Menstruating without Oppressing Humans or Nature

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

Goa has become a garbage dump. Old-timers find this more appalling than others, for they remember a pre-1961 Goa which frowned upon public littering, spitting, urinating, and defecation. But changing attitudes is just one part of the problem. The other is today’s culture of disposables, especially single-use plastic. And the fact that, although more than 98% of Goa’s garbage is compostable or recyclable – according to vRecycle, the Salcete-based waste management company – this doesn’t get done, for which the blame lies both with the public and the government. As for the remaining 2%, a big part of which is gel-based personal hygiene products like sanitary napkins and diapers, which cannot be disposed of safely, the only way out is stop usage.

 

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Power Failures and Power Politics

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

From April onwards, there have been several power failures in the state; they are not over yet. At the beginning of June, it became crystal clear that the cause of the power failures was not just faulty and aging equipment, but also gross mismanagement by the electricity department. Goans even learnt that to keep a particular big time corporate builder happy, the department had decided that an entire taluka could suffer a day-and-a-half without power.

 

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An Independent High Court for Goa Yes, But…

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Oftentimes after Statehood, the demand for an Independent High Court for Goa has been raised. While the demand is perfectly constitutional, the prerogative to grant it rests with the Parliament. Not every State in India has an independent High Court, and, in some cases, if the States are small, they share a common High Court.

 

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The Latvian Tourist Rape Murder case in Kerala rings a bell for Goa!

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

As this article goes to the press, there has been a gang rape on the beach at Betalbatim, on Goa’s southern coast – a beach that is by now a tourist beach. The newspapers have reported that a 20 year old woman and her friend who were at the beach were accosted by three persons who first sought to extort money from the them, then gang raped the woman, forced her friend to be in a compromising position with her, as they videographed the same, then they left threatening the woman that if she didn’t cough up the money they demanded, they would circulate what they videographed.  So much for the state of law and order in what is called a tourist state!

 

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Pastoral Letters and Indianness

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

Over the last couple of years, pastoral letters written by various bishops in India have led to national furore over their contents. While the writing of pastoral letters is routine, these letters found themselves in the eye of the storm largely because they were written around the time of elections and referenced the problematic political conditions affecting minoritized caste and religious groups. The most recent of such pastoral letters to have received the attention and ire of Indian media is written by Anil Couto, the Archbishop of Delhi. But if one considers all the recent statements together, a particular pattern emerges – one that concerns the health of the Indian polity. Let us proceed chronologically.

 

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Tangible Heritage: Avoiding Monumental Mistakes

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

If it isn’t naked Hindutva, the government seems to be hell-bent in promoting vicious neo-liberalism. In a joint policy-decision by the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture, and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the government envisages corporate participation in the maintenance of India’s heritage sites, including natural heritage sites like Assam’s Kaziranga National Park. Many iconic world heritage monuments in India will be put up for ‘adoption’. Private companies and individuals, and public sector undertakings now will be able to manage particular monuments through the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme.

 

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Quo Vadis Commissioner for Disabilities: Yet Another Commission being Smothered!

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

It seems that India enacts laws to set up Commissions, or constitutes Commissions for human rights, or for specific sections of society, only to tick off the same on the obligation list under International UN Conventions. Because the Commissions are smothered from the word go. No proper office space, no appropriate adequate staff, no appropriate and clear budget, no certainty for staff, no space for autonomy, and a deliberately-feigned ignorance of the kind of work Commissions are expected to do. The Disabilities Commission is the latest of Commissions to be targeted in this smothering game and it has in fact led to the resignation of the Commissioner for Disabilities.

 

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State of Education: Exams and Merit

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

This year’s Goa Board examinations witnessed many HSSC and SSC students complain that the physics and science question papers respectively were too tough. Many parents and students wrote letters in the press, pleading with the Goa Board officials to be lenient during evaluation. The anxiety that students and parents shared alike was so much that it also resulted in an online petition.

 

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