Skip to main content

Jaitley's Melbourne visit: Students, environmentalists protest against Adanis' Australian coalmining project

By Our Representative
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who addressed students at the Melbourne University on April 2, was preceded by students' and faculty members' protest against the controversial coalmining project, taken up by one of the most influential business houses in India, Adanis, in Australia's Queensland state.
The snap protest was organised by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) outside a public lecture by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the Melbourne University. AYCC has a huge following in the university.
Their placards read "No future funds for coal" and "Coral not coal". The project is being implemented in Queensland's Carmichael region. The high-quality coal is proposed to be exported to other countries, particularly via the North Galilee Basin rail project.
Environmentalists, particularly well-known environmental NGO Greenpeace and other groups, have accused the Australian authorities for having cleared the project, pointing towards how it would affect the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
 The aborigines, who have gone to the Federal Court against the 16 billion dollar project, have joined in to say that the project is being implemented without taking into account their land rights.
Unmindful of the protests, Jaitley told Australian students how the Modi government cared for the marginalized population of India. He said, the Government of India planned to continue with the "reservations in jobs and educational institutions for Scheduled Casts (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) for a long time", reports South Asia Times.
Jaitley's address at the Melbourne University and an interaction following that was organized by the Australia India Institute (AII) and the Indian Consulate, Melbourne, and conducted by AII Director Craig Jeffery.
Jaitley admitted that the ST were still the most deprived sections of Indian society for whom the quality of life had not improved, even as pointing towards how the Indian economy was on the upswing. He said, "The Indian market-oriented development model has to have a social aspect", so that a large population, suffering from inequality, does not suffer.
Jaitley also admitted that agriculturists, except for the few rich ones, were "in a bad shape" and his government was "trying" to empower the rural people with different schemes.
There a flutter when a question was asked to him as to what could Australia do in the ‘Make in India’ scheme, when it itself had little manufacturing.
Jaitley replied, India was looking at Australian resources, food processing and infrastructure projects like highways, railway stations and airports. "Lots of investment funds in Australia are looking for investing and there has been some positive response,” he said, but did not elaborate.
Students wanted to know about the atmosphere of unrest among Indian universities, especially the University of Hyderabad and the Jawaharlal Nehru. Jaitley defended the Modi government’s stand, but bypassed any direct answer, saying India was "the worst affected by terrorism".
Referring to the Mumbai blasts and the terrorist attack on Parliament he said there was a need to defend "sovereignty of India", and under special circumstances there were bound to "exceptions to freedom of speech."

Comments

ALSO READ

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…

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".

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.

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.”