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29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

Adanis "win" coalmine environmental authority for $16 billion Australian project: It's complete sellout, say greens

A Greenpeace campaign poster
By Our Representative
There are fresh indications that the Australian greens may now be fighting a losing battle against India's powerful Adani Group’s $16.5 billion coal-mining project in Carmichael, next to the delicate marine ecosystem, Great Barrier Reef, in the Queensland province of Australia. They are accusing authorities of complete sellout on environmental front.
One of the world’s most influential environmental NGOs, Greenpeace, in a media statement, said that the authorities have “sold out” the Great Barrier Reef, next to the project site to the Adanis, even as “undermining” the aspirations of the Australian public. It is not known what the NGO proposes to do now to reverse the alleged sell out. 
“If it ever got to full production, the 28,000 hectares Carmichael coal mine would put 121 million tonnes of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere each year and ship 60 million tonnes of coal directly through the heart of the Reef”, a Greenpeace campaigner said, adding, “The mine could also wipe out a globally significant population of the endangered black-throated finch.”
The statement comes just a day after the natives of Queensland province knocked at the Federal Court doors that the mining project would mean their traditional rights over the land would be infringed (read HERE).
Shani Tager, Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s Reef campaigner, said in a statement, Queensland environment minister Steven Miles “was elected on the promise of protecting the Reef, but just one year later, he’s picked coal over coral. It’s a short-sighted and, frankly, absurd decision.”
Sharply criticizing the Queensland government’s decision to grant an environmental authority for the Carmichael mega coal mine, Tager said, “This environmental authority waves through a project that threatens the health of the Great Barrier Reef, which is already suffering from climate change and pollution.”
“As Australia’s largest coal mine, Carmichael will add to the global warming that is threatening the Reef. It will mean expanding Abbot Point port, dredging in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, and sending more ships through this delicate ecosystem,” the environmental NGO campaigner said.
“Despite state and federal government support for the mine, the $16 billion Carmichael project has attracted no financial backers in the last six years as investors look elsewhere for returns”, the campaigner recalled.
The new authority for the project, which in effect means that the coal mining project would go ahead, is being allowed despite the fact that “the proponent, Adanis, do not have the money and 14 international banks have stated they will not fund it”, she said.
“With the global coal market plummeting and countries like China, the US and even Vietnam phasing out new coal mines, the Queensland government should be creating a transition plan for coal workers, not backing a dead-end project like Carmichael”, the campaigner said.
The decision to set up the environment has been taken despite the fact that, said the campaigner, the Australian department of environment acknowledges that “the Reef provides employment for more than 69,000 people”, and their livelihood would be affected.
“On the other hand”, she said, the “Adanis have been caught overstating the job numbers, royalties and tax from the project in the Land Court of Queensland.”
Tager says, the mining industry even otherwise does not have much future. “The mining industry has lost 40,000 jobs since 2012-13, according to BIS Shrapnel’s Mining in Australia 2015-2030 report. It also predicts a further 20,000 jobs to go in the next three years. It’s not a growth industry for employment.”

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India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”