How Ancient are Ancient Temples?

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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.

 

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#MeToo, Male Entitlement, and Goa

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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.

 

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Fragile Political Alliances in Goa

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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?

 

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#MeToo at Religious Workplaces: A Tale of Two Places

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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.

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When Will #MeToo Challenge Hindu ‘Sanskaar’?

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

In one of the #MeToo cases which received widespread publicity, media reports of the allegations against the actor Alok Nath were accompanied by the information, in either shocked or ironic tones, that the man had always been seen as the most ‘sanskaari’ of actors. What the tones implied was that all the ‘sanskaar’ seems to have been just a hoax, with the real Mr Hyde now finally exposed. Implicit in this was the message that those who are really sanskaari, i.e. full of Indian, or rather Hindu, culture, will never behave like this. In other words, this behaviour is foreign to Hindu culture.

 

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Mega Projects and Mega Infrastructure in Goa: Who is Coming in the Way of Whom?

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

The immediate trigger for this article is an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the proposed modernization and expansion of port infrastructure, supposedly for fishing, coastal, multipurpose cargo berth and liquid/general cargo at Mormugao Port, Goa, which has been prepared for Mormugao Port Trust, a body corporate under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, by Ultratech Environmental Consultancy and Laboratory.

 

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For Past’s Sake: Digitization

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

Exactly one month ago, the whole world watched shocking images of the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil engulfed in flames. The destruction of the fire was so severe that most of the museum’s rare and precious collections of fossils, natural specimens, audio documentation, and archives were destroyed. The most devastating image that brought home the severity of the fire was the aerial photo of the hollowed out building, the majestic former Paço de São Cristóvão, the erstwhile residence of the Portuguese royal family. For Brazilians reeling under a series of political and economic crises, the fire was symbolic of all that is wrong with the present government.

 

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On the Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Famous Speech

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

The Goan and Indian media recently marked the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s celebrated speech, made in Chicago to the ‘World’s Parliament of Religions’. Now, 125 years is an odd anniversary to commemorate, but then this was no ordinary speech. It was a speech that made Vivekananda a hugely popular figure across the country – as seen by the hundreds of streets named after him – is still celebrated in school textbooks, and seen as something for all Indians to be proud of, even though it was not about India but about the Hindu religion. The fact that Vivekananda visited Goa just before making this speech has evoked some excitement here too, given the strong likelihood that the visit contributed to his ideas.

 

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Fullu Fustar Formalin (Formalin at Fullu’s cost)

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

The breaking news in July 2018 where the Goa Government’s Directorate of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) found, on spot testing , that there was formalin in the 20 fish samples, drawn from trucks that had brought fish to the Margao and Panjim markets from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, needs to be turned into an opportunity. An opportunity to reflect on the kind of export-import led, fast and furious, nature- and people-disrespecting development that India is poised to further bolster. An opportunity to see how this development takes advantage of the existing invisibilisation of the unpaid work of women to ignore the same in computing the costs and implications of this development model. Reflecting on both of these issues would set us on the path to articulating developmental models that are eco as well as people friendly.

 

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Connecting the dots for human rights – Goa-wise!

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

What took place on 28th August, 2018, in Goa, must be seen as a defining moment for Goa. On this day, the State donned the visible mantle of terrorist, when in the garb of the Pune police, it created havoc on the campus of a well recognised educational institution, and traumatised the security guards before barging into the residence of Anand Teltumbde, in his absence. Teltumbde is a professor teaching Big Data analytics at GIM, and also the General Secretary of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR). These actions of the Pune police should be seen as terrorist activity because, in violating all due process of law, they are tantamount to an illegality and an attack.

 

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