent High Court, and, in some cases, if the States are small, they share a common High Court.

 

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The Latvian Tourist Rape Murder case in Kerala rings a bell for Goa!

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

As this article goes to the press, there has been a gang rape on the beach at Betalbatim, on Goa’s southern coast – a beach that is by now a tourist beach. The newspapers have reported that a 20 year old woman and her friend who were at the beach were accosted by three persons who first sought to extort money from the them, then gang raped the woman, forced her friend to be in a compromising position with her, as they videographed the same, then they left threatening the woman that if she didn’t cough up the money they demanded, they would circulate what they videographed.  So much for the state of law and order in what is called a tourist state!

 

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Quo Vadis Commissioner for Disabilities: Yet Another Commission being Smothered!

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

It seems that India enacts laws to set up Commissions, or constitutes Commissions for human rights, or for specific sections of society, only to tick off the same on the obligation list under International UN Conventions. Because the Commissions are smothered from the word go. No proper office space, no appropriate adequate staff, no appropriate and clear budget, no certainty for staff, no space for autonomy, and a deliberately-feigned ignorance of the kind of work Commissions are expected to do. The Disabilities Commission is the latest of Commissions to be targeted in this smothering game and it has in fact led to the resignation of the Commissioner for Disabilities.

 

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The Race Was Well Run: A Tribute to Floriano Almeida

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

The day was 11th March, 2018. Floriano Almeida, who was Goa’s athletics champion for around a decade and a half from the mid-1960’s, breezed out of this world. Floriano had won every medal and cup for 1500 metre, 5000 metre, 10000 metre races and mini marathons in Goa that he participated in from 1965 onwards. He had even represented Goa at All India athletic meets at Madras, Uttar Pradesh, Bangalore, Punjab and Rajasthan and the Mormugao Port Trust at All India Ports athletic meets at Madras and Calcutta and by 1977, at Madras, he secured first place and the gold medal in the 5000 metre race category, and was awarded a bronze medal in the 10000 metres the following day.

 

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Floriano Almeida — Another Kind of Goemkarponn

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

As Planning and Development Authorities (PDA) are sought to be imposed on Goan villages, in opposition to which fervent calls are made for the preservation of villages, curiously both are using the hashtag of Goemkarponn. The life of the recently deceased athlete Floriano Almeida (1947-2018), Goa’s undisputed long distance runner for over a decade and a half from 1965 onwards, may just about offer another kind of Goemkarponn, to reflect on. A Goemkarponn shaped by the sports spirit of yester years that can point to equitable realities for villagers, while also repelling exploiters who are making our villages a real-estate playground.

 

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Law Commissions of India and Goa Law Commissions: Framing the Absences of Regional Difference with Special Reference to Goa

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

This article examines how law reform processes in India have been unsuccessful in taking into account intersectionality, particularly in the context of Goa. It analyses how the existence of a Uniform Civil Code, a relic of the era of Portuguese colonialism, has been utilized by law reform processes to absolve themselves of responsibility for modernizing civil laws, particularly for women. The article breaks down the idea of an “Indian” identity, highlighting its failure to account for diversity in gender, caste, wealth and the unique challenges faced by a community that is at once isolated from India but also subsumed by this identity. Accounting for the failings of even institutional mechanisms such as the Law Commission of India to take cognizance of the needs of Goa and the lack of incentive for politicians to do so suo motu, this article calls for a relook at the identity through which laws are reviewed, as well as a more participative and inclusive look at the legislative changes required in Goa.

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High Time for Just and Equitable Transition

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

With the Supreme Court having directed closure of mines in Goa, with the “mining-dependents” having taken to the streets, and the issues of workers’ displacement lying unaddressed, it is necessary to expose the myths that are being fomented by the mining mafia, that has so far managed to lawlessly hold sway and control everything from governance and land, to media and identity.

 

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