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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.”

Drop Sagarmala project, it would lead to eco-devastation, displacement along Indian coast: Civil society meet

By Our Representative
A civil society consultation on Sagarmala, a Government of India project conceived under former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, and modified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to turn coastal areas into “gateways to India's prosperity”, has reached the conclusion that it would mean large-scale ecological devastation and displacement along the coastal areas.
Alleging that it would lead to “large scale land and ocean grabbing, displacing people and their right to life, livelihood and dignity”, the consultation, organized by National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), asked the Government of India to drop the project or face major protests along the coastal regions.
In a note prepared by NFF and NAPM following the consultation takes particular objection to the concept of the project, which it says that its primarily aimed at developing ports, transport through waterways and promote shipping to trigger a port-based developmental model.
“However”, the consultation said, a port-based development of multiple projects intended at bringing in foreign currency should be understood differently from coastal development, adding, Sagarmala would bring about massive coastal erosion” and coastal accretion, accompanied by severe problems of dredging.
Pointing out that the Sagarmala project would “effectively promote real estate projects”, the note said, there has not been any effort to consult the coastal communities, adding, it being approved without any thought going into the effects on the fishing community,settled all along the coasts.
Opposing the plant to have industrial corridors along the Indian coastline to compliment the Sagarmala proejct, the note said, already one could see the “ill effects of the Enayam port” in Tamil Nadu. It would lead to displacement of fisherfolk.
Then, the the Vizhinjam port, handed over to the Adani group, is being opposed by the fishing community in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, the note said, adding, things are not very different for the proposed expansion of the Kamraj Ennoore port in Tamil Nadu.
The consultation demanded that viability studies be made public and consent of the local communities be made mandatory before going ahead with such an unviable project, insisting, there should be immediate cessation of all construction related activities along the coastal areas.
During the consultation, representatives of the fishworkers from Kutch, Gujarat, pointed towards what they called “severe effects of the Adani port and Adani, Tata and OPG thermal power plants in the Mundra area on the traditional small fishermen, who have faced effects on their livelihood.”
Especially taking exception to the Adani Group allegedly acquiring huge plots of land along the coastline for Mundra SEZ in violation of the environmental violations, the note said, “The most shocking has been the ease with which over 2500 acres of mangroves were removed and land filling.”
Meanwhile, Coastal projects, the note said, have been adversely impacting marine ecology up to 25 km of the coastline, where one could find dead fish because of “massive amounts of toxins being released into the estuaries.”
The consultation decided to discuss further actions against the Sagarmala project at the NAPM National Convention in Patna (December 2-4, 2016) and NFF General Body in Tuticorin (December 9-10, 2016).
On November 21, the World Fisheries Day would be observed by giving a call against ‘ocean grabbing’at a rally at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.

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

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

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

By Rajiv Shah
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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*
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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.”