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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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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