As Goa Prepares to host BRICS…

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

When any State summit takes place, and that too of an international dimension, it is important for the host location to be familiar with what is going to be deliberated on their soil. However there is no such visible effort by the State to acquaint or involve host Goa in the BRICS Summit deliberations, except for sprucing up roads.

 

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Ashpak Bhengre: An Alert Against Manufacturing Consent

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Who killed Ashpak Bhengre while he was lodged in Colvale Jail? That is something the police are supposed to investigate and it is not the domain of this author to guess. It is said that a  fellow inmate assaulted him, but many have reasons to think that this fellow-inmate was actually the executer of a contract killing.

 

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One Part Existence

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

They don’t exist in surveys conducted. They don’t self-declare their existence. The light of the Constitution is not allowed to shine in the poisonous gas-filled sewers in which they work. Even the ordinary labour laws pass them by, when they work in the most dangerous conditions.   They are the sewerage cleaning manual scavengers in Goa.

 

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When Transgenders Organise

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

An organisation, possibly the first, of transgenders, was recently established in Goa. If one carefully listened to the voices of the persons from the community, the issues were typical – difficult to get a house on rent, difficult to access hospitals and clinics, a dehumanizing gaze, harassment from the police, lack of decent job opportunities. “When we go to a hospital, which ward do we get admitted to – female ward? male ward?”, was a poignant question asked.

 

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Banking on Flamboyance, Electronics and Brand Values: The Signs of the ‘Good Times’

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

March saw the ‘King of Good Times’ Vijay Mallya in the news for defaulting to pay a debt of 9000 crores. It was reported that Kingfisher’s gross block (investment in fixed assets) was a fraction of its total debt from day one. Some of these loans were given by the 17-bank consortium of lenders on pledging office furniture like folding chairs and electronic equipment such as boarding pass printers, and on the so-called brand value of Kingfisher. SBI petitioned the North Goa Collector for assistance to attach Mallya’s villa in Candolim, but unlike the prompt action when it comes to small borrowers, or small people who are not even liable, in this case, if you please, the Collector chose to have hearings.

 

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What is also this talk Regarding ‘Anti-National’ About?

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Being branded anti-national is not new to Goans. As a matter of fact, the protagonist of a Konkani film ‘The Enemy’ that recently hit the theaters, poignantly raises the issue of how even a Goan who has migrated to a part of British India that eventually became Pakistan is treated not just as anti-national but as the enemy of the State.

 

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The Bismarque Moment

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

The death of Bismarque Dias in suspicious circumstances, is signalling different things to different people that can all be woven together in what can be called a Moment. The Dead Bismarque is more dangerous than a living Bismarque, a poster reads. Indeed an activist like him committed to a vision and a cause is invincible, even in death, or more so in death. Repression begets revolt. The premature malicious feeding by the State through the media, about how Bismarque’s death came about, has inspired community investigations, speculation and reflection.

 

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