High Time for Just and Equitable Transition

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

With the Supreme Court having directed closure of mines in Goa, with the “mining-dependents” having taken to the streets, and the issues of workers’ displacement lying unaddressed, it is necessary to expose the myths that are being fomented by the mining mafia, that has so far managed to lawlessly hold sway and control everything from governance and land, to media and identity.

 

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Jharokha Darshan: The Visible Political Power

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

That a politician was compelled to make a public appearance despite ill health tells us something about the political culture in India. Manohar Parrikar’s rather dramatic entry at the budget session of 2018 should make us not only enquire into the short-term machinations in contemporary politics, but also the culture in which the visibility of the ruling authority is of paramount importance. For one thing was crystal clear in the political spectacle surrounding Parrikar’s sudden appearance at the budget session: the importance of his visibility for colleagues, allies, and the masses.

 

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Public Access in the Smart City

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

The Goa government will surely wish us a Happy Women’s Day today. There will be celebrations of womanhood to mark the day, mostly superficial. There will be women’s discounts at malls, and women’s specials at restaurants, for the moneyed. There will lists of women achievers, largely elite. Most women however—the ordinary ones—won’t figure in this hoopla at all. In fact, the government seems to be working overtime to make their lives worse. Goans are surrounded by big disasters—of land lost (to resorts, airports, mining, widened roads, you name it), of alienated rivers, unaffordable housing, morbid tourism, deadly pollution, scam infrastructure, and, not least, the complete lack of decent and paying jobs. But along with these are also many small, hardly-noticeable, daily disasters. One of them is how public access to space is shrinking.

 

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Nuisance and Social Drinking

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

From 2016, the Government of Goa – starting from the term of former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar – has tried to tackle the menace of drunken tourists by legislating a ban on drinking in all public spaces which are notified as “No Alcohol Consumption Zones”. Of course the law has been implemented neither in letter nor spirit. About a month ago, it was reported that the Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar planned to introduce another law that would impose even more stringent fines than before, and also amend the Garbage Management Act to tackle the joint problem of drunken nuisance and littering.

 

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They Call it Function Creep!

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Among the many concerns that are being discussed in the Aadhaar cases before the Supreme Court is the whole question of ‘Function Creep’. The expression Function Creep is used when a technology or system is being used beyond the purpose for which it was originally intended, especially when this leads to potential invasion of privacy. This expression is now being used by Aadhaar critics to indicate how the compulsory Aadhaar card began as a way to check the siphoning of welfare monies to ghost beneficiaries, but is now becoming a basis for denial of hospital admission and a potential tool for prosecution, or, rather, persecution. One wonders whether it is a function that ended up creeping or was already meant to creep in the first place.

 

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Idle Trucks, Striking Taxis, and a Broken System

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

The recent ban by the Supreme Court of India on mining activities in Goa for a second time reminds us of the plight faced by those dependent on the mining industry. But the court order also brings to mind other Goans stuck in a similar situation of facing economic uncertainty and the consequences of large-scale illegalities. For instance, it is, I think, useful to compare the mining industry and the tourism industry as both have been touted as the ‘backbone’ of Goan economy, and both these industries witness conflicts and illegalities in equal measure.

 

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Brahmin Reservations amid Atrocious Exclusion

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

I have written in the past about how the policy of caste-based reservations enjoined by the Constitution is blatantly violated in Goa. This is despite a number of clear-cut Supreme Court judgements and Central Government notifications and orders, right from the 1990s. These notifications specify that reservations were to be implemented, both in new recruitment and for promotions, on the basis of post-based reservations rosters. These rosters are supposed to clearly list all the posts in a department or a cadre, beginning with the situation in 1997, and also to specify whether these posts are reserved or unreserved, and, if reserved, for whom. These post-based rosters are to be prepared for every department/cadre, and would thus show the backlog of reserved posts to be filled, during any fresh recruitment after 1997.

 

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The ‘Mothers’ of Goa

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

Every few months the issue of identity emerges in Goa, and vociferous debates and discussions undoubtedly follow. One can observe a certain tendency wherein political issues are reduced to issues of Goan identity. This is done by emotionally appealing to the masses that their existence solely depends on protecting an abstract idea – the Goan identity. This abstract and loosely-defined idea assumes different forms around events, symbols, and objects as the political and ruling classes see fit. One way in which these emotional appeals are made is through the idea of ‘mother’.

 

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#TheyToo – The Judges

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

The discussions that have followed the press conference by the four judges of the Supreme Court, as well as certain directives to the lower judiciary regarding the manner of maintenance of the case information system, have brought into sharp focus the fact that they too – the judges – must be held accountable and that they too – the judges, can be victims of systemic deficiencies.

 

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