UN goal to end poverty: India's welfare schemes are not a complete or sustainable solution

By Syed Mujtaba*
On 10 September 2014, the UN General Assembly decided that the Report of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals would be the main basis for integrating the SDGs into the post 2015 development agenda. The first of the seventeen proposed SDGs is “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”. The following suggested targets are associated with the goal:
"Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
1.1 by 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
1.2 by 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
1.3 implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
1.4 by 2030 ensure that all men and women, particularly the poor and the vulnerable, have equal…

No to guns? War is profitable business; no one would like to take on military-industrial complex

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
On 14 February, seventeen students and teachers were gunned down in their school in Parkland, Florida; however according to the non-profit organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, as of 2 March almost two dozen school shootings have already occurred on school campuses across the United States. This does not take into account the scores of others that are gunned down regularly in a country regarded as the worlds oldest democracy.
The Florida school shooting was certainly the trigger; because on 14 March, exactly a month after that terrible tragedy, hundreds of thousands of students across America walked out of more than three thousand schools, to protest gun violence. In memory of the seventeen killed in Florida they stayed out for seventeen minutes with a strong message to all to say NO to guns. A week from now, on 24 March a massive rally March For Our Lives (#MarchForOurLives) is being organized to Washington DC, in other major cities of the US and in sever…

Gujarat's Ghogha-Dahej ferry service reportedly in danger due to problems in dredging

By Nandini K Oza*
Prime Minister Narendra Modi likes to inaugurate projects and at times even before they are fully completed. The inauguration of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) just before the Gujarat assembly elections in 2017 is one such case. The canal network of the SSP is yet to be completed.
Another project which was inaugurated by Mr. Modi just before the Gujarat elections in 2017 was the Ghogha Dahej RO-RO ferry service. The inauguration of the ferry service was done with great fanfare and the project called the dream project and an invaluable gift to India (click HERE).
However, startling facts regarding the ferry service have been reported by one of the leading newspapers of Gujarat, "Saurashtra Samachar" March 14, 2018. I translate important excerpts from the Gujarati news paper for wider readership here:
“OBSTACLE: There is a requirement of hundred meters channel for the ferry as against which only fifty meters has been constructed.
"Ghogha –Dahej ferry ser…

Draft afforestation rules will lead to harassment, atrocities, crimes against tribals, forest dwellers

By Manohar Chauhan*
The draft Compensatory Afforestation Fund Rules, as notified on 16.02.2018, are in direct violation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (the Forest Rights Act); the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, as amended in 2015; the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution; the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996; and several other applicable provisions of law and the Constitution.
As the Forest Rights Act (FRA) applies to all forest lands, any activity in any forest land needs to comply with the provisions of the Act as violating the same comprises an offense and denial of rights of STs & SCs is an atrocity under the Prevention of atrocities Act.
Further, remarkably, despite the Ministry of Tribal Affairs being the nodal ministry for the FRA, there is no provision for it being represented in any of the steering/management committees to be constituted for implementation of the CAF Act at eit…

Love in the time of WhatsApp: Breaking the barriers of caste and distance in "modern" India

By Rahul Banerjee*
A young cousin of Subhadra Khaperde, a well-known social worker with the Mahila Jagat Lihaaz Samiti or Society for Respect for Women and Earth, also known as MAJLIS, formed by Dalit and Adivasi women of western Madhya Pradesh, had been dating with a man living in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh. Hailing from Kanker district of Chhattisgarh, the girl continued dating for over a year and a half on WhatsApp.

From Monroe to Sridevi: Tragedy under the glow of talent, charisma and charm

By Adv Masood Peshimam*
Marlyn Monroe was an American actress, model, singer famous for playing sensual, seductive and tempestuous role. She became one of the most popular sex symbols of 1950s. Her talent, charisma, charm and above all her bold exposure of the body contributed to her meteoric rise.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Monroe spent most of her childhood in foster homes and at an age of orphanage and married at the age of sixteen. While working in radio factory in 1944 as part of the war effort she was introduced to a photographer from the first motion picture unit and began a successful career. The work led to short lived film contracts with Twentieth Century Fox (1946-1947) and Columbia Picture (1948). Over the years her career graph in the film made much of headway.
Monroe faced a scandal when it was revealed that she had posed for nude photos before becoming a star, but rather than damaging her career, much of interest was provoked in the films. She progressed to a gorg…

Centre must remove Tripura governor Tathagata Roy for justifying act of vandalism in the state

By Battini Rao*
The tiny state of Tripura in the north-east of India witnessed unprecedented violence and vandalism by supporters of BJP/IPFT alliance after its victory in recent elections. According to a report ("The Indian Express", 7 March), 87 of the 90 CPI(M) offices in Bishalgarh subdivision near Agartala have been ransacked, and many CPI(M) supporters are living huddled in the party office in main town under police protection. Tripura Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) has stated that violence was also widespread in West Tripura and Gomti districts.
"The Telegraph" quoted CPI(M) state secretary as saying that personal properties of the party's leaders were also attacked. A statue of Lenin in a college in Belonia town was demoslished by BJP supporters. Videos of the demolition received widespread publicity in social and conventional media.
What is most shocking is that such acts of public violence have got public support from the highest consti…