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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The Denial of Dignity in a Casteist Society

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

Pratapsingh Rane’s assertion that Goans abroad are doing no better than cleaning toilets, in the Goa State Legislative Assembly in the context of the resumption of mining activity, has received a lot of flak. Many Goans – via video blogs – said that there is no shame in doing any job so long as one brings an honest wage back home. As the anger over Rane’s comment have cooled down, it would be more apt, as I have highlighted in previous columns, to focus on employments opportunities, working conditions and labour justice as issues that Goan society needs to discuss and address.

 

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Wanted Urgently: A New Model of Governance

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

I was astounded to hear, a couple of months ago, of a glass house being built in Goa. Large-scale glass usage in buildings was developed to allow in maximum natural heat in cold climes, which reduced artificial heating and thus saved energy. Glass-fronted commercial buildings then became popular the world over, an aspirational look that became known as the International Style, even where they had to be supported by expensive airconditioning. But a glass house in a hot and humid place like Goa? Described in trade journals as the vision of fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani and architect Sameep Padora, and ‘nestled among the lush green fields and backwaters of Goa’, the villa will apparently sprawl over about 660 sq m., in a huge 1690 sq m. plot. It uses very special kinds of glass, we are told, designed for ‘intrusion-resistance’, privacy, and energy efficiency, besides keeping out dust and noise. No information of its cost, nor its consumption of air-conditioning.

 

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Is the Fourth Industrial Revolution any Revolution for us?

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Fourth IR) is a term coined by the World Economic Forum (WEF). According to the World Economic Forum, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution can be described as the advent of “cyber-physical systems” involving entirely new capabilities for people and machines. While these capabilities are reliant on the technologies and infrastructure of the Third Industrial Revolution, the Fourth Industrial Revolution represents entirely new ways in which technology becomes embedded within societies and even our human bodies. Examples include genome editing, new forms of machine intelligence, breakthrough materials and approaches to governance that rely on cryptographic methods such as the blockchain”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on record to stress on this Revolution in his address to the BRICS nations at Johannesburg at the recently concluded BRICS Summit.

 

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The Real (Ethical) Challenge

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

The high-levels of Formalin, a carcinogen, found in imported fish have caused anger, deep anguish, and frustration amongst Goans. This is because the authorities and the elected representatives have failed to convey the truth to the masses, besides checking the irregularities. Goa’s reliability on external sources for fish (in other contexts also for vegetables and grains) has spawned talk about self-sufficiency. Goa needs to produce its own food, this discourse urges. But it doesn’t say who will produce this food, and there is no talk about improving the existing labor conditions.

 

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The Benefits of having an IITian CM

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

Parrikar used to be a popular politician in Goa, and the thing people seemed to like most about him was his IIT background. Of course, there were also those who liked him for belonging to the RSS or to the Saraswat community. But there is little doubt that his IIT degree was his biggest credential, which worked even among those who would otherwise never dream of voting for either the RSS or Saraswats.

 

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What Really is Unlawful or Terrorist Activity?

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

With the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967, (UAPA), being invoked yet again, this time against Shoma Sen, head of the post-graduate Department of English at Nagpur University, Surendra Gadling, an advocate, Sudhir Dhawale, the editor of Vidrohi, a radical political magazine, Mahesh Raut, a former Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellow, and Rona Wilson, Secretary of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, the issue of what constitutes Terrorist Activity has once again come to the fore. According to State sources the activists have been arrested, in the name of countering “Naxalites” and with a view to breaking down the urban design of the Maoist activists.

 

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Sports, Political Passions, and Peace

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

For those who believe that sport and politics should not mix, the on-going FIFA World Cup 2018 might be a tad bit disappointing. The game between Switzerland and Serbia witnessed tense moments, leading to a few controversies. Switzerland, whose squad had many players of Balkan heritage, appeared to be the perfect team for a mixture of political rivalries in a sporting match. Especially, since the match was against Serbia, which gained independence after a bloody war fractured Yugoslavia into countries like Albania and Kosovo. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independent status, which made the clash between Switzerland and Serbia all the more tense given that Switzerland’s star players, Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri, have Albanian and Kosovan heritage.

 

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