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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They Call it Function Creep!

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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.

 

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#TheyToo – The Judges

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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.

 

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My Way – the Highway

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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.

 

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Illegal but Legalisable: On What Basis?

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Goa is about to make sale and development of orchard land a criminal offence that could attract imprisonment of one year. When revealing this information, Vijai Sardesai, the Town and Country Planning Minister claimed that 20 lakh square metres of land had been illegally converted across Goa, and that an amnesty period would be given to those who had illegally developed land to seek conversion from the Town and Country Planning Board by March 31, 2018.

 

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Recent State Decisions and Recommendations: More Nails in the Coffin for Goans and for Tourism?

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Commodification of the environment for tourism in Goa is reaching endemic proportions. It has the potential to kill the very goose of environment that could lay the golden eggs of revenue and income generation from tourism. The Government dismisses such critical ecological concerns as the work of naysayers, and argues that no development can occur if every time a new project is proposed, environmental concerns are brought to the drawing board to oppose it. However, if people’s concerns about environment are not addressed, then the insensitively planned projects that follow have the potential of completely destroying the livelihoods of people in Goa, and putting their health in jeopardy.

 

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