Skip to main content

Stop tree felling, debris dumping, untreated sewage discharge in Vishwamitri


Several senior environmentalists and academics* of Vadodara have written an open letter to the Municipal Commissioner, Vadodara Municipal Corporation – copies of which have been sent to the secretary, Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change, and Gujarat chief secretary and other senior officials of Gujarat government looking after environment and urban development departments – to immediately stop demolition, tree felling and clearing of vegetation, dumping of debris, discharge of untreated sewage, dredging, digging, filling, levelling, construction, etc. along the city’s Vishwamitri river and its environs.
Seeking to thoroughly relook the “development” works going on in and around Vadodara city, the letter says that the activities around the river are in violation of the Gujarat High Court Order dated February 2, 2002, interim order of the National Green Tribunal dated May 25, 2016; and the order of the Supreme Court dated February 22, 2017.
Accusing the administration for refusing to comply by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) of the Order dated August 9, 2016, passed by the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), the letter states, VMC is also violating the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016, as also direction of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), Gandhinagar dated January 8, 2018.
Text of the letter:

The Vadodara Municipal Corporation has been and is still allowing demolition, tree felling and clearing of vegetation, dumping of debris, discharge of untreated sewage, dredging, digging, filling, levelling, construction, etc. activities along / in / around the Vishwamitri River and its environs (banks, ravines, tributaries, ponds, wetlands, etc.). Almost one year later, since our last letter to the then Municipal Commissioner and others, this practice is still continuing and getting worse with apparently no repercussions to the concerned authorities and parties. This is happening despite the prevailing laws of the land, directions of concerned authorities, and Courts’ Orders.
To bring to your notice, the following work / works / acts and activities were and are still ongoing currently in and around the Vishwamitri River (VRDP area) and its environs (banks, ravines, tributaries, ponds, wetlands, etc.). All such work / works / acts and activities are in blatant violation of Environment laws. In spite of the various directions repeatedly given by GPCB, Gandhinagar, illegal dumping of debris at Kala Ghoda Bridge near Yavteshwar Mahadev Temple, Bhimnath Bridge, Bahucharaji Nala, Bhukhi Nala, near Fast Track Court and other ravines have not been removed till date. Informal access paths have been created by construction vehicles to dump debris in the ravines adjoining the Bhimnath Bridge, Agora Mall, Sama, and various other places.
Discharge of illegal untreated sewage and other polluted liquids into the River Vishwamitri (for example, near Kalaghoda Bridge) and its tributaries has been going on in violation of the Supreme Court Order dated 22.02.2017 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 375 of 2012 and NGT, Principal Bench, Delhi Order dated 03.08.2018 in Original Application No. 593 of 2017, amounting to the Contempt of the Court.
Severe and mindless disturbances to natural land forms, soils, and hydrological regimes coupled with removal of vegetation, including significant trees, on the banks of the Bahucharaji Nala, Motnath “Lake”/Pond, near the Fast Track Court area, and at various other public and individual private properties are ongoing without any forethought and nonchalantly as a normal practice. Such acts adversely affect ecologically significant areas and quality of life (for reptiles, amphibians, birds, insects, and humans alike). The concerned authorities have also apparently allowed other works and activities such as construction, demolition, leveling, and filling in and around the nalas and ravines, unabatedly.
For road widening or extension and construction of flyovers and bridges, removal of ecologically significant vegetation / tree cover is taken for granted instead of planning and designing of projects with due respect to these assets of the city, especially in the emerging Climate Change scenarios.
It is imperative to note that the above mentioned activities are in deliberate and blatant violation of the Orders mentioned below:
Order dated 25.05.2016 of the National Green Tribunal in Application 49 of 2016 (Rohit Prajapati and Anr V/s Secretary MoEFCC & Ors)
“The Applicants claim to be pro-bon environmentalists and claim they are social workers. Through this Application they have questioned illegal activity of the Government instrumentality i.e. Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) which is said to be proceeding with a project damaging river and its tributaries.
First Respondent – Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), 2nd Respondent- Chief Secretary, State of Gujarat, 3rd Respondent- the Principal Secretary, Urban Development and Urban Housing Department, 4th Respondent – the Member Secretary, State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), 5th Respondent – the Collector, Vadodara, 6th Respondent- the Municipal Commissioner, Vadodara Municipal Corporation and 7th Respondent- Vadodara Urban Development Authority, are duly served.
Learned Counsel Mr. Parth Bhatt represent the Respondent No. 2 – Chief Secretary, State of Gujarat, 3rd Respondent- the Principal Secretary, Urban Development and Urban Housing Department and the Collector as well. Supriya Dangare learned Counsel represents Respondent No. 6 – Project Proponent (PP).
Applicant’s Counsel seeks interim order to restrain VMC from proceeding with the project on assertion that it has not obtained Environmental Clearance (EC) and there is no consent under law. She relied on several documents, including photographs depicting situation as it is at the time of filing of this Application. It is seen from photographs and other material that construction activity is in the area of Vishwamitri River. The said project being implemented is Vishwamitri Riverfront Development Project (VRDP) and in the process the VMC is alleged to be demolishing the river and its tributaries. It is carrying on work of demolition, dredging, digging, filling, levelling of the land.
The Applicant submits on verification they find the PP has no consent, no EC to proceed with the construction.
Learned Counsel representing Respondent No.6 now disputes that VMC – PP has not obtained the EC. Her contention is it has applied for grant of EC which is in process of consideration by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC). She refers to communication dated 16.2.2016 and 17.11.2015 (Annexure – 2) which shows the SEAC is examining the project and is likely to issue EC. Learned Counsel for PP therefore, opposes grant of any interim order.
On perusal of allegations in the Application and submission of PP Respondent No. 6, that they do not have EC prima facie establishes that any construction activity especially in an area which is River and Riverbed and also its tributaries is wholly impermissible. We have satisfied there is prima facie case made out by the Applicant to restrain any construction activity affecting Vishwamitri River and its tributaries.
On behalf of State of Gujarat, it is urged that the project of VRDP has two and three parts. Second part is not covered under the provisions of Environmental Laws requiring EC. The PP is proceeding with that part of the project and therefore, it may not be rightly stating that construction activity will not cause damage. Though such submission is made on behalf of Respondent Nos. 1 and 4, on verification we find that the State has appointed SEAC, who is examining the proposal for grant of EC, but no final decision has yet been taken. It is not impugned on record to show that the present construction activity does not require any EC or ECs or consent.
At this stage, Supriya Dangare representing the PP submits the Tribunal may give her sufficient time to oppose interim relief by written counter. This request is unreasonable for the reason we had already made it clear on the last hearing that we are not granting interim relief till Respondents file their response. Despite that the PP has not filed counter/reply.
On perusal of records, it is seen the photographs show that the Respondent No. 6 is proceeding with construction activity in blatant violation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Notifications issued the reunder particularly Notification in 1994/2006, it has commenced construction activity more than a year ago without obtaining prior EC and he has continued such illegal activities. It is also admitted that they have applied for EC only after starting construction, which show their conduct of defiance to mandatory law requiring EC. In the circumstances, even if the PP gets ex post facto EC, we got to examine whether grant of EC was justified especially in view clear photographs which show that its construction activity is virtually destroying River Vishwamitri and its tributaries. Hence, interim order.
ORDER: The Respondent No.6 is hereby restrained from proceeding further with any construction or development activity within the area of Vishwamitri Riverfront Development Project (VRDP).
Liberty to Respondents to seek modification of this order is reserved.
The Respondents shall file their counter/reply and complete their pleadings within next four (4) weeks.
List it on 1st July, 2016.”
Secretary, State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) in its Order dated 8 August 2016 clearly states:
Withdrawal Application, dated 05.08.2016, filed by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation, for withdrawal of the Environmental Clearance application in respect of VRDP project was accepted by the SEIAA with the following restrictions, “….SEIAA hereby permits the withdrawal of the Application No. SIA/GJ/NCP/4584/2015, dated 14.12.2015, with following conditions:
The Vadodara Municipal Corporation shall maintain status quo and shall not carry out any further construction and development enabling activities within the area of Vishwamitri Riverfront Development Project until and unless the prior Environmental Clearance is obtained for the said project.”
It is also in violation of the High Court Order of Gujarat, dated 02.08.2002, in SCA No. 19621/2000, which clearly states:
“Care will be taken that water bodies are not converted to any other use in the town planning schemes / development plans that may be made hereafter and the Local Authorities and the Area development Authorities will be instructed to ensure that no debris of buildings is dumped by any person or institution in the existing water bodies”.
Furthermore, these works and activities are in complete violation under the provisions of the following environmental statutes:
The Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986
The Environment (Protection) Act 1986
The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010
The Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016
The Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016

Now, with all of the above-mentioned activities and similar ongoing activities in the city, including the VRDP area, we urge the Municipal Commissioner of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation to immediately stop all such activities and take sound and well-advised corrective measures by giving appropriate and specific directions (emphasizing eco-engineering techniques and not allowing shoddy band-aid job).
We urge the concerned authorities to prosecute any/all concerned departments/authorities/parties that are engaged in the above stated illegal activities. Not doing so is in violation of the Environment laws and Courts’ Orders which will invite legal actions against all concerned authorities, departments, and parties.
In addition to the above transgressions and issues of grave consequences, we also want to draw attention to all the concerned authorities some old (pending and overlooked) and newly emerging, crucial issues related to rapid “development” works that need serious and urgent attention from you.
Starting with the pending/overlooked issues:
“Beautification”! This current fad is sheer tyranny on natural systems and stamp-pad kind of ugly imposition by the bureaucracy without any serious consideration for natural system, cultural history, users’ participation, contextual fit, or design principles. The so-called “Lake Beautification” projects at Gotri and Harni are remarkable examples of such disaster. Others, like the Motnath “Lake”/pond, where senseless removal of vegetation cover took place recently, are in the pipeline. Crores of rupees are spent without any public participation, proper consideration of ecological factors, or good design sense. These “lakes”/ponds can still be salvaged. A prime example of such approach is the ongoing Sursagar “beautification” project. This project doesn’t consider the larger ecological (water-soil-flora-fauna) relationships or consequences, the urban history and context, urban or landscape design principles, and best construction practices, among other matters of concerns. The current design is a poor aping of other rubber-stamp kind of designs. It can and must still be stopped from implementation.The “Jan-Mahal”!! The planning and design of this transportation cum commercial hub near the Vadodara Railway Station has many serious issues. The concerned citizens and professional architects of Vadodara had raised concerns at the time but were ignored by the authorities. This upcoming project is likely to create traffic problems, increase heat island effect, and cause storm water hazards. In addition, its design doesn’t respect climatic factors, urban design principles, and stakeholders’ participation.
The under construction and highly publicized Agora Mall off Mangal Pandey road is being built in the VRDP area and partly in the Vishwamitri River ravines. The new Sayaji Hotel near Bhimnath Bridge also has similar peculiarities. Both of these private developments violate the NGT interim order.
The new westward road from the southwest of Motnath “Lake”/Pond to the new bridge over the Vishwamitri River has severely disturbed the stromwater channel (‘kaans’) that facilitates the overflow of water from Motnath “Lake”/Pond to the Vishwamitri River. This will increase waterlogging and flooding phenomenon in the Harni area.
The proposed widening of the Kalaghoda Bridge and Crocodile Park project are also of grave concern because they will add to the issues that are highlighted above. We have already lost the historical Nazarbaug Palace, Shantadevi Hospital and its majestic Banyan Tree, many other mature trees, and other significant assets due to various projects. Vadodara City is now left with only 19 degraded “lakes”/ponds and five major rivulets/nalas. These remaining ponds and nalas are in the process of being degraded and ultimate disappearance. Some are selected for “beautification”. This is not advisable or desirable. As we aspire to be a leading Smart City, such natural and cultural assets must be properly listed, documented, respected, and planned for in a caring and proactive manner, not merely as isolated objects for pure commercial or so-called “beautification” ends. Even the Ministry of Urban Affairs is launching a competition among the cities to revive their water bodies and acknowledging the importance of natural terrain (Times of India, dated 15.10.2018). Now, let us draw your attention to some on-going / new “development” works and issues associated with them.
The new 3.51 kms. long bridge (the longest such bridge in Gujarat) with 34602.5 sq.mts. of built-up, under construction between Genda Circle and Manisha Chowkadi, may fulfill the itch to temporarily win the one-upmanship in infrastructure development in Gujarat. However, it will take heavy toll on the existing precious green cover including significant trees and urban wildlife habitats and cause other environmental damage along the bridge’s alignment, mainly the Old Padra Road and especially that of Shivmahal Palace grounds. The Environmental Management Plan/Mitigation Measures stated for the Land and Ecology in the Conceptual Plan (Doc. No: 2017_ECSS_EIAMS_1700028, December 2017) by the VMC Office of Executive Engineer are highly contestable if not laughable. Why can’t we demand better designs, from the well-paid consultants for all public projects, that are holistic in approach and outcomes, result in little or no environmental damage, and accrue greater public benefits? It is not too late to reconsider this costly development.
We demand that you must implement ‘The Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016’ and ‘The Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016’ in letter and spirit. We have been raising the questions in this regard and we need answers now.

Where the debris of the small and big demolished buildings and structures of various kinds are going? Where did demolition debris of “Jan-mahal” site, the Nataraj and Rajeshri cinema halls go? Where is the waste swept from the roads and open spaces of Vadodara everyday being dumped? Where does all the waste collected during various “cleanliness drives” go?
More recently, where has all the “waste” from the artificial ponds that were constructed for Ganesh Visarjan gone? To, sea coast near Kavi? How much waste was dumped in various legally provided and other areas? Who and how many are the authorized and non-authorized and non-documented collectors of waste and debris from various sites in Vadodara? Who gives them permission? Why is the waste being allowed to be burned illicitly or otherwise (near Ratri Bazaar, for example) spewing toxic smoke in the air? Who monitors these activities and and evaluates their various impacts? Why isn’t there a comprehensive plan to reduce, recycle, reuse, and upcycle waste? If there is a plan, what is its success rate? What are the problems?
We and some project affected local citizens from all walks of life in Vadodara have raised these issues and concerns with the concerned authorities from time to time but they have fallen on deaf ears. The concerned authorities at best give sympathetic hearing but eventually do hardly anything worthwhile to address the real issues. Such top down development decisions and designs are imposed on the citizens without authentic and proactive participation.
The Vadodara Smart City website lists 64 projects (with estimated cost of 2906 crore Indian rupees). An overwhelming 42 of these projects are infrastructure development related projects.
We insist a complete re-look and re-design of all the on-going and not-so-well thought out demolition activities, clean-up drives, and so-called development projects. All the projects should be comprehensively integrated with overall Development and/or Plans and must not be imposed as isolated intervention handled by different departments and agencies.
We are for development!
We are for development that is well-conceived, balanced, well-designed, participatory, and that enhances and restores nature! Development that promotes regenerative economy and real quality of life for all its citizens while caring for all life. This can and must be achieved in the emerging 21st century in which the challenges of climate change and scarce resources are increasingly affecting all of us. Other countries and cities that our governments wants to selectively emulate are doing a far better job in development WITH nature conservation and restoration.
It will be nice if we don’t have to play the role of protestors of development projects in our own city and country. Let us together and proactively be engaged with the authorities and all the stakeholders to envision, devise, and co-plan / co-design, monitor, and evaluate small and large development projects. Truly holistic, systematic, and inclusive development must now be made mandatory. Therefore, we demand that WE never engage in piecemeal thinking, top-down approach, and questionable development.
To achieve all this, we have suggested and now demand that a quasi-governmental authority with real teeth is formed and empowered to fulfill this agenda in a proactive, transparent, and accountable manner. It is high time that the Local, State, and Central governments take up this matter with urgency and work towards its positive resolution without failing.
There is local expertise that has always been willing to help. We will save money and more and build brand and a better city that is worthy of the late Sir Sayajirao’s legacy and that the current and future generations will be proud of. Vadodara and Gujarat deserve better.
Please wake up and act, now! Don’t let the political partisanship and expediency derail such ideas and ideals.
We request a meeting to be scheduled between all the concerned authorities (specifically, Vadodara Municipal Corporation) and us at the earliest to discuss the matter stated in this letter.
We look forward to your positive response and immediate action to protect, restore, and nurture the environment while following sounder and saner paths to development.

*Signatories:
Rohit Prajapati, Environment Activist, Researcher, and Writer
Dr Shishir R. Raval, Landscape Architect and Ecological Planner
Dr Ranjitsinh Devkar, Zoologist
Dr Deepa Gavali, Wetland Ecologist
Dr Jitendra Gavali, Botanist
Neha Sarwate, Environmental and Urban Planner
Shakti Bhatt, Water Resources Expert
Dr Arjun Singh Mehta, Biotechnologist
Dr Jayendra Lakhmapurkar, Hydro-Geologist
Hitarth Pandya, Educationist and Writer
Rutvik Tank, Civil Engineer and Urban Planner</em
Dhara Patel, Landscape Architect and Architect
Taniya Vaidya, Artist and Educator

Comments

TRENDING

Mental health: We talk of poverty figures, but not increase in suicides since 2014

By IMPRI Team Highlighting  the issue of mental health and addressing the challenges involved, # IMPRI Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized a panel discussion on Institutional Support for Mental Health and Wellbeing under the #WebPolicyTalk series The State of Gender Equality – #GenderGaps . The discussion was chaired by Prof Vibhuti Patel, Visiting Professor, IMPRI and Former Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai . The distinguished panel included – Prof Anuradha Sovani, Former Professor and Head, Department of Psychology, and Former Dean, Faculty of Humanities at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai and National Core Committee member and Ethics Committee Chairperson, Association of Adolescent and Child Care India ; Dr Soumitra Pathare, Director, Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy at Indian Law Society, Pune ; Dr Swati Rane, Founder CEO at SevaShakti Healthcare Consultancy, Mumbai and Founder V

How India, Bangladesh perceive, manage Sunderbans amidst climate change

By IMRPI Team The effects of climate change have been evident, and there have been a lot of debates around the changes to be made locally to help and save the earth. In this light, the nations met at the COP 26 conference recently. To discuss this further, the Center for Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (CECCSD) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi , organized a panel discussion on “COP 26 and Locally Led Adaptations in India and Bangladesh Sunderbans” under the #WebPolicyTalk series- The State of the Environment – #PlanetTalks . The talk was chaired by Dr Jayanta Basu, Director, Non-profit EnGIO, Faculty at Calcutta University and an Environmental Journalist, The Telegraph , ABP . The Moderator of the event, Dr Simi Mehta, CEO and Editorial Director, IMPRI , started the discussion by stressing the talk on the living conditions of people living in the Sunderbans Delta from both the countries, i.e. India and Bangladesh. According to the report

NEP: Education must shift away from knowledge, move to teaching students

Dr Anjusha Gawande* The Education sector in the globe is changing dramatically. Many manual jobs may be captured over by machines as a consequence of multiple spectacular advances in science and technology, including the machine learning, and artificial intelligence. A professional workforce, particularly one that includes mathematics, computer science, and data science, as well as multidisciplinary competencies in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, will be in incredibly popular. As a result, education must shift away from knowledge and toward teaching students, how to be creative and transdisciplinary, and how to innovate, adapt, and process information differently in innovative and rapidly changing sectors. The education development agenda at the global level is represented in Goal 4 (SDG4) of India's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted in 2015. Ministry of Education has announced the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) on 29.07.2020. In J

Dishonesty, corruption, manipulation and sustainable growth of mediocrity

By Arup Mitra* The theory of mediocrity would suggest that the meritorious who are always small in number as a nature’s gift will be dominated by a vast number of mediocre as the latter cannot withstand the inferiority they suffer from. By subjugating the merit, they derive a pleasure of having established their superiority. Such processes are functional in all spheres in life though the field of art is the worst sufferer. An artist mind is most sensitive and those who are meritorious in this lot possess exceptionally different traits. This makes them more vulnerable and, on the other hand, it paves the path of the mediocre to cast their shadows all around. Unjust and strong criticisms are sufficient to detract many. In developing countries, the modes of subjugation are many. Individuals do not hesitate to take recourse to criminal means as the subconscious prevalent with vengeance, accesses easily the outlets for execution. The lack of civility and the power of money form a unique com

Migrant problem during Covid and the role of equality for cohesive development

By IMPRI Team  The covid-19 pandemic has deepened the pre-existing inequalities across socio-economic groups, the distressing images of migrants’ exposure remained attached in our minds but not a lot has changed in terms of data collection and policy making since then to understand the role of equality for cohesive development. Cohesive development also means that human beings should respect the boundaries of nature which they cross at their own peril and the peril of other living beings on earth. In lieu to this, The State of Development Discourses – #CohesiveDevelopment, #IMPRI Center for Human Dignity and Development (CHDD) , #IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute , New Delhi organized #WebPolicyTalk with Prof Amiya Kumar Bagchi, on The Role of Equality for Cohesive Development. The session is inaugurated by Ms Mahima Kapoor, researcher and assistant editor at IMPRI. Ms Mahima Kapoor extended her gratitude to the speaker, moderator and the discussant. The moderator for the eve

Parallel govts: How unity of various streams of freedom movements took shape in India

By Bharat Dogra  In one of the most inspiring examples of highly courageous spontaneous actions based on the unity of people, parallel governments were formed by freedom fighters in several parts of India in the course of the Quit India Movement in 1942. Although generally four such leading efforts have been identified in Satara (Maharashtra), Talcher (Odisha), Tamluk (West Bengal) and Ballia (Uttar Pradesh), there were some other smaller efforts as well such as those in Bhagalpur (Bihar) and Gurpal (Balasore, Odisha). It is very interesting to see in most of these efforts (also very significant for understanding the freedom movement) that there was constant merging of the various streams of the freedom movement, with more militant activities openly taking place with the help of quickly mobilized militias and this being combined with various constructive programs emphasized by Mahatma Gandhi such as anti-liquor efforts and anti-untouchability movements. In addition we see actions in

West Bengal police inaction in immoral trafficking case of a Muslim woman

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) writes to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, on Muslim woman victim trafficking, police inaction, and need immediate rescue: I am writing to inform you about a case of illegal trafficking and profuse police inaction regarding the same of a marginalized Muslim teenager named Anima Khatun (name changed), daughter of Mr. Osman Ali. The victim and her husband had been residents of the village Daribas, under Dinhata police station Cooch Behar district since their marriage in 2014. Six months following their marriage, Anima Khatun along with her husband, sister-in-law, sister-in-law's husband as well as her in-laws shifted to Delhi in search of work. They stayed there for 2 years after which they all came back to their native village. They stayed at their native residence for about one month and then they went back to Delhi. In Delhi, Anima was in touch with her family till the next six months, after which t

Impact of climate change on Gujarat pastoralists' traditional livelihood

By Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Karen Pinerio* We are sharing a study[1] based learning on climate resilience and adaptation strategies of pastoralists of Kachchh district, Gujarat. There are two objectives of the study: (i) to examine the impact of climate on traditional livelihood of pastoralists of Gujarat state; and (ii) to explore and document the adaptation strategies of pastoralists in mitigating climate adversities, with a focus on the role of women in it. In order to meet these objectives, the research inquiries focused on how pastoralists perceive climate change, how climate change has impacted their traditional livelihood, i.e., pastoralism in drylands (Kr├Ątli 2015), and how these pastoral families have evolved adaptation strategies that address climate change (CC)/ variabilities, i.e., traditional livelihood of pastoralists of Kachchh district, Gujarat state. Pastoralism is more than 5,000 years old land-use strategy in India; it is practised by nomadic (their entire livelihood r

Bangladesh sets shining example of communal peace, harmony in South Asia

By Dr. Abantika Kumari Bangladesh is made up of 160 million people who are multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual. The Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees all citizens the freedom to freely and peacefully practice their chosen religions. Religious minorities make up roughly 12% of Bangladesh's present population, according to conservative estimates . Hindus account for 10% of the population, Buddhists for 1%, Christians at 0.50 percent, and ethnic minorities for less than 1%. As an example of how people of different religions can live together, cooperate together, and simply be together, Bangladesh is regarded. Bangladesh is a country that values religious liberty, harmony, and tolerance. Bangladesh's population is made up of a diverse spectrum of religious groupings and ethnic groups. Such communities and groups live in harmony, putting aside their differences and learning to embrace and respect the diverse and diversified culture that has contributed to Bangladesh

Political leaders' actions are causing decontextualisation of democracy

By Harasankar Adhikari In India, does democracy become a matter of prescription, i.e., to follow the footpath left? Isn't it, in some ways, the adoption of certain prescribed procedures and mechanisms, such as timely election and populist schemes for the poor, etc.? In some cases, acts of government and governance turn democracy into a myth. It is full of political party-based agendas. This continuous hegemonic practise creates a conditional situation for the people of India. People elect their representatives who are not their representatives. They are only representatives of a particular political party that nominated them in the election. Democratic decentralisation of power is undoubtedly a unique step towards the grass roots. But a Panchayat member has no free will to act without the party’s instruction and approval. Michael Saward, a political philosopher, defines democracy as a matter of correspondence in state-society relationships. But India’s parliamentary democracy is un