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

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

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.

 

(more…)

The Race Was Well Run: A Tribute to Floriano Almeida

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Popular Essays

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.

 

(more…)

Floriano Almeida — Another Kind of Goemkarponn

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

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.

 

(more…)

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

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Scholarly Articles

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.

(more…)

High Time for Just and Equitable Transition

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

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.

 

(more…)

They Call it Function Creep!

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Popular Essays

By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Among the many concerns that are being discussed in the Aadhaar cases before the Supreme Court is the whole question of ‘Function Creep’. The expression Function Creep is used when a technology or system is being used beyond the purpose for which it was originally intended, especially when this leads to potential invasion of privacy. This expression is now being used by Aadhaar critics to indicate how the compulsory Aadhaar card began as a way to check the siphoning of welfare monies to ghost beneficiaries, but is now becoming a basis for denial of hospital admission and a potential tool for prosecution, or, rather, persecution. One wonders whether it is a function that ended up creeping or was already meant to creep in the first place.

 

(more…)

#TheyToo – The Judges

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

The discussions that have followed the press conference by the four judges of the Supreme Court, as well as certain directives to the lower judiciary regarding the manner of maintenance of the case information system, have brought into sharp focus the fact that they too – the judges – must be held accountable and that they too – the judges, can be victims of systemic deficiencies.

 

(more…)

My Way – the Highway

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

As 2018 begins, a major challenge facing those standing for Goa is to ensure the reversal of the laws, and legislative and executive moves that have resulted in the continued dispossessing of Goa and its people of its land and resources. Throughout 2017, the Centre and the State have legislated or moved in ways that have posed alarming threats. The attitude of the state and its enforcement mechanisms has been My Way the Highway.

 

(more…)