Skip to main content

Coastal industry projects affect livelihood: Gujarat fisher leaders seek land rights

By Our Representative 

Raising a series of demands following a meeting of the Samast Machimaar Samaj (Gujarat), Gujarat's small fisherfolk have insisted that they should be entitled to land rights over the sea coast, pointing out, projects along the coastal regions "adversely affect" their livelihood, a fact overlooked by policy makers.
Issues discussed at the meeting held in Ahmedabad included clean drinking water at the fishing ports, angandwadis for children, schools near fishing ports, electricity connection, transportation facilities at ports, connection of roads from ports to their villages and main roads, removal of taxes imposed on diesel, rapid implementation of diesel subsidies for boats, kerosene supply to outboard motor boats, and so on.
They also discussed rapid registration of boats following a complete survey, fish market facilities for women and cold storage facilities for fish catch, asserting, these issues and demands would be soon placed before the state government.
After the participation of around 30 leaders of the various coastal districts of Gujarat, the meeting chose an executive committee consisting of Usmang Gani Sherasiya (convener), Hiralbhai Dhimmar (Bharuch), Ayyubbhai Manjaliya (Mundra) and Siddikbhai Jasraya (Salaya).
It was pointed out at the meeting that the fish production has been decreasing rapidly due to industrialization over the coast and various projects of the government are directly affecting the small and poor fisher communities.
A demand for the livelihood of the fisher communities was raised, stating, the government should permit projects on the coast after detailed interaction with them. There should be expert level studies on livelihood options and on how such projects would affect the fisherfolk. There should also be a detailed study on the impact of dams on the fisher communities.
The meeting raised the issue of Bhadbhut barrage. The barrage, to be built on the estuary of Narmada river, will directly impact the breeding of the rare hilsa fish. Ever since the Banas river has dried up, there is no hisla fish catch in Surajbari area in the Bay of Kutch.
Now, it was pointed out, only the Narmada estuary has hilsa breeding grounds, but the construction of the barrage will directly affect livelihood of 25,000-30,000 fishermen of Bharuch district, as it would affect the hilsa fish catch.



'Very low rung in quality ladder': Critique of ICMR study on 'sudden deaths' post-2021

By Bhaskaran Raman*  Since about mid-2021, a new phenomenon of extreme concern has been observed throughout the world, including India : unexplained sudden deaths of seemingly healthy and active people, especially youngsters. In the recently concluded Navratri garba celebrations, an unprecedented number of young persons succumbed to heart attack deaths. After a long delay, ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) has finally has published a case-control study on sudden deaths among Indians of age 18-45.

SC 'appears to foster' culture of secrecy, does not seek electoral bond details from SBI

By Rosamma Thomas*  In its order of November 2, 2023 on the case of Association for Democratic Reforms vs Union of India contesting constitutional validity of electoral bonds, the Supreme Court directed all political parties to give particulars of the bonds received by them in sealed covers to the Election Commission of India. SC sought that information be updated until September 2023. 

How national chauvinism 'overtook' sport despite cricketing glory of World Cup 2023

By Harsh Thakor*  The recently-concluded cricket World Cup was a testimony or manifestation of the thrills, intensity, twists and turns in sport and evolution of the game of cricket. It carried on the trend of the World Cups of yesteryears. Possibly, this was the best ever Indian team in a World Cup, and arguably amongst the best ever to contest a World Cup.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Only 12% of schools RTE compliant: Whither 6% budgetary allocation for education?

By Ambarish Rai* Despite Indian state’s commitment of 6% GDP on education, the Finance Minister completely ignored right to education for children and strengthening implementation of RTE Act which makes education a fundamental right in her budget speech . The Right to Education (RTE) Forum, which is a collective of different stakeholders in education, condemns this neglect of a legal entitlement, which is unconstitutional and demand for overall increase in the budget to ensure improvement in learning outcomes and overall enhancement of quality education.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

'Ambiguous policy': India late in advocating EVs as energy storage in national grid

By Shankar Sharma*  This is regarding the points raised by the Chief Electricity Authority’s (CEA's) advocacy for usage of electrical vehicles (EVs) as energy storage technology, and few associated issues . An objective reading of what he states should reiterate the enormously growing importance of battery energy storage systems (BESS) in our need to transition to a net-zero carbon scenario for the country.

Union Health Ministry, FSSAI 'fail to respond' to NHRC directive on packaged food

By Our Representative  The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed deep concern over the adverse health effects caused by packaged foods high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Recognizing it as a violation of the Right to Life and Right to Health of Indian citizens, the quasi-judicial body called for a response from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regarding its selection of front-of-pack labels aimed at providing consumers with information to make healthier choices.