THE NEWS IN PROPORTION
NUCLEAR DANGER
What Chernobyl and Fukushima remind us

The 30th anniversary on April 26 of the catastrophic accident at the nuclear power station in Chernobyl, which is now part of an independent Ukraine, has gone unnoticed in the Indian media. One can ignore the lessons – as well as those of the Fukushima plant, the fifth anniversary of which also falls this year – only at our peril, given the huge investments India is making in this energy sector, writes Darryl D’Monte.

Environmental Hazards Environment

CINEMA
Saankal – strong content, weak movie

Even a badly made film becomes a learning experience for the viewers because it sheds light on issues not known widely otherwise, says Shoma Chatterji as she reviews the movie Saankal. She also ponders why badly made movies are being invited and awarded at several film festivals.

Reviews Art Human Rights

CHAMPIONS OF WOMEN'S RIGHT
This village doesn’t deny its women the right to pray

Suchismita Pai travels to the hinterland of the western state of Maharashtra where a unique intervention with the local men has motivated them to shed their rigid patriarchal mindset and become champions of women’s rights and equality.

People MAHARASHTRA Women

BLOG: RESISTANCE AND RECONSTRUCTION
Hope in Bihar

The state of Bihar is well-known for lagging behind in all economic and human development indicators. Recently, Ashish Kothari visited some areas in Bihar where interesting things are happening. Under progressive governance and grassroots action by its citizens when these are implemented state-wise, Bihar would be well on the path of progress.

OP-ED BIHAR Ashish Kothari

WASTE DUMP
Residents of a municipal dumping site fight back

The women of Meghpar village of Kutch District are fighting the big port town Gandhidham municipality which is dumping its waste in their village. Vimal Kalavadiya and Shvetangini Patel narrate how these women self-learned the waste management rules and other legal aspects to keep their struggle strong and on.

Waste People Women

THERMAL POWER PLANTS
New regulations welcome, but the proof will be in the eating

For the first time ever, new regulations from the environment ministry require coal-based thermal power plants to stick to legally binding limits for water consumption. Shripad Dharmadhikary examines the implications of these rules with respect to the water consumption limits of coal based power plants.

Water Environment Environmental Law and Regulation

LIMBU TAMANG ISSUE
Tribal seat reservation issue rakes up storm in Sikkim

The long pending issue of Limbu-Tamang tribal seat reservation in the Sikkim legislative assembly has to be resolved within the next four months as per the latest orders given by the Supreme Court. Soumik Dutta writes about how this could change the political scenario in Sikkim.

Government Adivasis Sikkim

HUMAN RIGHTS REPRESSION
Debaranjan Sarangi: Another artist incarcerated

Debaranjan Sarangi, a documentary film maker, writer and human rights activist was arrested recently in Kashipur, Odisha. He has been involved for more than eight years with the anti-mining movement of the Adivasis in Kashipur. Shoma Chatterji writes about Sarangi's arrest, his activism and his films which deal with Adivasis and their struggles.

Films Human Rights ODISHA

PROGRESS UNDER NREGA
Jharkhand looks at better planning to aid NREGA outcomes

A three-day planning process undertaken as part of a state-wide campaign called “Yojana Banao Abhiyan” to plan for NREGA implementation in every village in Jharkhand has sensitized the people and authorities to the potential of the scheme and recharged local democratic institutions. Ankita Aggarwal reports.

Labour Issues Public Funds Government JHARKHAND

RISK FROM TOXIC CHEMICALS
The poisons we play with everyday

From the paints in our homes to the discarded CFL tubes, the sources of toxic chemicals that pose a serious threat to our health and safety are omnipresent. Darryl D’Monte highlights why it is imperative for India to move faster and more determinedly in tackling this problem.

Environmental Hazards Environment Environmental Law and Regulation

MUNDRA STORY
How non-compliance is condoned: A short story

The Environment ministry as well as the citizen-led committees have found large scale and conclusive evidence of violation of environment regulation by the Adani group in their Mundra Port and SEZ Ltd and the Waterfront Development Project. Kanchi Kohli reports on why both the projects are still moving ahead.

Environment Environmental Law and Regulation GUJARAT

HUMAN RIGHTS
Ishrat Jahan case: Is the political furore skirting the core issue?

The Ishrat Jahan case has again hit the headlines with former home minister P Chidambaram being accused of rewriting an affidavit to prove the 19-year-old’s innocence.  But the legal probe into whether she was a victim of an extra-judicial killing seems forgotten. Ramesh Menon presents a recap and investigates where things stand now.

Government GUJARAT Human Rights

WATER & ACCESSIBILITY
Hill women no longer panic over water scarcity

In many parts of rural India, women spend most of their time walking long distances to collect water for their household's needs. Nitin Jugran Bahuguna visits the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand where the women no longer have to worry about fetching water from long distances thanks to an intervention that has brought potable water right to their doorstep.

Water Women

ANIMAL CRUELTY & FILMS
Of animals and lesser animals: Shaktimaan and his brothers

The shocking physical abuse inflicted on police horse Shaktimaan has rightly created a furore in society. But cruelty towards animals does not just manifest itself in stray, isolated incidents. Shoma Chatterji draws attention to the treatment of animals in film making and stresses the need for strict monitoring.

People Society

SUSTAINABLE FOOD
Rays of hope for the ‘local’ in Meghalaya

Even as many pockets of the state, including its capital, battle the ravages of development and consumerism, a couple of villages visited by the author stand as examples of resilient local economies and lifestyles. Aditya Vikram Rametra describes what he saw here.

Agriculture Bio Diversity Adivasis

ACID ATTACK SURVIVORS
Lucknow’s new landmark Sheroes upholds the indomitable spirit of humanity

Manjari Singh reports on the opening of the Lucknow branch of Sheroes Hangout, a café run and managed by acid attack survivors under the guidance of the humanitarian organisation “Stop Acid Attacks”

Gender Violence Society Women

FILM REVIEW
In the aftermath of a hooch tragedy

In a terrible, but not-so-rare tragedy in rural West Bengal, 170 people lost their lives after consuming illicit liquor. But what actually happens after an incident such as this? Cholai, a well-researched black comedy, reveals the moral and social degradation that cuts across spheres, writes Shoma Chatterji.

Reviews Poverty Society

REDUCING ROAD FATALITIES
The Supreme Court just made it easier for you to save lives; here’s how!

You don’t have to fear police harassment if you report or help an injured accident victim. You don’t even have to reveal personal details unless you wish to testify. Here’s a summary of the “Good Samaritan” guidelines that the apex court has now made compulsory for states to follow.

Laws Society Human Rights

BOXING GIRLS
Chennai girls learn to land a solid punch

These days, select impoverished neighbourhoods in Chennai have become the nursery of future champion boxers. Girls in these neighbourhoods are receiving training in boxing, something that has given them the confidence to stand up for themselves and dream big, reveals Hema Vijay.

TAMILNADU Society Women

WOMEN AND THE STATE
The women whose voices we seek to stifle, but can’t

High rhetoric and token gestures abound on International Women’s Day. Yet, a brave woman of the soil was threatened, attacked and prevented from holding a rally that would have voiced the real issues faced by many women. Freny Manecksha met Soni Sori days before she was attacked, and recounts her story.

Authority Women

SOLAR MISSION DISPUTE
Trade rules and what they eclipse

The ruling by the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s dispute settlement body (DSB) in a complaint filed by USA against elements of India’s solar mission is again in the news. Shalini Bhutani helps to piece together the sequence of events and points out how the global trade architecture keeps domestic laws and policies under intense scrutiny.

Energy Trade Environment

SYRIAN CEASEFIRE
Can India provide a new lens to the ISIS challenge in Syria?

Is military combat the only way to deal with the Islamic state and its likes? Firdaus Ahmed ponders about the role India can play in making the ongoing temporary ceasefire in the five-year old Syrian civil war a more permanent one.

Firdaus Ahmed OP-ED Subcontinental Musings

MINING IN HASDEO ARAND
Too many questions? Take away the right to ask!

The Chhattisgarh government has nullified the community rights of a section of villagers under the Forest Rights Act, as it was being used by them to oppose mining in the region. But why are the local people up against mining? Shripad Dharmadhikary reports.

Mining Environment Environmental Law and Regulation

FREE SPEECH
No matter who’s ruling, they just won’t brook dissent!

2009 – mid 2014: UPA.
Mid 2014 – present: NDA.
This map will show you that irrespective of who’s at the helm, national policies and issues considered sacrosanct are not open to debate in our country.

Government People Society

RAILWAYS
Is the Hubli-Ankola Railway line approved?

Media reports that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given clearance to Railways to approach the state government regarding the Hubli-Ankola rail link, which will pass through the dense Western Ghats in Karnataka. Kanchi Kohli writes on how the orders of NGT do not necessarily imply a complete go ahead for the railway line as the seems to suggest.

Forests Environment

THE AFTERMATH OF RAPE
For rape survivors and families, the nightmare continues

Radha. Zahira. Neha. Names and tales that serve to remind us that despite the reams written, laws passed and discourses held on sexual violence in the country, the road to justice for rape survivors remains as arduous as ever. Manjari Singh reports.

U.P. Gender Violence Women

UNORGANISED LABOUR
An endless wait for social security

The finance minister’s dream of extending social security cover to all unorganised workers in the country is a lofty one undoubtedly, but Kathyayini Chamaraj identifies the many gaps in the existing law that need to be addressed for that dream to be realised.

Labour Issues Livelihood Human Rights

BLOG: RESISTANCE AND RECONSTRUCTION
Towards radical democracy in India

A multitude of grassroots movements are emerging across the country in resistance to the mainstream economy and polity. These initiatives are exploring sustainable, equitable and  just paths to human well-being. Ashish Kothari and Pallav Das offer an insight into the need for such movements.

OP-ED Ashish Kothari



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From Aug 2013, published with support from Oorvani Foundation, a champion of public-funded media for the new India.

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