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…

Thank you wonder woman! A personal tribute on the International Women’s Day 2018

Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
As 8 March approached once again, I was simply overwhelmed remembering the many women in my life! I stopped and wondered whether it was a mere ‘cosmetic’ exercise, a kind of ‘tokenism’ just because one was on the eve of yet another ‘international day’ ; or was there something more? And I said to myself “yes! there is more!”: celebrating the women who have been part of my life, thanking them for shaping me, for helping me to grow; asking their forgiveness for oftentimes my patriarchal, chauvinistic attitudes and for not having done enough to ensure greater equity and dignity for them; finally, to request them to continue to accompany me in this journey of life.
The first woman that comes to my heart and mind is naturally my own mother. She nurtured me in her womb for nine months, as all mothers do. She gave birth to me, cared for me, taught me the meaning and values of life, in a way only mothers can do. My mother was always a teacher; in fact an educator par exce…