Big Corporates and their Political Minions need the Boot

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By AMITA KANEKAR

 

Monkeys are taking over village roofs across Goa, from Pernem to Canacona. According to Rama Velip, environmentalist and anti-mining activist, this is just one of the ways his village of Colomb has changed over the last decade. Most of the paddy fields and coconut plantations were damaged by mining run-off. Water availability went down; with heavy pollution of the river and wells running dry, the winter paddy cultivation was stopped. Increasingly erratic and unseasonal weather changes routinely cause crop failures. On top of all this are unwanted visitors: hoards of monkeys, along with leopards, wild boar, and bison. In fact, with bison attacks becoming common in the talukas of Bicholim, Sattari and Sanguem, some villages have demanded a drastic change in the classification of Goa’s state animal from ‘protected’ to ‘vermin’, which would allow them to be killed.

 

(more…)

Past and Present for 2019

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

Our political condition becomes worse with each passing year. The nature of public debate (rather the absence of it), the deteriorating condition of public infrastructure, and unscrupulous bids have plunged Goa’s into chaos. Thus, taking stock of the bygone year, or reflecting on the past on any anniversaries (such as the recently concluded 57th Liberation Day of Goa), appears to be an exercise in futility. However, can we really afford to ignore the past? If we do, we run the risk of subjecting ourselves to the same political manipulations of the past. It is only by considering the past errors that we are able to avoid blunders in the present and future. However, making sense of our present in relation to the past (thereby charting a vision for the future) is not as easy as it seems.

 

(more…)

Need of the hour: English MOI and reservations for all

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By AMITA KANEKAR

 

The Dr B R Ambedkar Memorial Lecture Series this year saw both the distinguished speakers, Advocate Martin Macwan and Prof Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, speak, among other things, of the same two issues in their speeches. One was about English-language education – a subject of burning debate in Goa – and second about the need to expand caste-based reservations – a subject which is like the proverbial elephant in the room, i.e. always ignored.

 

(more…)

Fishing in Troubled Waters: Markets and Laborers

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

Six months after the shocking revelation came to light that fish imported into Goa is preserved in the carcinogenic formalin, the issue is nowhere close to a solution. Recently, health minister Vishwajit Rane announced that the ban on imports will be in place for six months, except for those traders who comply with health and quality regulations. This apparently unstoppable poisoning (or adulteration) not only brings the governmental authorities under the scanner for being unable to stop such malpractices, but also highlights the manner in which the fishing industry operates in most parts of coastal India. It is important to discuss the labor practices and potential policy decisions that would address allied issues, including the issue of formalin.

 

(more…)

Stances about RCEP* and FTAs* need to go beyond election year!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Even as India played a critical role in shifting the deadline for the conclusion of negotiations on the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to 2019, it has floated the idea of a new approach to free trade agreements. “We will do a completely new approach toward FTAs (free trade agreements). … We are appointing two independent agencies, who will talk to all the stakeholders…it is a first major change. This will be a new template which will emerge for all future negotiations and we are working on it”, India’s Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu is reported to have announced at an event organized by India’s Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association. “So, while we need FTAs, we will make FTAs in a way that will also benefit India to begin with, and other countries also,” Prabhu told the gathering.

 

(more…)

How Ancient are Ancient Temples?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By AMITA KANEKAR

 

Hindu temples in the news means that election season is upon us. First there was the violence at Sabarimala in Kerala, following the Supreme Court judgement lifting the temple’s ban on the entry of women of menstruating age. In what Kerala’s BJP chief reportedly called a ‘golden opportunity’ for his party, women trying to enter the shrine were violently stopped by rampaging mobs. Meanwhile in the north, we see the sudden reiteration of the old Sangh Parivar demand for a Ram temple on the site of the demolished Babri Masjid. The demand was not surprisingly accompanied by the declaration that only Modi would build the temple, which is why he must be voted in again.

 

(more…)

#MeToo, Male Entitlement, and Goa

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Male Entitlement is one of the key expressions being bandied around ever since #MeToo imploded on the Indian scene. This is apart from expressions like culture of impunity for sexual predators, calling out of perpetrators, creating a culture of believing survivors of sexual harassment (or not simply dismissing the allegations as untrue), a missing perspective on boundaries and collapse of due process.

 

(more…)

Fragile Political Alliances in Goa

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By DALE LUIS MENEZES

The political developments in the last 30 days may have surely given Goans a sense of déjà vu. With BJP’s Laxmikant Parsekar appearing to revolt, and two Congress MLAs joining the BJP, Goans may have remembered the decades of political instability from the 1970s. The logical question to ask, therefore, is why has Goa witnessed such fragile political regimes? Is there something deeper than merely opportunism and avarice in Goan politics?

 

(more…)

#MeToo at Religious Workplaces: A Tale of Two Places

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Popular Essays

By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Just as the second round of #MeToo was imploding in the country, two cases of sexual harassment at institutionalized religious workplaces were catching public attention and it would be useful to look at the approaches in the two places in some depth. With institutionalized religious workspaces, one may well ask, whether, due process is at all provided for, or, whether, even if there is due process provided for, the same is working, or whether the spiritual mantle or crosier simply throws these due processes off gear. Two of the key issues that the #MeToo movement is raising are the disbelief that a woman complaining of sexual harassment is instantly met with, and the working of due process where the Accused enjoys a certain extra clout.

(more…)