Need of the hour: English MOI and reservations for all

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By AMITA KANEKAR

 

The Dr B R Ambedkar Memorial Lecture Series this year saw both the distinguished speakers, Advocate Martin Macwan and Prof Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, speak, among other things, of the same two issues in their speeches. One was about English-language education – a subject of burning debate in Goa – and second about the need to expand caste-based reservations – a subject which is like the proverbial elephant in the room, i.e. always ignored.

 

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Fishing in Troubled Waters: Markets and Laborers

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By DALE LUIS MENEZES

 

Six months after the shocking revelation came to light that fish imported into Goa is preserved in the carcinogenic formalin, the issue is nowhere close to a solution. Recently, health minister Vishwajit Rane announced that the ban on imports will be in place for six months, except for those traders who comply with health and quality regulations. This apparently unstoppable poisoning (or adulteration) not only brings the governmental authorities under the scanner for being unable to stop such malpractices, but also highlights the manner in which the fishing industry operates in most parts of coastal India. It is important to discuss the labor practices and potential policy decisions that would address allied issues, including the issue of formalin.

 

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Stances about RCEP* and FTAs* need to go beyond election year!

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Even as India played a critical role in shifting the deadline for the conclusion of negotiations on the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to 2019, it has floated the idea of a new approach to free trade agreements. “We will do a completely new approach toward FTAs (free trade agreements). … We are appointing two independent agencies, who will talk to all the stakeholders…it is a first major change. This will be a new template which will emerge for all future negotiations and we are working on it”, India’s Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu is reported to have announced at an event organized by India’s Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association. “So, while we need FTAs, we will make FTAs in a way that will also benefit India to begin with, and other countries also,” Prabhu told the gathering.

 

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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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