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Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.
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Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

A courageous journalist who was committed towards sustained ecological growth

By Sheshu Babu*
Very few journalists stood by peoples'rights and dared to expose atrocities committed by corporates and government. One such fine committed journalist was Darryl D'Monte who inspired younger generation. He passed away on March 16 in a Mumbai hospital.

India's party-based democracy has created a "self-perpetuating" political aristocracy

By Mohan Guruswamy*
With the seventeenth Lok Sabha elections fast approaching, we increasingly hear them described as a Celebration of Democracy! It very well might be, but for who and how still remains to be seen.
This reminds me of a tale from the Mahabharata, when many years after their victory in the great eighteen-day war, King Yudhishtra decides to perform the Ashvamedha yagna at Hastinapur.

Ganga depletion leading to loss of indigenous livelihoods: Fasting saint tells activist

Counterview Desk
In a letter to Ramnath Kovind, President of India, Chandra Vikash, who is convener of the civil rights organization Global Academy for Indigenous (Dalit) Activism (GAIA), Delhi, has expressed the apprehension that crores of indigenous (Dalit) livelihoods would be affected if the Government of India fails to ensure “free-flow” of River Ganga and other rivers, making them “pollution-free”.

Hindutva rulers discussing China to "divert" attention on who handed over Azhar to Pak

By Shamsul Islam*
The present RSS-BJP rulers are using every dirty trick to hide the fact that blood thirsty criminal, perpetrator of the Pulwama massacre, Azhar Masood is roaming free thanks to the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government which was ruling India in 1999.

Fascist danger? 2019 election campaign "might witness" communal and hate speeches

By Sheshu Babu*
As the country is preparing for elections, all politicians are trying to outsmart each other in promises and rhetoric. Amidst of statements of leaders, some are really very disturbing. For instance, Sakshi Maharaj, MP, Lok Sabha said that the upcoming elections will be fought in the name of the country and there will be no elections after that.

Confront gravity of threat to democracy: 73 intellectuals to India's opposition parties

Counterview Desk
As many as 73 intellectuals -- including academics, artistes, social workers and writers -- in an appeal to non-BJP opposition parties regarding 2019 elections have said, since the threat to democracy from Narendra Modi and BJP is real, they should not only "rise above political competition" but also come up with a minimum programme suggesting their firm commitment in democratic institutions and the Constitution.

Gujarat government bravado and "slow death" of agriculture in the state

By SagarRabari*, Persis Ginwalla** 
Why is Gujarat, an otherwise ‘developed’ state, with an agricultural growth rate ostensibly much higher than other states of India, as claimed repeatedly by the Government of Gujarat (GoG), reeling under the anger of farmers? If the GoG’s claims of development are indeed true, then why is the average monthly farm income at a mere Rs 3573? And why is Gujarat at number nine in the country in terms of farmers’ incomes?

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”