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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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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